Sometimes, the process of serving in Oklahoma may not be as simple as it seems. There are cases where some defendants try to evade court hearings by making themselves unavailable to a process server OKC.
Cases like this leave process servers Oklahoma with no choice but to employ other available means apart from direct service.
These alternative means are usually more creative and less strenuous than the fictional cats and mice chasing most crime dramas portray.
As a competent process server Oklahoma City, you should know about these alternative methods and the Civil procedure regulations guiding them.
Best Process Server in Oklahoma City
Below are some of the best ways for a process server in Oklahoma City to serve papers to evasive defendants:
- Enquire for Neighbors — Making findings of a defendant’s whereabouts from neighbours is one effective way of getting them to receive their legal papers.
Neighbours willing to comply and help the law take its cause can provide you with accurate information that can lead to finding the defendant and alert you when they’re home.
It is easy for process servers in Oklahoma to get a strong lead on evasive defendants and stop them from evading a court hearing.
- Staking Out — Here’s another effective and the most used method of serving an evasive defendant. Most process servers OKC under prominent process serving agencies Oklahoma like Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers utilizes this method the most.
This method actually takes time, as it involves closely monitoring the defendant from a safe distance to know the defendant’s routine and possible whereabouts.
This information helps the process servers Oklahoma get their target in places they can’t evade being served legal papers. The method also makes the concept of ‘element of surprise’ in process serving effective, as your target may not expect you in some places.
- The Guise Method — While the law forbids a process server from posing as what they’re not (e.g., Law enforcement officers), there’s still room for creativity.
One of the creative ways of serving an evasive defendant is posing as a delivery person. In actuality, process servers are delivery persons, but they don’t deliver what a defendant will be pleased with.
The guise method can help you get in contact with the subject face to face, allowing you to serve the legal papers directly. It’s an effective means to get unsuspecting defendants with the hassle of asking neighbours around and the time-demanding effort of stakeout.
- Leverage Social Media — Regional process servers like process servers Edmond Oklahoma and process servers Enid Oklahoma do follow their targets on social networks to keep track of their whereabouts.
This isn’t against any regulations, as most social media profiles are public. It becomes illegal when the process server tries to gain access into the target’s account by hacking.
With the trendy culture of constantly updating other social media users about your location and activities, the platform may just be the perfect place to find information leading to a target.
- Skip Tracing — While this isn’t a common method used by most process servers Oklahoma City, it’s still an effective alternative to serve evasive defendants. However, it also takes more time, like stakeouts.
Skip tracing involves digging available information (accessible database, court records, etc.) to get the whereabouts of someone. Most times, private detectors that double as a process server utilize this method the most.
When a private investigator cum process server gets their defendant through this method, they usually ensure they bring them to the court for the hearing.
- Substitute service — This is another method of service provided by the law for process servers Oklahoma.
It involves delivering the legal papers to individuals above the age of 15 (i.e., Parent, spouse, siblings, wards, housemates, etc.) residing with the defendant.
It could also be delivered at the defendant’s place of work to a person established to have a close personal relationship with the defendant and is above 15 years.
- Certified Mail — This involves sending the legal papers via mail to the most recent address of the defendant.
Usually, a return receipt with the recipient’s signature is always demanded when this method is utilized. However, it’s overlooked in some cases.
It’s the second most acceptable method of service by the law. However, it may not be as effective as the others above because the defendant may choose to ignore the mail, and without the return receipt, they may deny ever seeing the papers.
- Posting — Posting the legal papers on the defendant’s door where he can boldly see it is another means of services process servers Oklahoma can employ to get an evasive defendant.
This usually takes the need to research and be updated about the defendant’s most recent address to make this effective.
Many Oklahoma jurisdictions also require the process server OKC to mail another copy of the legal documents through a certified mail.
- Service by Publication — If every one of the above means proved ineffective, this usually remains a last resort. It is only permitted when the Judge approves of it.
If it’s established that a defendant is deliberately trying to avoid service, the process server can seek the permission of the court to use this method.
It involves publishing in media prints about the case, thereby making the public and the defendant aware of the case.
Any of the above methods can help you get legal documents across to an evasive client as at when due. It’s essential for every process server Oklahoma to ensure whichever methods they choose to employ would be within the constraints of the law.
Process servers have several limitations, and no matter how frustrating and evasive a client can be, a process server in Oklahoma shouldn’t go beyond these limitations.
Trespassing, breaking in, threat calls, stalking, and other related actions can be termed as going overboard. Hence, a Norman process server must ensure every means is applied with the regulations of the law in mind.