Beginners Guide to Process Serving In Canada

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Process serving is a straightforward legal term. In this article, you’ll learn about its definition, how it’s done, who a process server is, and the benefits of hiring one.


What is Process Serving?


Process serving is a procedure where a defendant or someone scheduled for court proceeding is served legal documents that notify them of what’s about to happen. It is a due process that replaces the old method where people had lawsuits carried out against them suddenly.

People nowadays get to be well aware beforehand about a brooding legal action and can take the required steps on time. It’s fair, it’s impeccable and it makes things orderly.


Who is a Process Server?


A process server serves these legal documents, which can be divorce papers, summons, restraining orders, and so on. Anything that has to do with letting a person know that they have been scheduled for court proceedings generally is the duty of a process server. Most of their work is in the field as they move around to serve legal documents on behalf of their clients.


How is Process Serving Carried out?


Process serving is done by any of these two ways:

  1. Personal Service
  2. Ordinary, Substitute or Alternative Service


1. Process Serving: Personal Service


Personal service involves finding the individual and handing them the legal documents directly. Personal serving can be achieved by going to their workplace, home, or other locations where they may be found.


2. Process Serving: Ordinary, Substitute or Alternative Service


Ordinary service, Substitute or Alternative Service as it is sometimes called, involves reaching out to the individual by mail, email, fax, calls, or any other online medium.

For both of the methods, usually, only professional process serving companies in Canada are allowed to deliver legal documents. For the process server to get paid, evidence of serving such as affidavit of service to prove that the documents were indeed delivered is essential. Without an Affidavit of service, the documents won’t be filed in court.


The Challenges of Process Serving


process serving challenges

As simple as process serving is, there are challenges that process servers have to combat often.

  1. Interference with legal proceedings is a challenge. In some cases, a person may lie that the defendant is not around when, in fact, they are, all to avoid the papers being served.
  2. Some people also refuse to accept the documents. They even order the process server to leave their property.
  3. At other times, the challenge is that some individuals hide and get very hard to track as they do all they can to avoid being served.

Process servers have, however, come up with methods to counter these challenges.

  1. Sub serving is a way a process server gives the document to another person who can give it to the defendant. The recipient must be at least 18 years for sub serving to be recognized. This can only be done if you are sure that the recipient lives in the same house as the respondent.
  2. Private investigation is another way. Some process servers are also trained as private investigators, and they can find anyone no matter how much they hide.
  3. In situations where all attempts to serve a person fails, the lawsuit can still proceed, and all legal actions will be carried out anyway. In those cases, law enforcement has done its part by following due process.


The Benefits of Hiring a Process Server


There are numerous benefits of hiring a process server.


1. Process servers take the burden off you.


Whether you’re a lawyer or an individual or part of a law enforcement agency, process servers will take the work of legally serving the papers off you. You will not have to track anyone or expose yourself to hostile defendants.


2. Process servers protect your interest and ensure there is no violation of court order.


Process servers work in your interest and provide you with valuable legal advice. You are also assured of the fact that court orders will be fully maximized.


3. Process servers keep you from trespassing laws yourself.


There are federal, state, .and provincial laws that must be followed when process serving is done. Process servers help keep you out of trouble as they understand all those laws and know to abide by them.


4. Process servers can also act as a private investigator for you.


Many process servers are private investigators, and this makes it nearly impossible for a defendant they target to avoid the process serving for long. It’s a win-win, you get all you want in one person.


How much does a process server make?


Depending on which country, state, province or city you live, a process server can earn as much as $200 a day serving legal documents or filing court papers in court. With that being said, you need to be well connected and market yourself or company well enough to be able to earn $200 or more.


Questions about Process Serving


If you have any questions about process serving, there is a well detailed article about Process Serving Frequently Asked Questions here.


A Quick Wrap


The justice system has evolved to be fair to everyone, and this is why process serving is important. Giving prior notice is a way of asking a person to prepare rather than suddenly confiscating their property or even arresting them. Despite the challenges involved, the due process makes things orderly.

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