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Ways to Stay Safe While Serving Papers

Process serving can be a dangerous job. Every day, process servers maintain daily responsibilities that require them to deliver papers informing people of their involvement in unwanted or expensive lawsuits. 

Despite not having anything to do with the legal proceedings, process servers are all too often blamed for the defendant’s legal troubles. Some recipients take their anger out on the process servers, making this line of work more dangerous than most. 

The courageous men and women who work as process servers gain a unique education throughout their careers, especially when serving recipients who are desperate to avoid service. Below is a compilation of lessons from process servers who have seen it all.

Never Turn Your Back

You wouldn’t turn your back on an opponent in a boxing match, and in some cases, the person you’re serving with papers may be just as aggressive! Protect yourself at all times by talking respectfully and interacting with the person you are serving, facing them directly, and keeping yourself at a safe distance. Even recipients who act cordially may be waiting for the opportunity to strike when you let down your guard. 

The Recipient Doesn’t Have to Touch the Papers to Accept Them

Serving papers is often about the nuances. As soon as the recipient has been positively identified and the papers presented, they are considered served whether the recipient holds them or not. 

Like one process server said after a man refused to pick up his papers, “I”m leaving it on the porch. As long as I’ve identified you and there’s no barrier between us, I can leave it.” Using this method can prevent further confrontation and allow a process server to make a rapid exit. 

The Job Can Get Dangerous

A server recently passed away after dogs attacked her on the property she served. This reminded the process service community of the true dangers of their job description. But territorial dogs are far from the only threats to process servers each day. 

When recipients are angry or fearful about their process of service, they often become violent by pulling out guns, kicking, and throwing hard objects. It’s critical that process servers pay very close attention to their surroundings and use protection as needed. 

A few tips to avoid dangerous situations include:

  • Remain calm to diffuse emotional responses by people being served
  • Never go inside a home
  • Plan your parking to allow for a quick escape
  • Get the background on the people you are serving, especially domestic dispute charges and restraining orders

If you’re looking to become a process server who carries out the important mission of delivering legal papers, call the team at Accurate Serve Sarasota for more information.