Process Serving Professionals at Your Service

You have questions about process serving, and we have answers. Find out the general and intricate details about service of process, how process servers benefit your legal work, and the legalities around process serving.

When you need dedicated services from our professional process servers, don’t hesitate to request service online. We’ll reply within just a few minutes and start your request the same day.

General Questions About Process Serving

Right Sharp Solid Icon What is Service of Process?

Service of Process is the act of notifying the other party about a legal action (lawsuit, divorce, subpoena, etc) by hand-delivering court documents to the party involved in accordance with the rules of civil procedure that govern service of process in the state the case is venued.

Right Sharp Solid Icon What is a Process Server?

A process server is someone who delivers legal documents to individuals and businesses who are named or involved in legal court matters.

Right Sharp Solid Icon What types of papers are commonly served?

Common types of papers served are:

Right Sharp Solid Icon How Much Does It Cost To Have Someone Served?

Costs vary based on location, urgency, and number of attempts needed. Fees typically range between $65.00 - $150.00.

Right Sharp Solid Icon How Long Does It Typically Take To Get Someone Served?

When working with Pro Legal, routine non-rush requests are typically attempted within 1-3 business days. Pro Legal does offer Rush same-day service as well when needed.

Questions About the Person Being Served

Right Sharp Solid IconWhat if the Person I Need Served Cannot Be Found?

When an individual cannot be found, the next step would be to perform a Skip Trace to locate their new home address or place of employment.

Right Sharp Solid IconWhat if the Business I Need To Serve Is No Longer in Business or Has Moved to an Unknown Address?

A business that has closed down or that is operating out of an unknown location may be served through the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. For full details, please visit their website.

Another option would be to run a skip trace to locate a current address for any of the officers or agents of the business.

Right Sharp Solid IconWhat if the Person I Need Served Is Avoiding Service?

When someone is actively avoiding, the next step is to work with the requesting party to gain as much information as possible regarding the habits of the individual who is avoiding — what their daily schedule looks like, where they work, where they park their vehicle, and any pictures available.

A very common strategy is to set up a stakeout and wait for them outside of their home or place of employment.

Right Sharp Solid IconWhat if the Person I Need To Serve Has Moved Out of State?

If a new address is known, Pro Legal has a vast nationwide network and can assist you with setting up service anywhere in the country. If the individual's new address is not known, Pro Legal can assist you with finding their new address to arrange service at.

Right Sharp Solid IconWhat if the Person I Need To Have Served Is Dangerous?

If the person to be served is known to be a physical threat, the best step is to send the service documents to the Sheriff in the county the person is in. These are handled on a case-by-case basis, Pro Legal can coordinate Sheriff service for you if needed.

Right Sharp Solid IconWhat if the Person I Need To Have Served Is in Jail or Prison?

Every facility has its own policies in place when it comes to serving someone who is currently incarcerated. The best practice is to contact the facility directly and ask them what their process is and follow their instructions. Pro Legal can coordinate this for you as well.

Questions About Process Servers & Our Work

Right Sharp Solid IconDoes a Private Process Server Need to be Licensed?

Licensing requirements for private process servers vary by state as they are typically regulated at the state or local level rather than nationally. In many places, private process servers are required to be licensed to ensure that they meet certain standards and adhere to legal and ethical guidelines. There is no current requirement in the state of Minnesota for a private server to be licensed.

Right Sharp Solid IconPrivate Process Servers vs a Sheriff?

When it comes to choosing between a private process server and a sheriff, the best choice in most cases is a private server. A private server is going to provide you with a level of service that cannot be matched by a Sheriff. Key differences include:

  • Turnaround time: Pro Legal accepts new requests via email and will get your request set up and sent out to a server typically the same day it is received. The Sheriff's Office requires copies to be hand-delivered to them or sent in by mail, thus creating a delay right from the start. Need it on a RUSH, no problem with Pro Legal. With a Sheriff, they will never guarantee a rush attempt will be made and will typically go on their own schedule.
  • Communication: Pro Legal will alert you quickly once served or if we run into any issues, such as a bad address or if we think the party is avoiding service. When a Sheriff cannot complete a service, they normally just complete a certificate of non-service and put that in the mail to you without any updates via email or phone or suggestions for other options to get the party served. They basically just stop. You will not know there is an issue until you receive their paperwork in the mail.
  • Understanding the rules and laws related to service of process: Serving papers is something the Sheriff’s office has to do by law, but it is not their main focus. A private server makes a living specializing in this area.
Right Sharp Solid IconDo Process Servers Take Pictures?

Yes, our local servers take pictures on each attempt and attach them to the job. Pictures are then permanently stored with each job in the event the service date or any attempts made are contested.

Right Sharp Solid IconAre Attempts GPS Stamped?

Yes, our local servers enter each attempt made on-site and capture the GPS coordinates which are stored with each job in the event the service date or any attempts made are contested.

Right Sharp Solid IconWill the Server Call the Person Ahead of Time To Arrange Delivery?

Process servers often use their professional judgment based on the circumstances. If there is a higher likelihood of cooperation and a peaceful service by providing advance notice.

