Process service is a vital part of the legal system. It ensures that anyone against whom legal action is being taken receives fair notice and has a chance to respond. This notice is usually provided in person, through a physical copy handed to the defendant by a process server. Of course, in our digital age, it seems a bit counterproductive to print off the documents and drive across cities, counties, and sometimes states in order to hand them that information in person. To make this make sense, think of it like a bit more personal delivery of certified mail – it is a bit like asking your mail carrier have you sign for a package so the sender knows it was received by a person, rather than left on the front stoop. Process service is there to provide a legal notice, be that a court subpoena or divorce paperwork, in person because, generally, the case cannot proceed without delivering that notice. It is the legal way of ensuring no one gets blindsided by court action and provides the balance necessary to keep things as just as possible between different parties.
What A Process Server Does
Put simply, a process server hand delivers documents. In most cases, this involves checking identification, handing over legal notices, and telling that person verbally that they have been served. There are other methods to legally serve documents as well so that the recipient cannot simply resist accepting the papers to avoid being served and prolong the legal process. You can check out our previous blog here, if you want to learn more about serving papers to someone who attempts to evade service. After the document is served, most courts request or require an Affidavit of Service as an extra measure to ensure the documents were served legally and appropriately.
Becoming an Arkansas Process Server
Rules vary state to state and county to county but, generally speaking, you cannot simply pick a random person off the street and ask them to hand off those important legal notices for you. In many places, a court official such as a bailiff or sheriff can handle serving papers for the court. In addition, many court systems have a registration or appointment process before an individual can legally fill the role of process server. This is the case in Arkansas. The appointed person can be a private person, but only after they have met certain criteria and been approved by the court system.
Being Appointed a Process Server
In Arkansas, a process server has to meet a few initial criteria before they will be appointed and allowed to legally serve papers. These include:
- Being at least 18 years old
- Having a high school diploma or equivalent
- Cannot be convicted of a crime “punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or a crime involving dishonesty or false statement” (per Arkansas Judiciary)
- Obtaining a valid driver’s license from a US state
- Showing familiarity with the legal notices to be served
For more details, you can visit the Arkansas Judiciary website, which details the requirements and the full application process.
In addition to meeting the criteria set by the court system, a process server will need to go through the application and approval process before they can take on the responsibility of serving papers for an Arkansas court.
If you need a trustworthy process server in Arkansas, call McKinney Process Service! Our expert team has years of experience as professional process servers and are appointed in several counties across Arkansas. Call us today to get started and see why we rise above the rest!