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Service of Process In The Small Claims Process

Rules and Processes-ABC

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Before Service of Process

If negotiations outside of court aren’t working and you want to take legal action to settle the civil dispute, a small claims lawsuit must be filed with the proper court. Afterward, each defendant must be served a copy of the summons and complaint for their case by an unbiased third party. That’s where ABC Legal comes in.

Verifying PS Qualifications 137 x 137

Qualifying Process Servers

There are rules, defined by each court system, about who can deliver legal documents. ABC Legal verifies each delivery agent in our network to ensure they meet those requirements and have availability to serve your documents.

Fast & Effective Service - Delivering Legal Documents

Delivering Legal Documents

Each court can also have different rules around how, when, and to whom documents may be delivered. ABC legal builds those rules into our mobile app for process servers to make certain that every service is compliant.

Best Technology

Validating Service

Courts require confirmation that the other party was properly served. With ABC Legal, we give you more than a proof or return of service. We give you data from each attempt – GPS coordinates, photos, and detailed notes – making it difficult for the defendant to contest service.

Filing Proof

After Service of Process

As soon as the return of service is ready, you can download it from your account. Once you have the return, you need to file it with the court you filed the initial summons and complaint, legally confirming service of process.

Rules and Process Experts

Collecting Data 137 x 137 alt
Before Service of Process
If negotiations outside of court aren’t working and you want to take legal action to settle the civil dispute, a small claims lawsuit must be filed with the proper court. Afterward, each defendant must be served a copy of the summons and complaint for their case by an unbiased third party. That’s where ABC Legal comes in.
Verifying PS Qualifications 137 x 137
Qualifying Process Servers

There are rules, defined by each court system, about who can deliver legal documents. ABC Legal verifies each delivery agent in our network to ensure they meet those requirements and have availability to serve your documents.

Fast & Effective Service - Delivering Legal Documents
Delivering Legal Documents
Each court can also have different rules around how, when, and to whom documents may be delivered. ABC legal builds those rules into our mobile app for process servers to make certain that every service is compliant.
Best Technology
Validating Service

Courts require confirmation that the other party was properly served. With ABC Legal, we give you more than a proof or return of service. We give you data from each attempt – GPS coordinates, photos, and detailed notes – making it difficult for the defendant to contest service.

Filing Proof
After Service of Process

As soon as the return of service is ready, you can download it from your account. Once you have the return, you need to file it with the court you filed the initial summons and complaint, legally confirming service of process.

Rules and Processes-ABC

Ready to Get Started?

 

 


Order Today

  

Get The Best Service of Process

Quote Icon Testimonial

ABC Legal Services got the job done when we needed some legal forms served to an individual! I was able to track all progress on their website and they even helped me e-file the documents to the court following their service. Would strongly recommend ABC to others like myself who don’t fully understand the legal system.

Darlene
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I needed papers served to another person in a different Northern California City and County. Without hiring an attorney. ABC Legal e-mailed me at each step so I knew exactly what was happening. The Professional Process Server, Mr. Mike Singh did an excellent job. I recommend using this excellent service! THANK YOU!

Liz
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ABC Legal was outstanding. They were quick, efficient, and handled everything beautifully, from the notifications as to attempts on service, to emailing us to keep us informed. Wonderful service and very professional. Will definitely use again!

Jenny C
Each Service
Standard $75 - $120
  • Dispatched to a local ABC process server
  • 4-6 service attempts
  • Outstanding online and live phone support
  • Photo & GPS data on every attempt
Order Today
Rush Service
Rush Service Standard + $65
  • Special Dispatch to process server
  • Expedited first attempt and 3-5 repeat attempts
  • Outstanding online and live phone support
  • Photo & GPS data on every attempt
Order Today

FAQ

What is the timeline for service of process?

  1.  Uploaded documents are confirmed as ready and are dispatched to the nearest process server.
  2. If you have standard delivery, expect the first attempt within 3-5 business days and 1-2 business days for Rush.
  3. Additional attempts are made such that they meet local court diligence requirements. The process server continues to make attempts, recording data about each attempt as they go.
  4. Once they are able to make the delivery legally, service is considered complete.
  5. Proof of service is signed by the process server and is available in your account. Where required by the court, it will be mailed to you.
    1. If the process server is unable to make the delivery in the number of attempts outlined by courts for due diligence, a return of non-service will be prepared, so that you can seek other options for service as available.
Once you have proof of service for the delivery of your legal documents, it is important that you submit it to the court in accordance with local requirements. Be sure to confirm what the court you initially filed with requires.

What do I need to do to order service of process for my small claims case?

