The past year was truly unlike any other for everyone. Both individuals and businesses alike had to adapt, cope, and persevere through COVID-19 restrictions, which touched upon every aspect of life and undoubtedly left far-reaching changes on several industries, including process service.
As B.C. takes gradual steps forward in restarting businesses and other activities, we at WCPS think it’s important to take a step back to reflect on this past year filled with challenges and learning opportunities. Here’s a short list of some of our observations on operating through a pandemic and how we intend to use what we’ve learned to continue providing professional, prompt, and courteous service.
1. Location, location, location
As the pandemic unfolded, many businesses and office spaces were unoccupied because of the limitations on physical contact and proximity to others. Because of these changes, working remotely quickly became the norm. While in some cases, this temporarily simplified effecting personal service because individuals were at home to receive the documents, the newly established “work from home” routine presented logistical challenges to delivery in other instances. Unfortunately, as a result of unemployment or other unforeseeable circumstances, some individuals had to relocate to other cities or to other countries. Process servers had to determine where the intended recipient of the documents may have moved to and obtain the individual’s contact information to reach them in order to make arrangements for service. Oftentimes, individuals who moved away from their primary residences would have no expected return date, which made completing service more difficult.
2. Technology to the rescue
Locating the intended recipient of documents may have become more complex during the pandemic reality we’ve entered into, but thanks to improved technological tools, process servers have been able to perform the required service with great success.
Mobile apps and social media assist process servers by providing them with publicly available information on parties they need to serve. Details gathered from online news articles, social media profiles, and virtual maps and images, allow process servers to trace the whereabouts of some difficult to reach individuals and satisfy the obligation to notify parties of their involvement in legal proceedings.
Additionally, with improved cloud-based software to assist with case management, process servers have been able to log the status of services and inform clients on the progress of a file with greater ease. The implementation of these shared virtual workspaces has been invaluable in fostering communication and collaboration between process servers and clients.
3. Communicate and Collaborate
By keeping in touch with paralegals and lawyers, process serving during the pandemic has remained efficient and streamlined. For example, when process servers encounter a setback to delivery, such as discovering a defendant’s office is no longer at the given address, clients are promptly informed of the developments and can provide alternate addresses to attempt service. Interaction between process servers and clients has been the key to countless successful services and has enabled WCPS to focus on meeting our clients’ needs.
In the coming months, there will continue to be many changes as B.C. progresses in its reopening and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. After facing the many challenges of process serving in the midst of a pandemic, WCPS is equipped to continue providing reliable services to our clients. With our expertise and knowledge, you can trust us to adapt to and navigate through unpredictable and unique circumstances.