What Happens When a Process Server Can’t Find a Defendant?

Investigation ConceptServing court documents is an essential step required to move a lawsuit forward. That’s why some people who know that legal trouble is coming their way will do anything they can to avoid being found by a process server. Fortunately, process servers have a few tools in their arsenal to find people—legally and ethically—despite their best efforts to stay hidden. Here’s what happens when a process server can’t find a defendant:

Investigate Social Media

Social media profiles aren’t as private as many people think. A process server can often figure out where someone is based on an Instagram post, a Tweet or a Facebook profile photo.

Access Databases

Process servers have access to specialized databases that can help them track down their targets. For example, they can look through driver’s license databases, vehicle registration databases or criminal background checks to try to find a person’s home address or place of employment.

Substitute Service

Legal documents don’t necessarily need to be served directly to the defendant in a face-to-face interaction. Instead, documents can sometimes be delivered to the defendant’s workplace or given to another court-approved friend or family member.

Leverage Local Publications

If a process server is able to show that he or she has made every effort to find a defendant, the court may allow service of process through the mail or through a published notice in a newspaper, magazine or other publication.

If your firm is in need of legal support, Reliant Court Services is here to help. To learn more, feel free to give us a call or contact us online today.