THE UNBIASED APPROACH
Process Servers are faced with an ever-evolving client base with an ever changing recipient demographic. As a process server gains experience in their craft, the following will become learned traits and soon enough second nature. This will grow into a successful work ethic which keeps “legality of an action” a nonissue and “filed complaints from disgruntled persons” at a minimum.
Don’t trust the client any more than you would trust the respondent. Don’t go into a situation with one idea simply because a client is telling a story. There are always two sides of the story. Be aware of surroundings and be ready to expect anything but do not approach a respondent in an unprofessional manner simply because the client has fed misleading information. The job of the process server is to get the paperwork to the respondent. That is all. Let the judge sort out the veracity of the client’s stories and statements.
Refrain from using buzzwords. If the client asks questions concerning the serve, don’t use words that are going to unnecessarily upset the client. It might exacerbate an issue already exaggerated by a client. For example, if it is a child custody case and the children came to the door with mud on their clothes. Do not use exaggerations such as, the child was filthy or grimy. Simply say they had some mud or dirt on their clothing. Adding to the story could have far reaching ramifications. Words are important, particularly in the legal field. In the instance of a child wearing ‘filthy’ clothes, it could cause undue stress on the client which could backfire and potentially effect the children in one way or another.
Stay true to your own moral code. Some persons operate in a grey area. Ensure you’re able to handle and defend the loopholes you find and use. Some clients feel that if they pay a price, they will get what they want, regardless. Don’t attempt an illegal serve just because the client pays. This sounds like common sense, but this could also be an overlooked date or time. In the great State of TX process service cannot be served on Sundays or on federal holidays. This means that if a client requests service on Mother’s Day, well, unfortunately this cannot happen. Due to it being a Sunday.
Each process server is tasked with the difficult service of delivering documentation and acting as a messenger of the courts. Being mindful of buzzwords and creating their own code to keep themselves in check and also keep each client aware of their boundaries. Customers and clients don’t like to hear “no”, but often they will understand a well-spoken, “that’s against the law”, “company policy doesn’t permit this type of action” or, “that could jeopardize my license” is enough to get the point across and aid in finding a solution to a simple problem. To conclude, it is important learn best practices which protects you from physical, moral, legal and emotional harm.
- Det. Tracie Y.