"Have We Arrived Yet?"

At one point or another, we've all heard our children or perhaps our younger selves say something similar. We want to arrive at our destination as quickly as possible. Serving processes are similar in that we want it done right away, but it can take a long time.

This article discusses the serving process and how long you should anticipate waiting for it to be served (most likely).

What Is Process Service?


Each party in a case must be notified if legal action is brought against them in a court of law in the United States. Process serving or process servers are a key part of the legal system's due process.

The laws governing the process serving and the norms of the civil procedure or legal process vary from state to state.

Deliveries of summons, complaints, subpoenas, orders to show cause, and writs are all examples of court notification.

"Substituted service" is one form of service. The documents are left with an adult resident of the identified party at the target's home or with a management level employee at the target's place of business in this legal procedure of service. In some cases, posting in a visible location followed by a certified mail copy is an acceptable manner of service.


Is It Possible for Me to Serve the Papers Myself?

You are unable to serve papers in a case in which you are involved. If you are 18 years old or older and not a party to the case, you may be permitted to serve documents yourself depending on your location. Other states, on the other hand, require professional process servers to be licensed or registered.

So, Do I Need a Process Server?

To begin, you should be aware that many states require a process server to be licensed. So in these states, YES.

As a general rule, if you're starting or responding to a court lawsuit, using a process server to serve documents is the best way to get the greatest outcomes.

In order to proceed with a court matter, you must first hire a process server. Process servers have the knowledge and experience to serve your legal documents in a timely and cost-effective manner while also adhering to local and state process serving requirements.

What Is the Role of a Legal Process Server?

A professional process server is a person who distributes (serves) court signed document provided by the party to the defendant or individual named on the legal document. The process server must follow the laws in the area of service when serving legal ocuments. This could entail personally delivering the documents to the defendant or delegating the task to a member of the defendant's household or business. An Affidavit of Service, also known as a Proof of Service, is notarized and provided to the party who sought service after a process server delivers the documents.

Legal process server delivers your paperwork with the courts, retrieves legal documents, and conducts various types of investigations, including skip tracing, individual locators, and surveillance.

 judges hammer 2

Who Has the Authority to Serve Papers?

When professional service of process was first established, it was handled by sheriffs or deputies, as well as court-appointed agents. As a result of the increased load on law enforcement, the legislation was altered. In many places, anyone who is not a party to the lawsuit is over the age of 18, and acts as a professional process serving company, and lives in the state where the case will be heard can now serve legal documents.

Keep in mind that process serving laws vary by state and are subject to change. Some states need process servers to be licensed, while others require them to register with the county, and still, others require them to obtain a surety bond.

How Long Will a Process Take to Serve?

Most process servers can estimate a job's turnaround time to process serve. While turnaround times vary by subject, each process servers can provide varying levels of proof of service, service, and speed. After employing a professional process server, the average time it takes to attempt to serve papers is five to seven days.

Many companies, however, provide expedited delivery services, such as same-day delivery, in which a subject is sought to be supplied right away. This is a more expensive choice, but it is also very effective, due to the extra time and promptness of the process server situation.

What Is the Maximum Number of Attempts a Professional Process Server Can Make?

Law books with gavel representing how many attempts professional servers make hopefully only one to serve papers, but that's probably not what you're asking...

Process servers have an unusual job description. We must meet people who, in most cases, do not want to meet us and will strive to avoid us. Finding someone to serve them takes talent and sometimes luck, because everyone has a different schedule. It may take several attempts before we are able to make contact and provide the documents. Not unexpectedly, there are legal requirements regarding the number of times a server must attempt service.

The minimum number of tries required varies by jurisdiction, and there is frequently no hard and fast rule.

Even within a single state, the number of required attempts varies by county. Process servers often make three efforts to process server. To increase their chances of serving legal documents through a legal process and process service, these attempts are usually performed at different times of day and on separate days. Because other jurisdictions prefer more than three, we state "usually." In most circumstances, judges, for example, prefer to witness at least five attempts.

Do Process Servers Make More Attempts Than Are Required?

