When you're filing important legal papers like divorce documents, the legal process stipulates that you have someone else serve papers on your behalf. While other people like a private investigator may be able to do it for you, most people usually tap the service of professional process servers for this task.

By definition, a process server is a person in charge of serving legal documents. The legal procedure dictates that you should not serve papers by yourself. Fortunately, process servers can take the load off your back. Basically, you hire someone to serve legal documents, especially in cases wherein you need them to appear before the court.

Most of the time, process service is needed during divorce procedures. However, that's not always the case. What kind of legal documents can a process server serve? Here are some of the types of legal papers process servers are in charge of:



A writ is a formal legal document delivered via process service that orders an entity or a person to perform or cease doing a particular deed. These legal papers are usually written by courts, judges, or other entities that have the authority for judicial or administrative jurisdiction. These documents are under common la. They're usually given to people after a judgment is made.

There are five types of writs: habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari, prohibition, and writ of quo-warranto. A process server serves a writ of habeas corpus to a prisoner or detainee, such as a mental institution patient) before the court to decide if that person's sentence is lawful. This writ grants a detainee another day in court, which may help appease his current sentence. You can only secure this type of writ through the court of conviction.

A writ of mandamus is a court order given to an inferior government official by a process server. This formal order hereby orders that particular government official fulfill their duties or correct a discretion of abuse.

This is considered an extraordinary legal document. It is only served in cases of exceptional circumstances or high public importance. It's not every day that a person gets this type of legal paper. That's why professional process servers usually serve this particular document.

Certiorari literally means 'to be certified' in Latin. A writ of certiorari is a court order issued by a superior court to an inferior court so it can go under reexamination. This type of legal document isn't something you hear every day because it connotes a big systematic problem at hand.

At the same time, this legal order seeks to reevaluate matters to ensure the justice system remains true to its purpose. Given the gravity of the situation, a professional process server is usually tapped for this personal service.

Meanwhile, a writ of prohibition is a legal paper issued by a superior court to an inferior one. When you're served this type of document, you're given the order to stop performing outside your jurisdiction activities. What sets this apart from a mandamus order is how it covers indirect action only. Because of the importance of the matter at hand, a professional process server usually delivers this document.

A writ of quo-warranto is a special kind of legal action taken when you need to resolve a particular type of dispute. This dispute involves a person's legal right to hold the public office or position he occupies.

In short, only elected or appointed public officials are served this type of legal order. This legal case involves questioning the qualification to hold an office. Because of the severity of this legal matter, only professional process servers are asked to deliver this legal paper.


Process servers can also serve subpoenas. Also known as a witness summons, this legal document is usually issued by a government agency, usually a court, for someone to appear before a court or other legal proceedings, like a special hearing. That person is asked to testify or produce documents that can help a legal case advance or proceed.

When a person is served a subpoena, that person is required to testify on the evidence for a specific case. This legal document is usually requested by a lawyer on behalf of a court. A subpoena can be served in different ways.

A process server may personally deliver the document to the person concerned. There are cases wherein it's delivered via mail, e-mail, or even by word of mouth. Hence, the service process may vary, depending on different circumstances.

When it comes to subpoenas, people are not allowed to ignore subpoenas. Failure to respond to a warrant may be punishable by a court. Essentially, there are three types of subpoenas: witness subpoena, subpoena duces tecum, and deposition subpoena.

As its name suggests, a witness subpoena is a court order given by a process server that mandates someone to appear before a legal trial to serve as a witness on a specific date and time slot. There is usually evidence that supports that person's relevance to a particular case. That's why their presence in that legal trial is required.

Meanwhile, a subpoena duces tecum is a particular court order given by a process server that requires a person to produce evidence to support a case on a specific date and time slot. The evidence can come in the form of records or documents that will advance the case. This type of subpoena is usually part of the case's pre-trial discovery process.

A process server gives a deposition subpoena to someone considered a third party to a specific case. Hence, the person who served a deposition subpoena is not personally involved in the lawsuit.

This court order mandates the recipient to provide records or pieces of evidence to advance the case. There are also instances wherein the recipient of this subpoena will be asked to appear before the deposition to help someone involved in the lawsuit.

