5 Tips For Being a Better Process Server
Just like people, not every Subpoena Servers is the same. Some people are harder to hand papers off to than others. Many defendants believe that avoiding a process server means their legal troubles go away (this is false). This myth leads some people to hide from the person trying to serve the court documents by relocating temporarily to a friend’s house, changing the color of their hair, coming home and leaving work at different times of day, parking their car 2 blocks away, and always looking over their back. In our industry, this person is known as “cagey.” If you struggle to make contact with the defendant for a case, try out the steps below to improve your chances of perfecting service.
1. Get All the Info Before Leaving the Office
Make your life easier by doing as much research as you can before leaving your office. No matter if that is your office or on the road, get it done before you arrive at the subject's address. With the research done, you can plan out the encounter and be ready if things change. See if you can find out the following from the client and or sell a skip trace to locate this information for the client ahead of service, especially if the person to be served has already alluded to other process servers and/or the Sheriff.
What is the individual’s personal and work schedule? – Attempting Subpoena Servers is always best at the opportune time of day. Getting this information ahead betters your chances of getting the document served promptly, and saves a significant amount of mileage and gas.
What kind of car do they have? - Knowing their vehicle, make, model, color, and tag number also helps to know when they are at the property given. If you see the vehicle, it is highly probable they are there. Also, if they try to run for it, you proactively have the opportunity to chase them down for Subpoena Servers. Keep an eye out while knocking on the door, the subject’s vehicle could be coming home while you are there, see you knocking, and drive right past and wait for you to leave. Be ready ahead of driving to the location, as they could be leaving the neighborhood when you drive in. Always be ready ahead of driving up to the property being served.
What do they look like? – Ask for a recent photo first. Knowing their general appearance, Sex, Height, Weight, Skin Color, Age, or whether they wear glasses or have tattoos is crucial. Clients have a tendency to provide old photos, wedding photos, and/or photoshopped photos. The majority of people being served do not have a smile on their faces when being served and typically look very different with a straight face. Look for things that stand out in the photo, mole on the face, cleft chin, crazy eyebrows, etc., anything that would make them stand out from the average person. The person you are going to serve could be getting on the elevator with you while heading to their office or residential address. Always be ready to walk up to the property being served.
Do they have Social Media? - Ask the client for any social media accounts they have access to and the URL. This helps to know a person’s immediate location, especially if they are active online. Of course, Social Media helps you narrow down what the subject currently looks like too. You can also search for these accounts yourself while at the subject’s property if not provided by the client, especially if you believe the person you just spoke to at the property is the subject and lied to you. Searching Social Media is also a great technique to try before approaching the subject who is expected to evade service and has already alluded others.
2. Use the person's name and chat with the neighbors.
People respond to their names. It is like a magic word for each individual. Also, they will find out that you know them if you know their name. Random people or sellers don't usually know their names. If you are in the wrong house, a neighbor can point you in the right direction. It is always best to ask for the first name first, especially with a neighbor. Most people don't say hello by saying their first and last names in advance and most neighbors will find it odd if you ask if "John Doe" lives next door, causing the neighbor to question your reason for being there. Say your name and, if you get a positive response, ask, "John Doe, yes?"
Tip: go to the neighbors first and ask for John. They may simply correct him and verify that he lives next door (the correct address to notify) without suspecting the reason why he is there. The neighbor can provide more information than you might expect, that is, John lives next door, and that is his car and he is usually home at this time of day. You will be amazed at how much information a neighbor will provide without too much effort on your part. Let them talk, don't keep pushing with questions. Unless, of course, you have a tight deadline and need it delivered immediately.
3. Use pre-text props in your presentation
Be sure to check your state's laws regarding accessories and pretext. Remember, you can never impersonate a law enforcement officer, USPS, FEDEX, UPS, or a government employee. Even wearing a costume can be against the rules. In most states, accessories are legal and can help you establish contact. You could try holding a pizza or ordering one for delivery. Or try baked goods, flowers, or whatever else you can deliver.
4. Call your home number that is on the public list or is not tracked
After you don't get an answer to your call, try walking away and calling. If you can hear the doorbell inside the residence or suite, you may be able to contact the person, and also hearing a doorbell inside the unit verifies that you are in the right place to be attended.
5. The right company to get your process to serve jobs
The work of a Subpoena Servers combines organization, creativity and not giving up. Don't be afraid to try something new to get the results you want, just make sure you do it within the limits of the law. Get a complete process timeline to serve you when working for an established brand like Same Day Process Service. Our team has been in business for over 15 years and knows how to get the job done. We are known for serving the impossible!