When you initiate a legal action before a court, against an individual or a corporation, the law requires you to serve a copy of the petition, complaint, divorce papers etc., as the case may be, to the other party. This is called process service or service of process. The documents can be served to the party at his or her residence, workplace or anywhere else but in a lawful manner.
There are different ways of serving the documents to the defendant or respondent but the quickest one is to hire the service of a professional personal process server. The personal process server will deliver the documents to the party and inform him or her that the documents are court papers. If the party being served appears before the process server but refuses to accept the documents, the documents will be left on the ground in front of him or her. This is considered as a valid service of process. Even if the party destroys the documents or throws them away, the service will be considered to be done. In some cases, the documents are handed over to a person of suitable age and discretion who lives with defendant or respondent in the same house. This is called Substituted Service and is accepted as a proper means of process service in most of the jurisdictions.
The service of process can be done by your relative or friend who is of age 18 or more. Being a party to the case, you yourself should not approach the opposite party for serving the documents. However, it is always better to avail the services of a professional process server who are trained to deal with parties under different circumstances. After the documents are served, the process server will provide a proof of service in the form of affidavit stating the details of the person to whom the documents were served along with the time and place of service.
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