Need a Process Server in Georgia? 5 Things You Should Know 

Dec 27, 2022 9 min read
ABC Legal Team

Written by 

ABC Legal Team

When looking for a Georgia process server, it’s important to recognize not all options are the same. Whether you’re an attorney, small business owner, or an individual representing themself in court, the following are five considerations to keep in mind. Here're more tips for ensuring fast and successful use of process servers nationwide.

1. How Will I Know Which Steps My Georgia Process Server Will Take? 

Ga. Code § 9-11-4 lays out how court documents can be delivered, or service of process, within the state. The code allows for the waiver of service. The process server can either hand a copy of the summons attached to a copy of the complaint to the defendant, or they can leave copies at the defendant’s place of residence with someone of suitable age and discretion. For service made outside the state upon a Georgia resident, the service must be delivered to the person being served. Also of note: A certified process server must supply and file a proof of service with the county court within five business days of the service date.  

The right Georgia process server will know how to navigate these nuances as well as any local regulations to minimize delays or the likelihood of a challenge. 

But communications regarding what steps are being taken (and when they are taken) aren’t a given when you work with process servers. Not every process server is equipped with the technology to provide you with details as they go, leaving you uncertain regarding their progress.  

Seek a service of process platform that will make it simple to place orders and track progress. For example, with ABC Legal, as soon as your documents are uploaded, they are confirmed and instantly sent to a certified process server. Email notifications and text alerts keep you informed moments after each attempt. Once complete, your proof of service and all supporting documents are stored within your account for easy reference. You always know the status of every serve. 

2. How Strong Is the Training of My Georgia-Certified Process Server? 

Each state has its own rules and regulations around how service of process should be carried out and by whom. Sometimes, counties or local courts have unique regulations.  

Under service of process Georgia rules, any neutral party over the age of 18 who is a U.S. citizen and has been appointed by the court is legally eligible to perform service of process. However, it’s always best to hire a professional process server who has received formal training and is well-versed in the laws around serving court papers in Georgia. 

Georgia process servers are not required to be licensed, but some Georgia county courts may require the process server to register with their court systems, complete a background check, and be appointed by a court administrator or judge. To be certified under OCGA 9-11-4.1, an individual must attend a 12-hour pre-certification class and pass an exam administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts. 

While training is important, experience and continued learning also should be considered. An experienced process server is 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 of process being challenged.   

ABC Legal’s network consists of professionals who have met or exceeded local service of process requirements. Where required, they have Georgia-certified process server training and/or appointments from the court, and they perform service of process in accordance with the highest standards. Individual process servers draw on their own work experience as well as support from live experts and collective best practices refined by the cumulative experience of ABC Legal’s vast network of process servers and continual court feedback. Every serve is validated against local rules. 

ABC Legal also ensures training is ongoing. The company has developed extensive training materials, integrates use of app-based best practice guides, and tracks and sets performance against rigorous standards. These measures ensure that all servers have access to materials that reinforce their knowledge, streamline procedures, and improve overall outcomes in the service of process.  

3. How Fast––and Persistent–– Is My Georgia Process Server? 

Service of process success depends not only on the speed of a first attempt but also getting details right and often strength of follow through. It is nice when someone says they will make the first attempt in a day or so, but what about future attempts? It can take time to complete delivery in accordance with local laws. The right partner will focus on overall speed to service as well as the best end result. 

4. What Will My Process Server Do If the Defendant Doesn’t Live Where I Thought?  

Process servers will make multiple attempts at different times of day. A plaintiff or legal agent acting on their behalf can't determine if the individual is avoiding service or move on from an initial address until they know the defendant does not reside at the location.  

When attorneys are comparing process servers, they should ask about skip tracing and investigatory support. Investigations teams can study various records to determine the greatest likelihood of residence, using information such as databases of recently reported address, vehicle registration, driver’s license registration or homestead exemption records. ABC Legal uses proprietary technology trained by real-world results to offer industry-leading search capabilities. 

5. How Can I Prove My Party Was Served? 

Service of process Georgia approaches can vary. The best process servers use their phone's camera and GPS capabilities to record information while in the field. Photos, time-stamped service records, and GPS coordinates prove when and where a process server is for each serve.  

This is the approach used at ABC Legal, as such data acts as important evidence in ensuring the process server is meeting local requirements for service of process. As soon as service of process is complete, you will receive a copy of the proof of service and supporting evidence. Under Georgia O.C.G.A. 9-111-4(h), this proof of service needs to be filed with the county court within five business days of the service date. If the proof of service is not filed within five business days by the plaintiff or their attorney, the time for the party served to answer the process will not begin to run until the proof of service is filed. 

Looking for a Georgia Process Server? 

Service of process shouldn’t be left to chance. ABC Legal offers the highest standards of service backed by industry-leading tech and deep resources. If you’re looking to place an order for a process server in Georgia, see what ABC Legal can do for you. 

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ABC Legal Team

Written by 

ABC Legal Team

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