This post provides detailed information on the process server job description and career, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they typically perform.
It provides ideas on how to become a process server and the requirements you need to meet to be hired for the role by most companies, as well as the salary that process servers earn.
What Does a Process Server Do?
A process server or civil process server is responsible for presenting legal documents to people who are part of a court proceedings; it requires them to be formally informed of the actions.
The job description of this person includes delivering papers to witnesses, defendants, and other parties whose participation or input has been deemed necessary by the courts, be it a local, municipal or federal.
His authority in serving these legal files does not extend to property seizures or issuing arrest warrants and only limited to civil disputes.
The role of process servers in the justice sector was initially intended as a messenger system to inform individuals of their constitutional right to due process of the law by giving them a notification that states issue that involves them as individually.
Originally, legal papers were supposed to be served to individuals by their local police.
However, as cities became more expanded in places like the United States for instance, it turned out to be a challenging endeavor for local police to disperse court papers while at the same time attending to legal situations in their jurisdiction.
Process servers are helpful in performing several tasks, such as serving legal documents, filing court papers and document retrieval.
Their main task is to “serve” or deliver legal documents to persons involved in a court case. Process servers will also have to deliver actual evidence that they served those legal papers.
They are by law required to serve papers in the correct format as laid out by their state.
Process serving laws differs from one state to the other; therefore each individual process server may have a distinctive way of carrying out their duties.
Process Server Job Description Example/Sample/Template
The main duty of a process server is to deliver court case-related documents by hand to anyone required to testify in court or defendants.
Once the documents get delivered, a notarized affidavit of service or a proof of service is then delivered back to whomever that requested the service, which could be a legal firm or plaintiff.
These kinds of documents range from subpoenas for producing evidence to restraining orders or divorce papers.
Tracking down someone who has gone into hiding or run away from town is called skip tracing and can be frustrating and time consuming for servers.
Servers must also know when and how to serve papers properly. For instance, in some states, documents can only be delivered to minors in specific circumstances and cannot be served on Sundays.
If the papers were not served correctly, a case may be thrown out on a technicality ground.
Here is an example of process server job description, containing specific tasks, duties, and responsibilities that mostly make up the job activities of individuals working in this position.
- Serve papers
- Provide reports
- Serve court processes and orders, such as subpoenas and summonses
- Receive papers to be served from attorney, court clerk, or magistrate
- Use state, county, and city records, telephone directories, public utility records, to locate persons to be served and deliver document
- Record place and time of delivery
- May deliver documents between courts and attorneys and general messages
- Deliver summonses
- Track down defendants
- Know a defendant’s schedule.
Process Server Job Description for Resume
In preparing a resume for the post of process server, the sample job description can be useful in making the professional experience section of the resume.
Process Server Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success
Given below are some of the important requirements employers usually ask for in hiring process servers.
- Must be educated
- Must be able to read and write
- Must be interested in Law matters.
Process Server Salary
The process server salary is not regulated in the United States, but some states have set a minimum amount of what a process server can charge for their services.
The average process server salary is around $140,267 per year. The top five paying states are San Jose, CA, $163,976; Washington, DC, $160,589; Seattle, WA, $157,711; Los Angeles, CA, $154,150; and Chicago, IL, $152,383 per year.
In the United States, there are currently over 8,973 process servers employed.
Women make up 34.9% of all process servers, while men make up 65.1%.
An employed process server is 46 years old on average.
White process servers are the most common ethnicity (64.3%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (20.5%), Black or African American (8.1%), and Asian (4.2%).
Process Server Career Opportunities
A process server can follow more than one career paths for growth, some of them include:
- Bureau of Process Server
The Bureau of process servers is a federal, full-time, professional career. It includes the management of the regulatory and criminal investigative functions of the Bureau.
2, Private Process Server
A private process server follows a specific client who pays a fee for their services; this service is done on an hourly or retainer fee basis.
The private server works on their own time and not under any government mandate or regulation.
3. Finance and Accounting
A process server can achieve a high-level career in finance and accounting. This career entails more job security, more money, and more benefits than what they can normally earn working as a process server.
A process server can also move up the ranks in legal profession, starting from process server and becoming a paralegal, and then becoming a lawyer.
Process servers who have previously worked as private servers often move to legal profession.
They use their knowledge of the law to help clients with their cases.
The Bureau of process server offers training courses for people who wish to become professional process servers through the American Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA).
The investigators are workers who investigate crimes. The investigation they perform includes conducting background checks on the person they are investigating.
A process server can move up to the position of a security guard. A security guard is in charge of safety in a business or building, like watching over certain areas.
Security guards are armed and unarmed and they are also trained in CPR.
7. Legal Assistant
Because process servers become familiar with the law, they can move up to the position as a legal assistant.
Legal assistants help lawyers and judges in writing or researching for their cases.
They can also work in law offices as a paralegal and perform duties such as filing papers and answering phones.
In order to be a legal assistant, you must have good written and oral communication skills and dexterity.
Process servers who have been previously working as private server can move on to become a prosecutor.
A prosecutor basically takes part in putting someone in jail.