If time allows, good ones, such as the specialists at Southeast Wisconsin Process, go above and above. When the circumstances merit it, we've seen servers attempt seven, 10, even twelve or more times to serve a defendant.

The number of attempts a process server makes for any specific paper is entirely up to the server's discretion and the legal deadline for service. It will be difficult to squeeze in more than three or four tries if you send us a paper with only three days to attempt servicing.

judges hammer

How Does a Process Service Deliver Legal Documents?

Papers can be served in a variety of ways by professional process servers. In most circumstances, the process server knocks on the person's door, verifies his or her identity, and presents the document to the person. The process server files an affidavit of service (return of citation) with the court after serving the document.

The papers can also be served to you at your workplace or to someone who is authorized to accept legal documents on your behalf as a part of their personal service. Although there are no time limits on when a process server can attempt proper service, legal documents and paper served on Sundays are not allowed.

Many people feel that they have not been legally served if they do not "touch" the legal papers. The process server, on the other hand, can drop the papers at your home and inform you that you have been served once he has established your identification as a part of a legal proceeding. If you refuse to get out of your car, the process server can place the documents on your windshield.

You can still be sued for a personal injury claim if you avoid process servers. The victim might ask the court to serve the defendant via alternative techniques such as publishing. By avoiding service, you are merely postponing the inevitable.

Types of Service of Process Servers

Papers can be served in a variety of ways. The information on the many sorts of services provided here is generic. They are not all permitted in all cases or at all phases of a case. So, only certain of these services may be permitted in your situation.

Service can be challenging, but it is important. You won't be able to move on with your case if it isn't done correctly. If you're unsure about how to serve your documents, contact your court's self-help center, family law facilitator, or small claims legal advisor, or see a lawyer.

The following are the types of process serving:

  • Personal Service;
  • Substituted Service;
  • Service by Mail;
  • Service by publication;
  • Service by Notice and Acknowledgement of Receipt;
  • Service on someone who lives out of the country;
  • Service by posting on the premises and mailing (for eviction cases only);
  • Service by certified mail (for a party who is out of state);
  • Service by certified mail (small claims only);
  • Service by posting (at the courthouse).

What Are Other Things Professional Process Servers Cannot Do

Yes, a process server's ability to serve legal documents on a person is limited. The following are some of the things a process server is not permitted to perform while serving documents:

  • Getting into a person's home or place of business to serve documents;
  • Forcing or threatening someone to open a vehicle's door or leave;
  • Assume the role of a law enforcement officer or a court officer;
  • A process server is not permitted to trespass on private property in order to serve papers;
  • All rules and laws governing the service of legal documents must be followed by process servers. Violations of these statutes could jeopardize the case. A judge may dismiss a personal injury lawsuit if service was not properly made.

If process servers violates the law while attempting to serve papers, the process server may be charged with a felony and suffer criminal consequences.

What Is the Cost of Having Papers Served?

The national process servers offer rates between $45 and $75 in the process serving industry.

The rate of process serving varies from case to case and state to state. Charges for same-day or urgent services are often higher. A normal serve (one that is attempted for the first time within 5-7 days of receiving the papers) might cost as little as $20 or as much as $100, although the national average is somewhere between $45 and $75. We propose contacting many process servers who cover a specific area at ServeNow.com. You should inquire about the pricing, TAT (turn-around-time), and a number of attempts.

If you need the individual discovered or if they are elusive, you may have to pay extra mileage or skip tracing fees. You might also expect to pay more if you have a hurried serve, a same-day serve, or if you need papers served the next day or on a holiday.

You should ask a few things while acquiring a price quote from process servers... "Can you tell me how long it takes you to turn something around?" (Can you finish this in a reasonable amount of time?)" "How many attempts do I receive at the specified price?" and "How many attempts do I get at the quoted price?"


Laws about serving legal papers can be complicated and confusing. You need to make sure you know how it is done properly or you could get in trouble for not doing so correctly. A process server understands these laws, knows how to serve documents according to the law, and will do everything they are required to do by the court. If you have any questions about this topic, please contact us at https://austinprocess.wpengine.com We're happy to help answer your question!