With most individuals, serving process is a straightforward transaction. A process server will use various tools and resources to find the individual, and then they will go to their place of residence to serve papers. However, things become more complicated when military members are involved.
Since military members make it their job to protect our country, they are often stationed at military posts on or off American soil. Additionally, they are also under military jurisdiction, making process service more complicated for everyone involved.
On- vs. Off-Post Housing
Where a military service member resides will be one of the most important factors into how you serve process. If a service member lives off-post, then you can serve them as you would an ordinary citizen. However, on-post housing poses significant challenges, as only family members, veterans, or someone who works at the military installation has easy access. All others will have to go through the on-site military police and the Judge Advocate General (JAG). The JAG will review your request and determine if you or your process server can access the installation. Additionally, cooperation from each respective base commander may vary to gaining access.
If a service member lives on a military installation, then there is also the question of jurisdiction. A process server will need to find out if the installation is under concurrent (federal and state) jurisdiction, or simply federal jurisdiction. Installations under concurrent jurisdiction only have to allow process servers onto their post if the lawsuit is from the same state as the installation.
What often makes serving process to military members complicated is deployment. If the service member is off on deployment, then you have multiple regulations to contend with. Not only are there the military and federal regulations, but you also have to deal with the laws of the host nation, the Hague Service Convention, and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
While serving process to military members can be complex, a skilled process server will know how to navigate the situation. At Reliant Court Services, we can do just that. To learn more, contact us today.