In most cases, the due process of legal proceedings requires that once court or other legal documents have been produced or issued they must be served upon the person to whom they are addressed. The court will need to be satisfied that the person named has indeed received the documents. By far the most certain manner in which this can be achieved is by personal service, which can be certified by the person serving the document.
Personal service means that the document is actually placed in the hand of the actual addressee, whose identity has been verified by the server. In some cases, where the intended recipient refuses to take the document, it may be deemed to have been served if the server simply drops the papers at the feet of the Respondent before leaving it with them. It used to be good service to touch the respondent with the papers but that was changed due to claims it amounted to assault.
Once service has been achieved, the process server must then establish proof of service. This may take the form of a Certificate of Service on the back of a copy of the document or it may be necessary for the server to prepare a signed statement providing evidence of service. In some cases a sworn Affidavit of Personal Service may be required.
It can be seen quite clearly from this that the service of documents is not a job for an untrained person. In a criminal prosecution the responsibility lies with the CPS and the police, who have the necessary training and experience. In a civil case, it is up to your solicitor to ensure that it is done correctly. Most solicitors will engage a firm of professional process servers in order to achieve this.
Process serving is one of the many tasks undertaken by private investigators such as EJM Investigations who provide Process Serving services throughout the UK, for law firms, local authorities and for private and commercial clients directly. The great advantage of using such organisations is that they are also private detectives. Some respondents go to considerable lengths to avoid being found when they become aware that process is to be served upon them. EJM’s investigators have the expertise, experience and local knowledge needed to track down these shy individuals and carry out the personal service required.
In cases where the respondent has absconded to another area not known the investigators, EJM Investigations will make use of its network of investigators around the country to run the Respondent to earth. Based in Preston, EJM Investigations operates across the UK.
Having succeeded in effecting service, a report will be prepared along with all necessary statements or certificates of service, an Affidavit of Personal Service sworn, if such has been requested and all delivered to the client as speedily as possible.
EJM Investigations is available at short notice for service of process. In local cases it can often possible to have service completed on the same day that instructions are received. This firm guarantees that all documents they are asked to serve will be served upon the respondent, in strict compliance with the rules governing Civil Procedures and consequently to the satisfaction of the client.