A Proof of Service is ultimately what our jobs are all about. It is a document that details your efforts as a process server to find a defendant and is submitted to the court as evidence of your work. Quality, accurate, and timely proofs are what keep our customers coming back.
While we use the term Proof of Service, this documents can also be referred to as an Affidavit of Service or Declaration of Service, depending on the jurisdiction.
See also: Returning Signed Proofs to ABC Legal.
Importance of Accuracy
Before signing a proof remember to always review the details for accuracy. Proofs are signed under the penalty of perjury - this means, in the eye of the law, you are taking an oath to tell the truth with every signature. Because the proof is the responsibility of the process server, if you ever find errors on a proof, don't sign it, send us a request at Contact ABC with the correct details so that we can update the proof.
Clear and direct communication is key in this line of work. By asking as many questions as necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of the situation you can increase the accuracy of your proofs. Most issues with serving process can be avoided with good communication skills.
What generates a proof?
A Proof of Service will be sent to you any time you have served, substitute served, or posted documents. A Proof of Non-Service will be generated if, after being diligent in our efforts, we deem we are unable to serve the defendant at that particular address.
When a proof has been generated, and before you sign, you should always review the details to ensure they are accurate.
Missing steps: A proof will not generate until no other instructions exist for a job. If you have not received a proof for a job you thought was complete, check ABC Mobile! It is possible that you have notifications to respond to, or are being asked to make more attempts.
What goes on a proof?
A proof will contain information you submitted in to ABC Mobile when trying to serve a defendant. It is important to remember that any service information you enter in ABC Mobile can end up on a proof and in a court of law. The information that ends up on a proof will depend on the local court requirements as well as the outcome of your attempt to serve the defendant.
The service address: The address for service is listed on every proof. If there is ever an instance where you serve the documents anywhere else than the original address, you must enter the address in ABC Mobile.
Some proofs require that you sign them in front of a Notary Public before returning the proof to ABC legal. If the court requires a notary to sign the proof, we will leave a space for them to do so at the bottom of the proof.
A Notary Public is someone who is authorized by the state to witness the signing of documents. Rules regarding notarization are very strict, and must adhere to the following:
- You must get your documents notarized by a properly licensed notary in your jurisdiction.
- The notary must be present at the time that you sign the document.
- The notary's signature date must match your signature date.
- All documents must be properly notarized in accordance with that jurisdiction’s rules; this entails full completion of all fields as well as an accompanying notary seal or stamp.
- It is NEVER acceptable to notarize your own signature.
- ABC Legal does not reimburse notary fees, most banks have notaries available and offer their services for free for customers
A a proof requiring notarization will include something like the following:
Proofs will look very different from court to court and state to state, as well as depending on the outcome of the service.
California, County of Sacramento, Proof of Service:
Texas, Bexar County, Proof of Non-Service: