Initially, sheriffs and certain designated people were the only ones who could serve legal papers. However, in some states, generally anyone who is at least 18 who is not a party to the action will be allowed to serve legal papers. Despite this general rule, Arkansas has specific rules for who can serve process —an application has to be made to the court for serving process. It is not enough to be 18; the person must also be a United States citizen and the applicant must be appointed by the court.
Arkansas process servers are bound by the state’s rules of procedure and by judicial and administrative rules. These rules specify who can serve legal papers in Arkansas.
An Arkansas process server is someone appointed by the court in which the action or proceeding is filed, or by a court in the county where service is to be made. As indicated above, the process server has to be at least 18 years of age, be a citizen of the United States, and have a high school diploma or equivalent, among other things. Service of process in Arkansas can still be made by a sheriff or his deputy of the county where service is to be made. However, sheriffs have other responsibilities and service of process is usually not the first thing on their agendas. If serving process in Arkansas is made pursuant to the less reliable method of mail or a commercial delivery company, legal process service can also be made by the plaintiff or by his attorney.
Arkansas rules are very specific as to who can serve legal papers. It is important to make sure your process server follows the laws for service of process or your case could be jeopardized. Make sure you use a reputable Arkansas process serving company so that service of process is made properly and pursuant to applicable laws.