The majority of the time, servers do not call ahead as they do not want to tip them off. In our experience, it is better to explain what is being delivered on first contact.

Right Sharp Solid IconWhat Happens After Service is Made?

Once service is completed, you will receive a notification via email or phone informing you of the date, time, location, and who the papers were left with. A signed Affidavit of Service listing the same information will then be sent. You will need to provide the Affidavit of Service to the court to prove proper service was made.

Questions About the Legalities of Process Serving

Right Sharp Solid IconWho Can Serve Legal Papers?

In Minnesota, personal service can be made by the sheriff or by any other person who is at least 18 years of age who is not a party to the proceeding.

Right Sharp Solid IconHow Late Can a Process Server Come to Your Home in Minnesota?

There is no law that states what time of the day a server can and cannot approach your home to attempt service. Some situations require early morning or late night attempts, but in general, most servers do not attempt before 7:00 AM or after 10:00 PM unless requested specifically to do so.

Right Sharp Solid IconIs It Illegal To Avoid Being Served? Can Someone Avoid Service?

No, it is not illegal to avoid being served. In most cases, however, it is better just to accept service and be cooperative from the beginning. Avoiding legal service will not make the matter go away and has the possibility of costing the person who is avoiding more in the long run as more attempts equal increased costs, which the person initiating the case could ask the court to recover from the person avoiding.

There are also alternative forms of service that can be made when a person is avoiding that could result in missing important dates and deadlines, only discovering this information down the road after there is already a judgment against them.

Right Sharp Solid IconCan a Process Server Talk to a Person’s Neighbors?

Yes, there are no known laws that prevent process servers from talking to neighbors to confirm residency and activity at a person’s home.

Right Sharp Solid IconCan a Process Server Leave Papers With My Child or a Minor?

If at home in Minnesota, the answer is yes, but only if they are 14 or older.

Per Rule 4.03 Upon an Individual. Upon an individual by delivering a copy to the individual personally or by leaving a copy at the individual's usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein.

Suitable age and discretion in MN is 14 or older.

If the individual is an infant under the age of 14 years, by serving also the individual's father or mother.

Right Sharp Solid IconCan I Serve the Papers Myself?

In Minnesota, as in many other jurisdictions, individuals who are parties to a legal action are generally not allowed to serve legal documents on other parties. This is to ensure that the service is done in a fair and impartial manner. Instead, service of process is typically carried out by a neutral third party, such as a sheriff's deputy, a professional process server, or another person authorized by the court.

If you are involved in a legal matter and need to serve legal papers to another party, it's advisable to check the specific rules and regulations in Minnesota. You may want to consult with an attorney or contact the court clerk's office for guidance on the proper procedures for serving legal documents in your specific case.

Attempting to serve legal documents yourself when you are a party to the case may not be permitted and could potentially lead to complications in your legal proceedings. It's crucial to follow the rules and procedures set forth by the court to ensure that service of process is conducted in accordance with the law.

Questions About Affidavits, Filing, & Serving Papers

Right Sharp Solid IconWhat is an Affidavit of Service or Proof of Service?

An Affidavit of Service, which is also known as a Proof of Service, is a legal document that provides proof that legal documents, such as Summons and Complaints, Subpoenas, and other legal papers, have been properly served on a party involved in a legal proceeding. The purpose of the affidavit is to verify and confirm that the required legal documents have been delivered or "served" to the intended recipient in accordance with the legal requirements of the jurisdiction.

Right Sharp Solid IconWill the Process Server File My Papers for Me?

Pro Legal will not automatically file any papers unless specifically requested to do so. Pro Legal will happily assist you with courthouse and e-filing if needed.

Right Sharp Solid IconWill the Process Server File the Affidavit of Service for Me?

Pro Legal will not automatically file the Affidavit of Service unless specifically requested to do so. This is a service that we provide, and Pro Legal will happily assist you with that task if needed.

Right Sharp Solid IconDo I Need to Send the Server the Original Documents to be Served?

In legal proceedings, the general practice is to serve copies of the relevant legal documents rather than the original documents. This is true for various types of legal papers, including Summons, Complaints, Subpoenas, and other court documents. There are several reasons for serving copies rather than originals:

  • Preservation of Originals: Original documents are important and need to be preserved for court records. Serving copies helps ensure that the court retains the original documents for its records.
  • Efficiency and Convenience: Serving copies allows for multiple parties to be served with the same set of documents, making the process more efficient. It is also more convenient for all parties involved.
  • Risk Mitigation: Sending originals through the mail or via a process server can carry some risk of loss or damage. Using copies minimizes the risk to the integrity of the original documents.

When engaging a process server, it is common to provide them with the necessary number of copies of the documents to be served. These copies should be identical to the originals and should include all relevant attachments. Additionally, the process server will typically provide an affidavit or proof of service to the court, indicating that the copies were served on the intended parties.

Always check the specific rules and procedures of the jurisdiction in which your legal action is taking place, as there may be variations in requirements. If you have any doubts or questions, consulting with an attorney or contacting the court clerk's office can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and location.