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What is a Process Server?
- A process server is hired to personally deliver or “serve” court documents upon individuals or parties involved in a legal proceeding. Such documents may include legal notices, claims, summonses, subpoenas, and other court material pertaining to a legal action. “Service of Process”, also referred to as process serving, is essential for upholding each person’s right to due process. An essential part of this includes ensuring a person’s right to be made aware of any legal action that is taken against them, to be notified of any relevant changes and presented with any associated legal material. Process servers are also responsible for attending the court house to complete the filing and issuance of legal material, conduct court document searches, status checks, and retrievals.
Who can legally serve papers?
- There are specific requirements for how, when, and by whom, documents are to be served. In Ontario, any adult person who is not directly involved in, or a party to the particular legal action is able to serve documents. The exception to this is in Small Claims Court, where you are legally allowed to serve documents yourself.
What are the benefits of using a Process Server?
- Even though it may not be mandatory to hire a Process Server, we have a sound understanding of the specific Ministry requirements that dictate how documents must be served. This helps to ensure all your documents are delivered in the most appropriate manner and reduces the likelihood of additional court fees or other inconveniences.
How long does it take to serve legal documents?
- The time it takes to effect service is unique to each service. Several factors to consider include, the type of service and urgency of the material (i.e. rush vs. regular service); the location of service (local vs. out of town); time of day of the service; accuracy of the details provided to us about the recipient of service, such as their current address, schedule, and other identifying information; whether or not the recipient is aware of or anticipating the service, and the likelihood that they will try to evade service.
How much does it cost to hire a Process Server?
- Our rates of service vary based on the distance we must travel, as well as the time frame in which you require the documents to be served. Contact us directly with the details of your service to receive a free quote.
What constitutes good service, and why is this so important?
- Ministry regulations indicate how documents are to be served. If these procedures are not followed, in the eyes of the law, the respective parties have not been officially notified of the legal matters that they have a right to be aware of. This formal step in any legal action is necessary for upholding each person’s right to due process, and failure to do so may lead to delays of proceedings and likely, greater incurred costs.
What happens once the documents have been served?
- Once the documents are served, the process server or individual who completed the delivery must produce formal documentation outlining the details of the service to the requesting party. This is in the form of an Affidavit of Service, or Proof of Service, which is sworn by oath or affirmed to be true before a commissioner of oaths to certify the service of documents. Typically, a copy of the Affidavit of Service is returned to the requesting party, and the other is filed with the respective court, either by the requesting party or the individual that served the documents.