When looking for an Illinois process server, it’s important to recognize not all options are the same. Training, skill in abiding by Illinois service of process rules, and steps taken to ensure the serve stands up in court can vary. Whether you’re an attorney, small business owner, or an individual representing yourself in court, the following are three considerations to keep in mind. Here're more tips for ensuring fast and successful use of process servers nationwide.
1) Experience Matters When It Comes to Your Illinois Process Server.
Not just anyone can deliver court documents, also known as providing service of process. Each state has its own rules and regulations around how service of process should be carried out. Sometimes, even smaller counties within each state have different regulations.
This local variation can be seen with Illinois rules regarding process servers. Under Illinois Statutes Chapter 735 Civil Procedure § 5/2-202 process is served by a sheriff, or if the sheriff is disqualified, a coroner, of any county in the state. It is not necessary that the sheriff or coroner be from the county in which the service is to be made. Rules outside of Cook County are slightly different. In a county with a population of fewer than 2,000,000 persons, the sheriff can appoint licensed private detectives as authorized process servers. In addition, the court may, in its discretion upon motion, order service to be made by a private person over 18 years of age and not a party to the action
All process servers in ABC Legal’s network have the necessary appointments for Illinois service of process. But more important than simple legal authorization to serve is experience. Process servers who are most familiar with Illinois service of process rules and nuances are less likely to serve the wrong person or make a misstep that could breach legal protocols and potentially delay a case or result in service being challenged.
ABC Legal process servers completed more than 15,000 successful serves in Illinois in the past year. In addition to being experienced, they are supported by a live team of experts. Process servers are trained in local service of process and every serve is validated against local rules and regulations.
According to Illinois Statutes Chapter 735 Civil Procedure § 5/2-202, an Illinois process server can properly serve someone in the following ways:
- By handing the summons and complaint to the defendant personally at their home or at any location, or
- By going to the defendant's home and giving the summons and complaint to someone who lives with the defendant and is at least 13 years old.
If possible, the papers should be put in the hands of the person receiving them. However, this is not always required under Illinois service of process rules. If the person serving the papers speaks to the person receiving them through the door or sees them come to the door but then they go back into the house, then the person can leave the papers on the door or can slip them under the door.
Also, important to note is that there are separate rules for Illinois service of process on corporations, partnerships, and the government. For example, with corporations and partnerships, generally, the summons and complaint must be served on the registered agent representing the corporation or partnership or on an officer of the corporation or partnership. Illinois service of process rules on government and government agencies are dependent on the type of case.
ABC Legal’s process servers are experts at complying with these rules and are dedicated to maintaining the highest level of training. How companies train—and maintain—process server expertise matters. For example, ABC Legal has developed extensive training materials, backs process servers with app-based guidelines, and tracks performance against rigorous standards. These measures ensure that all process servers have access to materials that reinforce their knowledge, streamline procedures, and improve overall outcomes in the service of process. Simply put, higher standards of professionalism matter.
2) Tracking Transparency Reduces Uncertainty.
Serving an individual may take multiple attempts. Communication from every process server isn’t guaranteed. So in addition to the background and training of your Illinois process server, you’ll also want to consider your likely customer service experience. A provider with a tech-forward approach and commitment to transparency can reduce uncertainty.
For example, ABC Legal makes tracking the progress of every serve easy. Once your order is received, dispatchers send your job to the nearest, best-qualified process server. As the server drives around, knocks on doors and attempts service, they send live data and images to your account. Texts and email notifications alert you of the progress of the serve and completion. Because of these measures, you always know the status of your serve.
3) The Right Process Server Will Take Extra Steps to Ensure Ironclad Illinois Proof of Service.
Proof of service is a document that functions like a legal “receipt” confirming the delivery of documents from one party to another in a legal matter. It is a written version of a sworn statement attesting to the completion of the service of process. It's sometimes referred to as a return of service or, when notarized, an affidavit of service.
The document presented for filing must contain either an acknowledgment of service by the person served or a certificate or declaration of service prepared by the person who performed the service. In compliance with Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 12 rules regarding manner of proof, the process server needs to include the time and place of delivery in their affidavit of service.
ABC Legal goes one step further to provide evidence of service. Once service is complete, your return of service document is sent to your account with relevant supporting details and evidence, such as photos and field notes. Taking this additional step helps ensure ironclad Illinois proof of service that can withstand potential legal challenges.
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