A Quick Guide for California Law Firms

Process servers play an instrumental role in the legal procedure. When tackling a difficult service of process, some process servers fail – or just move inefficiently – negatively impacting your case’s timeline, cost, and outcome.

Consider using these questions to gauge their skill level and depth of service:

1) Are they talking to neighbors and apartment managers?

Neighbors can possess a shocking amount of information on their community. They should be approached tactfully and indirectly. If the witness or plaintiff still lives there, they can learn more about their daily routines, roommates, etc. If they have moved, they may be able to discover their updated living situation, e.g., couchsurfing with a friend.

See our quick guide: How to Find a Missing Plaintiff.

2) Are they noting vehicle plates and running them?

While attempting to serve, process servers should record the license plates of vehicles near the location. Running these plates can help in several ways, including verifying if the person they are trying to serve still lives there or helping identify additional associates.

3) Do they rotate the timing of service?

Consistency might seem logical, but unpredictability can be the key in the world of process serving. If the target suspects they are being served, they will likely dodge any direct attempts at service. Surprising them in transit can give a process server the needed opening.

4) Have they tried social media?

People often post their activities on social media. A scan of their posts can be a treasure trove of intelligence. Bars. Gyms. Restaurants near their workplace. Any of these may give a savvy process server a better alternative opportunity for service.

See our quick guide:  Overcome Employee Research Articles in Labor & Employment Cases.

5) Have they tried a phone call or the WiFi address?

Servers can call the person while waiting at the door to see if they hear the phone ring. Also, they can look for the name of the WiFi network address on their cell phone to see if it confirms the target’s name. 


Hire Tristar Investigation for Your Difficult Service of Process

We’ve worked on thousands of difficult service of process projects. Our prices (in 2023) start at $450, depending on the difficulty level. Additionally, Tristar Investigation’s bilingual staff conducts difficult service of process throughout the State of California.

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.