To order service of process, all you need are the documents you need delivered in a digital format, the name of the person you hope to serve, and the address you'd like us to go to. If there's anything special you want us to know or do for delivery, you can add additional notes for the process server, such as particular times to try or a description of the party to be served, during the place order process. It's really that easy!

Get started here.

How much does this cost? What do I get for what I pay?

ABC Legal charges a flat fee for a comprehensive service of process package. Pricing ranges from $65-$135 depending on the state and includes service of process no matter where it is in the state. 

That's normally 4-6 attempts at the address provided or until diligence requirements are met or the documents are delivered. We also include associated printing costs and notarization fees where notarization is required by law.

There's a $65 fee if you'd like to make your order a rush.

Learn more about the quality and value you get with ABC Legal here.

How does the proof of service work? What do I do with it?

Proof of Service, return of service, or an Affidavit of Service is a document that must be filled out to formally record and properly complete legally compliant service of process in most states. The person serving the document signs it, effectively, swearing under oath that service was completed as outlined in the document.  

Proof of service is available in your account as soon as it's ready. If your state requires the original signed document, that will be mailed to you.

Once you have proof of service, you must file it with the civil court where you filed the initial documents. In some states, there is a limited timeline between when the documents are served and the proof must be filed with the court. Be sure to check local court rules to confirm what is required for your case.

Do you have a civil process server near me? Do you have small claims process servers?

 We deliver in all 50 states! ABC Legal has the largest process server network in the U.S. with more than 2.5K active process servers that regularly deliver documents. 

Process servers are able to serve documents from civil court proceedings in most cases.

Send us your civil court documents and we'll do our utmost to get them where they need to go. 

Learn more about our process servers here.

What if someone is avoiding service?

Sometimes, when attempting to deliver documents in a civil court case, we need to visit an address multiple times to catch a person while they're at home. Life happens.

But, there are cases where people actively avoid being served documents. Based on our 50 years of experience serving legal documents for civil court cases, we've developed systems to help our process servers gather details during their attempts to confirm that the person we're looking for resides there.

That information, like the presence of a vehicle registered in the servee's name, packages addressed to the servee, or mailbox labels with their name, is made available to you.

With that evidence, you may be able to move for alternative service methods. Since alternative service requires court approval, you may want to seek legal counsel to ensure you're on track.

What happens if something goes wrong? What if you can’t serve them?

People are not always where you expect them to be. If we try the address you provide and we cannot complete the delivery of your civil documents, we'll tell you what happened so you're able to take the appropriate next steps for your case.

If you know of a second address we can try, perhaps their place of work or another place they could be staying, simply place a new order at that address and note why you think they could be there. To make this easy, if your case was non-served, you will have an Issue, Action Needed in your account. You can add the second address there. This will allow you to place the second order without re-uploading your documents or re-entering your information.

If you're certain that the person lives at the address and should be there, if you are able to provide a photo of the person being served and a person has come to the door during attempts, we can try to confirm their identity using the photo. However, if they are not answering the door, we may not be able to make progress.

When you first place your order, if you know of a day that person may be available you can let us know in the "Additional Notes". If you need us to try at a specific time of day, you may include it, but it will require a special handling fee of $65. If you require us to wait at a house for more than 10 minutes at a property, we can perform a stakeout, for $125, which covers up to an hour at a location. After an hour, there is an additional $1/minute fee, available for up to 3 hours total.

If the process server finds an indication that the person you're looking for resides at the address provided and is avoiding service, you'll have that evidence in your account if you would like to use it to move for alternative service, which may require assistance from an appropriate legal counsel.

What happens if someone contests service?

Contesting service of process, claiming that service was not performed or was performed improperly can force your case back to the beginning since proper notification is required for the case to be heard in civil court. When that happens, evidence must be presented to validate service of process and a process server may need to appear in court to swear in-person to their service of process. This means that getting service right the first time and evidence to support service of process can be crucial for your case.

ABC Legal provides tech-backed evidence of service of process that validates where and when service of process took place. Having GPS coordinates and photos validating service will go a long way in the eyes of the court to prevent service from being contested.

Do you have small claims process servers?

Process servers are able to serve documents from civil court proceedings in most cases.

Just upload your documents and we'll get them where they need to go.

Can you serve a summons and complaint for my civil or small claims case?

Yes, in most cases, we can deliver a summons and complaint for civil lawsuits. Process servers deliver legal documents alerting people to legal actions in civil court. Process servers are able to deliver documents for civil court cases, except where special circumstances or laws may apply. For example in certain states, third parties are not allowed on posted private properties. 

Learn more about service of process and process servers here.