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How Long Does it Take to Have Papers Served?

When you are in need of serving another person with legal papers, the last thing you need is to worry about them not getting served in a reasonable amount of time. When you are in need of serving another person with legal papers, the last thing you need is to worry about them not getting served in a reasonable amount of time. So just how long does it take to have papers served? 

This article will tell you all about what to expect when having papers served to another person, including the average amount of time it will take to actually have the papers served successfully. 

What is Process Serving?

Let’s first talk a little bit about what service of process actually is:

Service of process is the process of serving legal papers to another person/party to notify them of an upcoming need to appear in court. These legal papers will include the location, date and time to appear in court, as well as the reason they are being asked to appear in the first place. 

How Long Does it Take to Serve Papers?

The answer to this question will vary depending on your situation. Here are a few factors that can play a role in the amount of time it will actually take to successfully deliver your needed legal papers: 

  • Who is responsible for delivering the documents
  • The orders received by the judge presiding over your case
  • How long it takes to locate the defendant involved in your case
  • Which level of service you choose from your Process Server
  • The method(s) of service required to successfully deliver papers

On average, it takes approximately five to seven days to successfully deliver legal papers, when you hire a professional process server to handle this responsibility. As aforementioned, there are a few factors that will play a vital role in the overall amount of time this process will take. 

Who is Responsible for Delivering the Documents?

In some states, you may be allowed to serve the legal papers yourself. In other states, however, you are required by law to be licensed in order to deliver such legal documents. If you live in one of these states, such as Texas, you will need to hire a professional process server to get the job done. You have to admit that the immediate release of pressure from having to locate the defendant on your own is extremely enticing, right? 

The Orders Received by the Judge Presiding Over Your Case

In a more immediate case, the judge may extend additional allowances as to how you or your process server are allowed to locate the defendant (such as offering a substitute service order) in order to expedite the delivery of the legal documents. 

How Long it Takes to Locate the Defendant Involved in Your Case

Did you know that defendants typically try to avoid the impending encounter of being served with their papers? It is for this very reason that the defendants are not always easy to track down, which prolongs the delivery time. Don’t worry, they can RUN but they can’t HIDE!

The dedicated team of professionals at Encore Legal Process include four to six attempts (depending on location) to deliver your papers at the address you give them for the defendant. These attempts from the process servers will continue until: 

  1. The defendant is located 
  2. The process servers determine that the address initially provided for the defendant is a “bad address.” Meaning it is clear that the defendant is not currently able to be located at that address anymore. 

Which Level of Service You Choose From Your Process Server

For your convenience, Encore Legal Process offers a variety of options for when to begin delivering the legal documents involved in your case. They include:

  • Routine Service - Attempts at least every 72 hours of receipt (Sunday not included).
  • 48-Hour Rush Service - Attempts at least every 48 hours of receipt of the order (Sunday not included).
  • Same Day Rush Service - Attempts made the same day of receipt of order. The order must be received by 2 pm CST.
  • Priority Rush Service - Attempts made within 3-4 hours of receipt. The order must be received by 3 pm CST.
  • Immediate Rush Service - This is our drop everything and attempt service ASAP. The order must be received by 4 pm CST and is only available as staffing allows. However, we always try our best to support all requests.

The Method(s) of Service Required to Successfully Deliver Papers

Dependant upon what the state laws/judge will allow, these are the general methods of service provided by your professional process server

  • Person service (face-to-face)
  • Substituted service (whatever method the judge will approve)
  • Service by mail
  • Service by publication (such as a newspaper)
  • International Service of Process (when someone lives outside of the country)
  • Posting (service left on someone’s door)

They Can RUN but They Can’t HIDE!

Are you wondering what your process server will do when they realize they have come upon a “bad address”? If you do not have an additional address in mind, do not worry! 

Encore Legal Process goes above and beyond by offering you FREE basic skip tracing with every order submitted. We do this to streamline the process and have the defendant served as soon as possible. A variety of proven skip tracing software will be used, along with industry methods, until the defendant is found. Some of the additional methods that may need to be used are referencing criminal cases, doing postal searches, searching license plate numbers and even checking CAD (computer aided dispatch) records.  

After the skip tracing search is complete, you will be provided with the results and expert analysis. From there, you will be able to determine where your process server will attempt to deliver papers next. 

The Convenience of Technology

Thanks to technology, Encore Legal Process can also allow you to check on the status of your delivery at any time. How do they make this happen, you ask? They provide an extremely convenient “client portal” through their website that allows you to access all of your orders. In this portal, you will have constant access to all real-time GPS stamped attempts that have been made by your process server(s). The process servers at Encore update all of their delivery attempts while in the field so you never miss an update.

Thanks to this amazing feature, you will never have to worry about waiting for someone to answer your phone call or respond to your email about updates pertaining to your delivery. You can even leave notes back and forth with your account manager.

Why You Should Choose Encore Legal Process

When you are ready to hire a process server, you need to go with Encore! We focus locally in Texas but have a nationwide reach. With our 25 years of industry experience, we have successfully served over 10,000 cases! We only work with the BEST process servers, both locally and nationwide. 

Just read this testimonial by one of our satisfied clients:

Shane and his crew at Encore Legal Process have been our go-to process servers since they started. Even after all these years, Encore Legal Process still provides swift but thorough service and even provides value-add services like substitute service motions, citation coordination with country clerks, skip trace research and address verifications. They truly go above and beyond as process servers and we count on their expertise year round. I would heartily recommend Shane and Encore Legal Process to any council looking for a comprehensive process server experience.” 

                                                                       - Robert North, Attorney - North Law 

Let us take the hassle out of serving your legal papers. Contact us today!

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