Knocks on the door always come bearing different messages and leave us with varying emotions, from long-distance relatives to friends dropping by, Pizza delivery, and sometimes Process server.
The best ways to react to these knocks differ, and we’re looking at some of the most advisable practices to adopt if you’re sure that a Process server is at your door.
A process server is someone hired by a legal practitioner (lawyer) to deliver legal papers to you.
There are many process servers in different cities. For Oklahoma residents, the duty of a process server, OKC, would be to ensure that the intended legal papers get to you through the appropriate means.
These legal documents are meant to notify you about the commencement of a lawsuit filed against you. It can also be a subpoena demanding your presence in court.
As the law prescribes, a process server has to ensure he delivers these papers to you, confirms that you received them, and swears an affidavit of service which details the particular date, time, and method which he used to serve you.
The normal method of delivering legal papers is to come directly to your house, knock on your door and deliver it to you in person with a friendly smile.
However, should you open your door or not for a process server?
Most times than not, a process server doesn’t come with legal papers bearing good news. Hence, there’s a need to weigh your options before considering whether or not opening your door is the best option.
Trying to evade a lawsuit isn’t illegal. Most of the process servers in Oklahoma city are aware of this, but it might not be your best option. According to some process server, Edmond Oklahoma and process server Lawton Oklahoma, when you refuse to open your door, they consider other means of serving you, which includes:
- Authorized Acquittance — This involves leaving a copy with someone that’s authorized to receive legal documents on your behalf.
This may be your receptionist, personal assistant, other half, or any other close acquaintance that has close contact with you frequently.
The process server needs to state in his affidavit the means through which he served the papers.
- Front Door Copy & Mail — Another alternative when you refuse to open your door is for the process server to leave a copy at your front door and also mail another copy of the same document to your address.
- Stake-Out — Process servers Altus Oklahoma, process servers Tulsa Oklahoma, and process server Broken Arrow Oklahoma claim this is one of their best alternative approaches.
It involves being on the lookout for the papers’ recipient, staking out outside of his home or most frequent place, and handing it over to him in person.
These methods are being employed by most of the process servers in Oklahoma city, including process server Enid Oklahoma and others that belong to the Oklahoma Judicial process servers (OJPS). Trying to avoid being served gives you an unnecessary task of evading process servers, which may be stressful for you, and cause restlessness.
However, it’s noteworthy to know that the process through which you got served may help you avoid a lawsuit. It’s an essential factor that your defense lawyer looks into at first.
If it’s established that you’re not properly served the lawsuit paper, the defense counsel can object to the proceedings under the law and excuse your participation.
If the papers were inappropriately delivered, the court has no power over you. Your lawyer can fight this, and as such, you won’t have to appear in court.
These are legal provisions that most lawyers and process servers are aware of, which is why they try every means possible to ensure that you’re giving the papers in person.
Answering the knock on your door saves you the stress of evading process servers. Still, it eliminates your chances of avoiding the lawsuit under the provision of inappropriate means of serving you the lawsuit papers.
This doesn’t mean you’re losing the lawsuit. It only implies that you’ll have to fight it out in court with the aid of your defense lawyer. One mistake you should avoid making is trying to attack or assault process servers when they knock on your door.
This has been a common occurrence, which is why most process servers move around with backup when serving. Assaulting a process server can also lead to an additional lawsuit of assault and damages. Hence, if you’ll be answering the knock on your door, you should ensure the communication goes in a smooth and non-violence manner.
A knock on your door from a process server can be a trivial issue, or a serious one, depending on how you handle it and the severity of your lawsuit. This makes it essential for you to make the best decision during that moment.
Here are tips that you can follow to help you make a favorable decision:
- Don’t Open At First — A process server is a stranger, and the first rule of safety is not to allow a stranger access to your home.
Hence, if you get an unexpected knock on your door claiming to be a process server, do not open your door at first.
Especially when you’re not expecting a lawsuit or you’re cleared that you’ve not been involved in anything warranting one.
- Get On-Call With Your Lawyer — Not opening your door at first buys you enough time to get in touch with your lawyer. This will give you the liberty to act under the best legal guidance. By answering his questions appropriately, he can tell you the best thing to do that won’t put you at a legal disadvantage.
- Follow Legal Advice — Often, you see people going against the advice of a legal practitioner because they feel it doesn’t logically make sense.
However, the law doesn’t deal with logic and it is legal understanding that will help your lawsuit, not logical reasoning. Hence, strictly follow whatever legal advice you are giving to the letter.
Conclusively, always remember that assaulting a process server can only invite more trouble, and following legal advice can save you from lots of it.