Federal law requires you to notify the opposing party or parties involved in the case via official notice of all court documentation before you can begin court proceedings in the United States. Defendants, in most cases, must be served personally. Occasionally a process server may have need for a member of the household or an authorized individual at a company to accept service.
Making sure that court documentation is correctly handled starts with service of process being successful. This is the best way to avoid extended litigation and costly legal fees.
An affidavit of service must be filled out by the individual responsible for delivery of the documentation. This document is legally binding and records the when and how service of process was completed. Affidavits of service are then filed with the court after notarization. Dismissals by the presiding judge and serious delays can be caused when the affidavit of service is delivered incorrectly or illegally.
Service of process to hostile or unavailable defendants, military personnel, and those outside the United States present unique challenges. There are special considerations to be mindful of in order to avoid court rejections when delivering documentation and filing an affidavit of service.
A plaintiff, when trying to reach a defendant that is avoiding being served, must keep documentation showing that repeated efforts have been made to deliver the documents. Successful service done electronically or through social media can be unreliable leading to delayed or dismissed cases when a judge refuses their legitimacy due to a request for alternative service not being granted.
When serving members of the military, their legal domicile and where they currently reside must be determined. Their legal domicile is the state and residence where they were recruited regardless of where they currently reside. Military personnel that reside on base can be very difficult to serve, as only family members, veterans, and active duty personnel are allowed to enter.
When affidavits of service are filed from service completed outside the United State, the most common issue is that they are not delivered or filed correctly. This prevents the courts from gaining legal jurisdiction over the individual. The affidavit of service must contain all the required information and documentation.
Investing in a professional New Jersey process server for personal delivery is the best approach for successful document delivery.