Process servers can also work in the judicial system as a judge, or they can work with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) as a correctional employee.
A process server can also be employed in the military services; they take orders from their higher ups and perform administrative tasks such as helping soldiers with their mission and keeping records of their missions.
A process server who has demonstrated good performance can start to work in the insurance industry.
They record what has been recovered and file it for a case. Insurance claim adjusters take part in handling claims for clients.
Challenges faced by Process Servers on the Job
There are a few challenges process servers face on their job, these include:
- Long Distance
Process servers have to travel to where their clients are located, and they have to be familiar with the area in order to find where they are located.
Process servers often use GPS, maps, and other means of transportation in order to get there.
2. Time Management
Process servers have to work at a certain time that is not set. They have to be available at any given time of the day.
3. Lack of Cooperation
Because some people do not want to cooperate with the process server, they try to avoid them by constantly changing their addresses and phone numbers.
This makes it hard for process servers because they must find them through different ways in order to serve them their documents, and they need their cooperation in order to serve them correctly.
How to Become a Process Server
If you are interested in becoming a process server, there are several steps you will need to take:
- Obtain a valid driver’s license
Process servers are typically expected to have a valid driver’s license and to provide their own transportation.
You need to make sure your license is up to date, and look into purchasing or leasing a dependable vehicle for work.
2. Learn about the requirements in your state
Each state has its own set of rules for process servers. In some areas, you only need to be over the age of 18 and have no ties to the case you’re serving documents for.
Other states have laws that require process servers to be trained, certified, or both.
3. Finish process server training
Completing a process server training program may be required in your state. Even if a training course isn’t required in your area, you can still benefit from enrolling in one.
Process server training covers topics such as research methods, approaching defendants, obtaining a defendant’s identification, delivery techniques, surveillance strategies, and documentation requirements.
A typical process server training program can be completed in a few hours.
4. Examine state process service laws
To protect yourself and your employer, become acquainted with the federal and local laws governing service of process in your area.
As a process server, you’ll come across unusual situations that will require you to use your best judgment when interacting with a defendant.
Knowing the law can help you make the best decisions about how to communicate with defendants while not breaking any rules. It’s also a necessary step in preparing for any licensing exams.
5. Submit an application for certification
Fill out the licensing application and register with the state or local government if you live in one of the states that require board certification for process servers.
Depending on the state, this may only require proof of completion of a training program, or it may require an additional exam.
When applying for certification, you may be required to pass a background check and even be fingerprinted.
6. Learn the fundamentals of a foreign language
As a process server, you will need to communicate with defendants and guide a brief conversation to confirm their identity and provide them with legal documents.
Knowing common languages other than English can help you serve legal documents to anyone, regardless of what language they speak.
Learn a few key phrases related to serving legal documents so you can converse with a native speaker.
7. Look for job openings
Look for available positions at law firms, courthouses, sheriff’s offices, and private process service firms.
Depending on your ideal career path as a process server, you can look for long-term employment opportunities or short-term projects.
Update your resume to reflect your understanding of best practices for process servers and to highlight any official professional qualifications you have obtained.
Major Benefits of a Process Server Career
There are many benefits of becoming a process server, here are the major ones:
- Maximize employer’s profit by reducing the expenses
Process servers deliver documents and other papers to the legal representatives of clients. By ensuring that the documents arrive on time, process servers minimize the employer’s suffering from delays in service delivery, resulting in a considerably lower cost for delivery and processing fees.
2. Build relationships with clients by showing professionalism and courtesy
As a process server, you will gain the trust of your employer and have more clients. The majority of law firms and other legal offices name their own staff as process servers.
Having good relationships with employers and their clients is the best way to get more job opportunities.
3. Enjoy the freedom of being in charge of their own works by working as a self-employed business owner
Process servers are independent contractors and don’t work for a specific company. The national average annual salary for self-employed individuals is US $67,134 per year – more than double the average annual salary in the United States.
4. Acquire sufficient knowledge and professional skills in the field of law, security, and process serving.
The process server job needs adequate knowledge of law, security, and process serving; the more information you have about these fields, the better you can do the job.
5. Earning more than $ 50K a year
The average annual salary for people who work as process servers is US $50,000 per year.
As a self-employed businessman, you will be able to increase your income by creating your own business or joining an existing business.
6. More chances to have your own business
In most states, there are no legal requirements for process servers to form their own companies.
Working as a self-employed business owner, earning money and taking care of your clients will make you happy while having more time for yourself or other things.
7. Get the respect you deserve by becoming a professional process server
Process servers are professional people and deserve to be treated as such. Being a process server is a great way to earn money for self-employed individuals.
Process servers must communicate with defendants, handle private information about their clients, and adhere to strict deadlines for service.
Process servers are professionals who perform vital functions in the society.
Successful and popular, there is no wonder that this career has been very well received by people of all ages.
With the increased number of people today that are moving about with a cell phone at all times, it’s easy to see why many would see this as an ideal job.
This post is useful to individuals interested in the process server career, to boost their knowledge of what the role entails.
It is also helpful to recruiters/employers in making a comprehensive description of the process server position in their organizations by utilizing the sample job description above.