Covid-19: ABC Legal Paused Process Service Nationwide

Mar 27, 2020 8 min read
Steve Carrigan

Written by 

Steve Carrigan

Update July 13, 2020:

ABC Legal has resumed service Nationwide on May 18, 2020 after implementation of our safe service procedure.


Dear ABC Legal Customer,

In the interest of public safety, the safety of our employees, process servers, and defendants, effective immediately, ABC Legal Services is suspending service of process nationwide.  

ABC Legal is open for business to file your legal documents in courts that remain open for business. 

Several issues contributed to this decision, which we do not make lightly: 

  • More than 1500 people have died in the US due to preventable transmission of COVID-19. 
  • We offered to continue serving in locations where an indemnification letter was signed. Very few customers have expressed any interest in taking that risk on themselves—even if they’re not openly admitting their concern. 
  • ABC is increasingly being contacted by field staff and defendants concerned about the potential and perceived risk of knocking on doors and hand delivering documents. 

Few locations have yet to enact shelter-in-place orders because they either haven’t seen numerous cases yet or their government has elected not to act. We believe this will change in the coming hours or days and that it is prudent to act now, even where local governments are caught flat-footed. 

We recognize this will impact your firm – but we will be ready as soon as the threat has passed to continue all service of process.  Rest assured we have your work secure and at the ready.   

Some of your service orders – those that have received service attempts – will be invoiced upon suspension today.  When shelter orders are removed, and service of process is turned back up, ABC Legal will dispatch your lawsuits back out for service and for those that were invoiced at suspension, we will do so at no additional service charge to you. Free of charge! 

To ensure our process servers can weather this event and be available to you on the other side we will be paying our process servers on attempted jobs as though they had completed the orders, and will pay them a second time when the order is returned to them and completed in the future—at no additional service cost to you. 

It seems unconventional, that a process server, would recommend to a law firm, to stop serving process.  But strong partners protect you, and strong people lead from wherever they are in the moment. Let’s weather this storm together in alignment, by putting safety first. Incidentally, safety first must be the right decision. We’ve seen no logical counter argument. And to any of you who still aren’t buying the biological argument, here is a business one: 

The liability to ABC Legal, to your law firm, and your clients is a real risk Sending process servers out into the field right now, could cost you more in defensive litigation by a factor of 10X what you stand to gain. Getting service is critical, we agree, but for the next 60-90 days, it’s likely that every other part of the legal process after service will be on hold. The cost benefit argument can’t be made. Your legal remedy will still be there when the world resumes  

Thank you for being a customer of ABC Legal. Stay safe out there, and we will see you on the other side. 

Steve Carrigan Circleabc legal

Steve Carrigan, CEO
Steve Carrigan

Written by

Steve Carrigan
Chief Executive Officer at ABC Legal Services. Steve got his start in the industry in 1983 and by working his way through college as a messenger and process server at ABC Legal. Steve helped launch ABC Legal’s successful PFI brand in 1994 and has played a significant role in growing annual revenues of $12M in 2001 to more than $100M in 2019.

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