One of the most seemingly simple, yet underestimated tasks that a law office faces is that of process service. From the recipient of the dreaded Summons and Complaint that transforms the law abiding citizen into a “Defendant”, to the unsuspecting soon to be “ex”, the experienced process server needs to expect the unexpected.
Although a recipient will occasionally respond with a relenting “Thank You”, the server will more likely hear a less endearing phrase as he or she retreats to their car, hopefully before the vicious dogs accidentally escape out of the subject’s house. On the other hand, the server can experience simultaneous confusion and relief when the 6’4", 300 pound biker named Tiny holds out one hand to for the divorce papers, and shakes the server’s hand with a John Wayne grip and says, “Come in for a beer and celebrate with me.”
The successful process server not only needs to become an expert in surveillance techniques, but is also expected to identify and convince an uncooperative subject to open the door and accept service. Incidentally, the word “accept” is subjective in itself, and is often interpreted to mean that the documents were literally thrown at the subject’s feet, followed by the phrase “You got em now.” And let’s not forget that the private server doesn’t possess any type of badge or uniform. In fact, the closest thing to a uniform that a savvy server will wear is a Domino’s ball cap, and their only available weaponry may consist of an empty pizza box, or perhaps a bouquet of flowers for those really desperate assignments.