Subpoena Services

Tristar Investigation specializes in difficult subpoena service in California and nationwide.  Court related subpoena service can be challenging.  Sometimes the subject can’t be located or they are intentionality evading service.  Or perhaps it’s an important case with a deadline that can’t wait for your usual process server.  These are the occasions when you need an experienced private investigator to track down the subject and get the legal papers served.

Subpoena Investigations & Processing

If you have a high stakes court case in which you anticipate that the subject may be uncooperative or evasive, it’s better to hire a private detective to map out a strategy in advance rather than first sending out your attorney service to just randomly hit the door and tip off the subject that they are trying to be served with a subpoena or other court related documents.  Attorney service companies have their place for the average subpoena service but since their employees they get paid only for successful service of process, they concentrate on volume and have little incentive to focus on the more challenging subpoenas.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I complete serve of process on a defendant for small claims court?

If you are suing someone in small claims court you will need to perform service of process on the defendant. This puts the defendant on notice that they are being sued and the papers state the time and date of the trial. In California the service of process must be served 15 days before the trial date if the defendant lives in the same county where the small claims case is filed. It is possible to do it by certified mail; however this method is very hit or miss.

Service of process must be performed be someone other than you who is at least 18 years of age. In some counties the sheriff will attempt service on a defendant, the procedures vary so check with your small claims court for details. If you are having trouble getting the defendant served you can hire a process server or a private investigator to serve your papers.

Private investigators are your best choice if you are having problems getting the defendant served. They have the ability to search for alternate addresses for the defendant and they can identify vehicles driven by the defendant. In addition they are experienced in identifying the best strategies to either stakeout the defendant or employ other creative means to effect service.

My lawyer can’t get the legal papers served so how do I find and serve them?
If your lawyer can’t get legal papers served, to save you money they may give you the option to handle it on your own. First you need know the defendant’s address and verify that that they actually live there. If you can’t determine this, you’ll want to hire a private investigator to get the job done. Private eyes can employ methods that in most cases can determine the best address for the service to take place.

If you hire a private detective to serve your papers, it is important to give them all the information you can on what you know about the defendant and what attempts have been made previously to serve them, including dates and times of attempted service. This will give the private investigator the background info needed to devise the most efficient plan to get them served.

After the research has been collected a plan of attack is developed. This may include strategies such as staking out the defendant’s home at the time they go to work, serving them at work or more creative strategies that can be employed to lure them into situations where they can be served.

I am suing my former tenant, how can I find them and serve them?
If you are suing someone the first thing you need to do is serve papers on the opposing party, usually referred to as the defendant. These court papers, often referred to as a Summons and Complaint puts them on notice that they are being sued so they have the opportunity to get a lawyer or represent themselves in court.

The first thing you need to know is where the defendant lives so the person serving the papers can locate and serve them. If you do not know where the defendant lives, the most common way to get these papers served is to hire a private investigator to track down the defendant and complete the service for you. Private investigators have various methods of tracking people down and are very efficient at this.

If you want to try to find them yourself, you can start by visiting the post office where they last lived and showing them your court papers for service. The post office should then provide you with any forwarding address they have on file for the defendant. If you get a new address, keep in mind that the service of process must be done by someone other than yourself and someone who is over 18 years of age.

How do I find someone to serve papers on them?
To find someone to serve papers on you need to start with the last place you know they lived. If you don’t have a last known address, then start with what you do know about them. Do you have their full name with the correct spelling? Do you know what geographic area they last lived in? Do you know the names of their relatives?

If you are in the dark about the whereabouts of the person you need to serve but you have answers to some of the above basic questions, then your next step is to hire a private investigator to track the person down. Armed with even sparse information, private investigators know how to conduct skip traces that locate the defendant for service.

If you could answer yes to the first question that you know the defendant’s last known address, then there are a couple of steps you can take on your own. First you can contact the post office to find out if there is a forwarding address. You could also talk to neighbors or the actual postal carrier for their residence to get information on where they moved. If those efforts fail, then contact a reputable private eye to track them down.

The sheriff cannot get the subpoena served so how do I get them served?
If you are suing someone, whether it’s in small claims court or superior court, you need to “serve” them, which is legal jargon for letting them know they are being sued and in what court. In many places the local sheriff will attempt to serve the papers for a fee. There are both pro’s and con’s of this approach.

On the plus side in uncomplicated cases having the sheriff serve your subpoena can be an advantage. When the sheriff comes knocking at your door, most people are inclined to open it. When that someone is your defendant, you’re in luck and the person gets served.

If your defendant is a flake, the last thing they will do is open the door when the sheriff comes knocking. At that point they become aware that someone is trying to serve them and start hiding. Then you need a professional investigator to step in and clean up the mess, finishing your service of subpoena.

Examples of Subpoena Service

  • Summons and Complaint
  • Deposition Subpoena
  • Subpoena for Trail Appearance
  • Statement of Damages
  • Restraining Orders
  • Order to Show Cause (OSC)
  • Order to Appear at Small Claims Court
  • Judgment Debtor’s Statement of Assets
  • Order to Appear for Examination (OEX)
  • Completion of Your Service of Subpoena

At Tristar Investigation, we complete the subpoena service with accurate and complete proofs of subpoena service. This can include the following:

  • Proof of Service
  • Declarations of Due Diligence
  • Investigation Report (when requested)
  • Trial Testimony (when required)

Subpoena Services Options

Subpoena Services Options

Level 1 – $275

3 Attempts with Site Investigation

  • Project consultation and regular status updates
  • Talk with neighbors/canvass neighborhood

Level 2 – $375

1 hour stake out

  • Includes all Level 1 searches above
  • Residence verification (manager/real property)
  • Strategy review with alternate plan of action

Level 3 – $475

3 hour stake out

  • Includes all Level 1 and 2 searches above
  • Vehicle searches by plate and/or name and address
  • Unique investigative approaches per subject’s lifestyle and habits
  • Level 4 – $500 and up

    Complex custom projects/rush

    • Includes all Level 1, 2 and 3 searches above
    • Social media review and possible work affiliations/schedules
    • Identify and research relatives and associates
    • Identify location of subject using confidential sources
    • Secret sauce – give us a call to discuss

    What people are saying

    Thank you for providing me with such outstanding service. I truly appreciate you and your staff for all you’ve done for me and my family…. I’m totally pleased with the outcome and their findings… Great job!

    Gerome S. | Retired | USA

    I have used Tristar for years. Their response time and results are unparalleled. They get my highest praise.

    Robert Clayton, Attorney | Taylor & Ring, LLP | Los Angeles, CA

    Tristar found my birth mothers records the same day. I am very impressed with their professionalism and the services they provide. I will use them again for any of my needs.

    Dr. Claudia Barne | Professor | 23 years

    Tristar was very helpful in my address search. Kellie Anguiano was very personable and kept me up to date with the search process… Thank you so much for your help!

    Emily | DDS Student | 2 years | Los Angeles, CA

    Tristar is by far the most reliable and efficient investigator we have ever used.

    Nicole Young | Attorney, 14 years | Woodland Hills, CA

    Tristar in the news

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