Process servers have the challenging task of verifying an individual’s identity. Clients can assist process servers with this important task by providing details about the individual receiving the documents. However, process servers can still encounter the odd defendant who attempts to refute their identity or attempts to throw the process server off their trail. The following describes different methods process servers use to ensure that the person receiving the legal documents is the intended recipient.
Visiting the Residential Address
Perhaps the best way to verify the identity of the individual is to attend the address of the individual. A process server can learn a lot about the intended recipient of the documents even if the individual is not home. A family member or friend may open the door and provide information about when the individual will be available to receive the documents, a physical description of the individual’s appearance, or even nicknames that the individual goes by that would be relevant to connecting with them. In some cases, the process server may learn what kind of vehicle the individual drives or may be given a license plate number, which can then be searched by skip tracers to uncover additional information about the individual’s whereabouts. Process servers can also do the following while at the residential address or shortly after attempting service at the residential address to increase the likelihood of setting up a meeting with the individual:
- Leaving a Business Card for Return Calls
- Calling the Given Phone Number(s) and Leaving Voice Messages
- Sending an Email to the Individual
- Talking to Neighbours
When a process server has connected with the correct individual, it is important for them to ask for a piece of government issued ID. Oftentimes, a photograph will be taken of the ID to include in the process server’s affidavit of service as an exhibit.
Visiting Alternate Addresses
There are times when a process server learns that the individual no longer resides at the address provided by the client. A process server can discover new leads about where the individual is currently located and can attend these new addresses or even visit previously listed addresses to locate the individual.
Alternatively, going to places of business and employment, speaking with employees or employers to get in touch with the individual, can also be ways for process servers to get a better picture of the individual they are serving. Visiting these locations requires process servers to be careful not to divulge personal information about the legal matter in question.
Digital “Reconnaissance” and Reaching Out on Social Media
Preliminary online research can assist process servers in giving a sense of who they are serving. Photographs on social media can give process servers clues about what the intended recipient of the documents looks like.
Professional interaction is of utmost importance in process serving. At West Coast Process Serving, we have established long-standing relationships with our clients who trust us to serve their documents to the correct individuals.
Our team is ready to provide you with the legal support services you require. Explore our website or give us a call today to learn more about what we do and how we can help.