Process Server Challenges

Process servers face some interesting challenges

Process servers will face obstacles while performing their duties. It comes with the territory.


For instance the subpoena they have one day to get served but the person isn’t home or the order to show cause for the person that refuses to answer the door. There are cars in the driveway, the TV is on, so are the lights, you can smell dinner cooking. You ring the bell and knock on the door for a ridiculously long time but nope, they’re not going to answer. Some will come to the door and tell the server they don’t know who the person you’re asking for is but you have a photo of them from their Facebook page in your hand. Guess what? They get served.

The person has moved

One often recurring stumbling block the server will inevitably have to contend with is when the party they’re attempting to serve has moved. Some servers may give their client an affidavit of not found and an invoice, then call it a day and move on to the next job. For others the obstacle becomes an invitation to get to work and attempt to track the person down. A good process-server will have various resources available to help in finding the party but first they will need to call their contact and tell them of the status of the case and ask them how they want to go forward. If you are given the green light to skip trace the person it’s important to discuss your fees for the time it takes to conduct a search and expenses incurred during the process because no one likes surprises on their invoice. If you don’t discuss your fees you may find yourself absorbing the cost.

There are reliable skip search data bases available

However they aren’t all created equally, prices for searching vary and there could be tiers of services available with higher costs attached which you might find useful depending on your needs. Expect to set up a required account using a credit card so it’s important to do your homework and make certain that the service you decide to use is legit. Some services send reps to visit the place where you conduct business to verify your legitimacy. They may take photos and inspect locks on doors and filing cabinets making certain the information you collect will be safe and secure. They’ll probably ask you who has access to your computer and verify required security measures are in place. After all the information you will be collecting is sensitive material. Considering the large amount of identity theft in the world these days verification for trustworthiness of both parties is essential.

Computer Crime Concept Skip Trace search
Effective skip searching makes you more valuable to your clients

The information you collect from these valuable resources will help you become a more thorough and effective process-server which will in turn make you more valuable to your clients. Having access to privileged information is a wonderful tool that can help you expand the services you’re able to offer but it’s also a responsibility that should never be abused. It’s reasonable to assume that your skip searches will from time to time be audited so unless the law firm that hired you has asked you to serve a summons on one of the Kardashian’s you probably shouldn’t look them up. Keep files containing sensitive information under lock and key and shred old files. Never throw files with a persons SSN or other personal information intact in the trash.


How do you find people? What service do you use to track someone down and pinpoint an address so you can report back to your client that their party has been successfully served?