A private investigator or process server can serve papers to a defendant on your behalf. The process of serving papers to a defendant is sometimes called service of process, and it's an important step in any lawsuit.
Many attorneys prefer to use private investigators because they have more experience in tracking down hard-to-find defendants.
Process Serving Is Part of the Legal Process
Process serving is part of the legal process and private investigators may serve parties with notice of a complaint filed in court against them as well as summonses and subpoenas. Process servers also may provide affidavits.
The individual serving the papers must be careful not to discuss any details of the case with anyone involved in it. Private investigators must also document their efforts and provide proof that they served legal documents such as subpoenas to individuals and businesses for use in court proceedings.
Process Serving in the Legal Industry
In the legal industry, process serving refers to the delivery of a summons, subpoena or other legal notice to an individual or business. People often confuse private investigators and process servers, but they actually have completely different functions.
Process serving is also referred to as "personal service" because it is generally done by someone in person. In many cases, a summons or complaint must be served in person, but many states allow for "substituted service" when attempts at personal service are unsuccessful. States have different requirements for substituted service and private investigators are familiar with the law in their respective state or the state where the individual to be served lives.
Method of Service
The method of service varies depending on the circumstances and the type of defendant or individual that needs to be served. The process server is responsible for making sure that proper service was conducted, and should then furnish proof of service to the court.