Process servers are responsible for delivering legal documents to individuals or parties involved in a legal case. While the job may seem straightforward, it can also be risky and potentially dangerous. Here are some of the dangers of being a process server:
1. Physical danger: The act of serving legal documents can put you in direct contact with individuals who may be angry, violent, or otherwise difficult to deal with. In some cases, people may become physically aggressive, which could put you in harm’s way. When serving legal documents I tend to be overly polite when knocking on doors and walking into offices. Typically, this way of speaking with upset individuals will lessen the chances of any type of physical or verbally abusive altercation.
2. Legal risks: If you serve legal documents incorrectly or inappropriately, you could be held liable for any legal consequences that arise. This could include fines, legal fees, or even criminal charges. This is why it’s imperative to hire a professional company to serve legal documents that’s well versed in the laws of service and process and due diligence.
3. Dog bites: While uncommon, it has happened to me personally, many individuals who receive legal documents have dogs, and process servers can be at risk of being bitten or attacked by these animals.
4. Mistaken identity: Sometimes process servers may accidentally serve legal documents to the wrong person, which can lead to confusion and potential legal issues. This is why it’s best for process servers to attempt to gain a photograph of the subject of service either by requesting a photo from their client or by doing their due diligence in obtaining a photo from social media sources.
5. Trespassing: Process servers may have to enter private property to serve legal documents, which can lead to accusations of trespassing and other legal issues.
6. Emotional Toll: Serving legal documents often involves dealing with people who are going through difficult or traumatic experiences. This can take an emotional toll on you, especially if you are repeatedly exposed to difficult situations. Over time, this can lead to stress, burnout, and other mental health issues.
Overall, being a process server requires a high level of professionalism, tact, and judgment. It is important to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to mitigate them whenever possible. This includes having a clear understanding of the laws and procedures related to serving legal documents, staying aware of your surroundings, and communicating any concerns with your employer. By taking these steps, process servers can minimize risks and ensure that they are able to perform their job duties safely and effectively.