Persistent and Meaningful Service Attempts
Performing due diligence is an instrumental aspect of service of process. The law demands that we show that every reasonable measure has been taken to make contact with, and provide documents to, the servee. As a process server, a significant portion of proving due diligence falls on you. Let's be honest - most people aren't home at noon; so varied and meaningful attempts at service go a long way! Here are some examples of how to show due diligence:
Meaningful AttemptsWe need to definitively confirm if the person to be served lives at the address or not. These are some of the ways you can make that happen out in the field.
- Checking to verify if the subject lives at this residence with neighbors or a leasing office.
- In cases where the servee is no longer residing at the address, it is crucial to gather a minimum of two (2) confirmations of non-residency from different sources (such as the current resident, neighbor, leasing office, etc.). This procedure will be necessary in order to ABC to non-serve the address
- If you are informed by a resident of when would be a good time to catch the servee, make an attempt at that time
- Calling any phone numbers listed for the defendant (please do not seek one out, nor try to place a phone call if your local regulations prohibit it)
- Noting packages left at the door (But don't touch the mailbox!)
- Following any special handling instructions and court requirements
- Reporting any license plates of vehicles at the specified address
Remember that attempts at service may only be made between 7 am and 10 pm. (In the event that a jurisdiction enforces a smaller time window, this will be reflected on your coversheet.)
Attempts need to be made on different days of the week to count towards Due Diligence.
- Making at least one morning attempt before 11 am
- Making at least one evening attempt after 6 pm
- Making at least one attempt on a Saturday or Sunday
- Several other varying attempts of your choosing (Ideally when people in your area tend to be home)
Due Diligence is not an end goal or a checklist to be completed. Due Diligence is a framework and a mindset. Being a diligent process server means including extra notes on every attempt and selecting all the appropriate options. It means you are trying your best to determine whether an address is servable and communicating that to the courts and customers via your proof.
Along with meeting the expectations of due diligence, ABC also requires that attempts be made every 48 hours on each service assigned to a process server. If you have selected an area to be assigned in you are agreeing to meet the above minimum requirements of diligence as well to make this frequency of attempts on all the work received in that area.