Subsequent to conducting a locate (and they can be as easy as the one in the above vid!) and confirming the subject’s address: the service of process begins.
Service of process is the procedure employed to give legal notice to a person (defendant etc.) of a court or administrative body’s exercise of its jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal. Usually, notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents to the person to be served.
History: In past times in many countries, people didn’t have the right to know that there were legal proceedings against them, and in some cases would only find out when magistrates showed up with the sheriff and seized their property, sometimes throwing them into debtor’s prisons until their debts were paid. When the United States was founded, the Constitution said that everyone is entitled to due process of law, therefore the process server is “serving” the servee with their constitutional right to due process of the law.
In ancient times the service of a summons was considered a royal act that had serious consequences. It was a summons to come to the King’s Court and to respond to the demand of a loyal subject. In ancient Persia, failure to respond to the King’s summons meant a sentence of death. (There are many Judges in the USDC, Souythern District, NY, who believe that edict to still be in existence.) Realistically, today, the penalty for ignoring a summons is usually a default money judgment that must be subsequently enforced.
Service of Process: NY Facts:
Who can serve? Any legal U.S. resident at least 18 years of age at the time of service, who is not a party to the action requiring the service.
Is a license to process serve required? Generally, yes.
Can a private citizen, not licensed to serve process, do so? Any private citizen can serve process up to 4 times in one calendar year without requiring a specific license to do so (and who is, obviously, not a party to the action necessitating the service.)
Can one process serve on the weekend?
Sunday: Service of process, on Sunday, in NY (and several other states), is prohibited, except in criminal proceedings or where service is specially authorized by statute. Outside of those exceptions, service of process executed on a Sunday in NY is rendered absolutely void.
Saturday: Malicious service of process, on Saturday, in NY, upon any person who keeps this day as a holy day, and does not labor on that day, is prohibited. In fact, anyone maliciously serving process to a person who maintains Saturday as a holy time and does not labor on that day, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
So our general rules for process serving are: Serve from 8×8 M-F, be sure on Sat., and forget Sunday.
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