A career in the law field may be far from laid-back. Much like the shows and movies we see set in court or tribunal, this profession is a mix of triumphs and the commendable hard grind.
Evidently, court cases demand rigorous work and planning, not just on the plaintiff's side but also on the defendant's. On top of that, legal professionals are obliged to follow rules and order of actions before the legal proceeding can actually begin.
Luckily, there are professionals designated to take on some of the (literal!) legwork as these people hand over documents necessary for the court case to start. Their role in the judicial process cannot be overlooked since, technically, theirs signify the beginning.
In the eyes of the law, due process must always be upheld and that each side of the scale must be granted a fair trial. The court follows this principle by maintaining the right of both parties to be aware of the case's details and must have ample time to prepare. The document to be delivered must state the plaintiff's claims in order for the defendant to have the right to defend themselves in front of a judge.
Understandably, the defendant should first be notified of the case against them to create the most appropriate response. Without having the official notice served, the court has no proof that the opposing party has full awareness of the pending case, hindering the legal proceeding from formally starting.
What are professional process servers?
Having said that, who bears the responsibility of delivering the legal documents to the subject? Here is where process servers come in. Hiring one will make the process all the more easier for the client and their counsel.
Their role is largely to inform the opposing party of the case through handing over the official notice. Apart from that, they also serve documents like court summons, complaints or even divorce papers. Because these documents contain sensitive data, they are also expected to practice confidentiality and above all, respect for the laws established in the state they are in.
Searching and locating
Before doing so, they should be certain of the subject's identity and the place they are usually seen. Sure, there might be complications and difficulties that arise- like being unable to contact or find the supposed recipient of the court documents - but process servers are trained to carry out the task with due diligence, so long as they are aligned with the law of the city. That said, building up their principles is essential particularly in the events that they meet subjects who are not the most easiest to serve process to.
Given the investigative nature of their work, a process server has access to databases that contain helpful information to pinpoint the subject's possible location. In many instances, they are given only limited material to work with, and so their job might ask them to innovate and think outside the box, again within the limits set by the law.
How to get a process server in Texas?
First and foremost, it's best to present the company or private process server with as many particular details as possible. Some websites have a form for you to fill out. Then, specify who the documents will be delivered to and where that person may usually be found. Make the identity of the person perfectly clear, to the best of your ability, to avoid any possible misses. This will be for the benefit of the server and for both parties, too, because the more time spent in research means the more time that the case is at rest.
There's a chance that you'll be asked to upload necessary documents that will be needed for the service to be completed, although in rare instances, a county might ask for original documents. Regardless, the professionals handling your papers are trained in their specialty and will carry these files with utmost care and discretion.
Completion of service
A reliable company assures the clients that serving the legal documents they asked for has been completed. Process servers prepare a proof of service or a notarized affidavit, to be submitted for documentation to signify that the request has been successfully completed.
Once this has been submitted, the company forwards a stamped copy of this proof to the client. This type of documentation guarantees the client that their case will indeed move forward.
Certified process servers in Texas
So to aspiring Texas process servers, how does a person start doing these services? Evidently, knowing the particulars of the legal system and the civil procedure of the city is advantageous in becoming a certified process server.
For the most part, the licensing system differs from state to state. To most applicants, the journey as a process server begins with getting a certification that will verify their ability and competence to serve process. In fact, the only requirement for applicants residing in Texas hopeful of building a career in this profession is to be certified under the Judicial Branch Certification Commission or JBCC.
It is only when they receive their certification card that they can begin their services. This specific certification is what sets them apart from other services offering to deliver official documents.
Now, this certificate is definitely a necessity when it comes to this profession. Here are the steps and prerequisites in filing for applicants to get a hold of one:
- The applicant must obtain a certificate stating that they have finished a 7-hour civil process service educational course, which is already approved as the standard by the JBCC. The said certificate will come from the director of the course upon its completion. They must remember to finish the course within a year prior to the date of their registration.
- Only after completing the course can aspirants submit the application for certification to the JBCC by applying through their online certification and licensing system.
- The applicant must also pay the certification fee to receive the certificate, except for military service members, veterans or military spouses, for whom the fee is waived. The Texas Judicial Branch website lists the amount to pay, the form you'll need to submit and other additional information regarding the certification.
- Last but not the least, don't forget to pass a criminal history background check to be conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI. Applicants who did their filing through the website will get a service code in their email inbox that will only be available after they submit their application, though no need to fret if the code cannot be seen in the inbox since it might be sent to the spam folder.
Once approved, the certification will be proof of the person's eligibility and competence in the process of service.
Fingerprints for checking
However, the registration doesn't stop there. The rules stated by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission says that new applicants must have their fingerprints taken via the Department of Public Safety and submit them to the DPS and FBI for their necessary searches. The DPS will do Texas-centered searches while the FBI conducts their searches on a national level.
Any fee that arises must be paid just as the fingerprints are taken. Once the results have been collected, it will be passed on to the Judicial Branch Certification Commission for documentation.
Military service members, spouses and veterans
Briefly mentioned earlier is from a section of the JBCC rules, exempting folks who are in active military duty, veterans and military spouses from paying certification fees. While they should still be filing their registration in the online system and passing a background check after, they must still accordingly submit the following files for documentation purposes:
- Proof of having served in the military, being in active duty, or official documentation of being married to a military member
- Evidence of currently owning the certification but in another state
- Documentation of proving your good standing
- Papers indicating a permanent change in station
- A resume detailing previous work experience, or a recommendation letter
- Documents showcasing the licensing system of the state they are currently residing
However, if they were already certified by the Judicial Branch Certification Commission for not more than 5 years from the date of application, they can instead submit proof of a previous Texas certification and include the name used in the license.
Why order a process server?
Court cases and proceedings can surely cause a lot of stress. Before trials and lawsuits can even begin, there may also be little certainty that sending out legal documents will be a simple and quick task. Sometimes, people can be evasive and avoid being served documents. This kind of reaction is quite expected especially since no one would exactly feel enthusiastic in knowing their presence is required in court.
To aid in what could be a taxing prerequisite, there are people designated to accomplish this service, since they already possess the appropriate training, research and investigative skills, combined with comprehensive knowledge of the regulations.
If you find yourself needing these types of services, you can reach out to Austin Process by visiting their website or calling their hotline, together with your specific request.
Once this has been sent, Austin Process will offer their professional process servers who will, conveniently, send out real time updates as their service is ongoing - no need to call multiple companies just to know how the process service is going. Do note that, given the vital research and investigations to be done, the service might take a few days before it can be fully concluded.
Their website contains additional information and FAQs for other services that might be helpful in the long run. Rest assured that Austin Process will offer experienced process servers who work with reliability, quality and efficiency, as they have done for the past 20 years.