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In legal terms, a complaint is a formal legal paper that seeks to settle specific facts and legal matters that the filing party believes suffices to support a claim against the party against whom the claim is brought.

A complaint should not be confused with a lawsuit. Basically, a complaint refers to the pleading or initial document submitted by an accuser to the accused. The complaint details how the accuser's legal rights were violated in a certain way. Therefore, this legal paper demands that the accused provide some relief to the accuser. This may be in the form of a monetary requirement or a specific service.

In layman's terms, the complaint refers to the documents that outline the subsequent lawsuit. The length of the document may vary from one case to another. A complaint essentially sets the stage for the courtroom action that is to follow.


A process server may also be tasked to serve someone with a summons. In legal terms, a summons is a document issued by a court to order a specific person to appear at a particular time and place for a specific purpose. This legal paper is usually given directly to a person or a law officer who is then required to carry out a particular set of actions.

If the matter involved is a civil case or civil cases, the summons is considered an instrument for the defendant to be informed of how many days they have to prepare for a lawsuit. This serve process is like a notice for someone tasked to appear before court cases.

It takes time and preparation for the defendant to appear before the court with everything they need. That's why a summons is given to give that person and the rest of their party sufficient time to take necessary actions.

When it comes to criminal cases, a process server gives a summons to a defendant who is facing minor charges. This particular document is usually used as an alternative to an arrest warrant. Basically, professional process servers deliver these to people or entities that are being sued.

Given the nature of a summons, it should not be confused with a subpoena. A process server delivers a summons to notify the defendant that they're being filed a case against. Meanwhile, a subpoena requires someone else to provide evidence or documents to the court. In short, people being served a subpoena are not being filed a lawsuit.

Other Documents

While a process server usually conducts personal service for the above-mentioned legal papers, they're not the only papers that process servers deliver. Here are some of the other documents that process servers are tasked to send over as part of their substituted service:

Eviction Notices

A process server serves this legal paper to a tenant of a property who has violated the terms of their lease contract. This legal action requires the people living or occupying a particular property to vacate the premises as soon as possible.

Divorce Petitions

Parties to divorce usually file papers before the legal proceedings ensue. A process server is required to serve this type of document because of the heightened emotions around the matter. Some people may not even want to see the person being served, and that's why a substituted service is tapped. Divorce can be messy, and that's why professional process servers are involved in streamlining the subsequent proceedings.

Statutory Demands

This process service is unique because there must be evidence that the recipient accepted the legal papers served to them. This is fundamentally a written warning by a creditor to someone who has yet to pay his debts or has failed to meet specific deadlines.

Bankruptcy Petitions

When a person is bankrupt, he must disclose all financial information that would support this claim. The first step is to tap a process server to deliver bankruptcy petitions to all relevant parties. In cases like this, the process server serve the petitions to creditors. Bankruptcy petitions can be voluntary or involuntary, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Freezing Order

Also known as an injunction, a process server delivers a freezing order to either a person or a company. This legal paper prohibits the party being served to sell or touching any assets. For example, you can't access your money in a specific bank when you're given a freezing order. The money is not necessarily taken away from you. You're just not allowed to touch it.

Prohibited Steps Orders

A process server serve this particular document, usually to a parent or guardian who has been deemed unfit to care for a child or minor. If a person cannot provide child support or has been proven to be abusive, a court official has the legal means to take the child away.

Contact Order

Meanwhile, a process server gives a contact order to the primary carer of a child. This legal document allows the child to contact the person who filed the paper. The contact order permits someone to have direct or indirect contact with a child.

Does Texas Have Process Servers?

There are specific rules that should be followed in every state or city. That's why it's essential to employ the service or professional process servers aware of the process serving process in the area where the recipient is found. In short, a process server must know its scope and limitations.

If you're looking for a process server, you're in luck. There are plenty of process serving agencies such as Austin Process that offer services for legal actions throughout the country. If you need legal documents delivered to a person from across the nation, Austin Process can take care of this request for you.

Whether you're a private investigator or a concerned party, you need not worry as the company can do all the necessary services and more for you. Contact our team today to know more.