Process serving in Arkansas means to serve legal papers in order to effectuate due process of law. Due process, also referred to as procedural due process, requires the fair treatment of an individual against whom an action is taken. If any court proceedings or actions are brought against an individual (and in certain instances, a corporation), that person must have knowledge of the proceedings in order for the plaintiff to comply with due process requirements. Notification of the proceedings is accomplished by serving papers upon the individual or upon an officer or agent of the corporation.
Serving legal papers in Arkansas is accomplished by having the process server locate the defendant and hand-deliver the specific legal papers, such as a summons and complaint, to such person. This comports with due process requirements in that the person is notified of the action. Arkansas process servers serve a variety of court papers, including a summons, complaint, subpoena, and other types of legal papers. The Arkansas process server must comply with the rules in Arkansas so that service of process is legally made.
While legal process service in Arkansas usually requires the delivery of court papers to the defendant by in-hand delivery, there are several other methods of serving process. Where in-hand delivery cannot be made, the papers may be left at the defendant’s residence with someone at least fourteen years of age or left with an agent authorized to receive service of process in Arkansas. This is generally referred to as “substituted service.” Using an Arkansas process server will ensure that if the defendant does not appear in the action, a default judgment can be taken against him. It is the most reliable way to ensure that service of court papers has been accomplished properly.
If service of process cannot be effectuated, Arkansas allows the clerk of the court to issue a warning order, which states the name and caption of the case, among other things. The plaintiff is responsible for publishing the warning order for two consecutive weeks in a general circulation newspaper in the county in which the action is filed. In such instance, the plaintiff must also mail a copy of the legal papers to the defendant by restricted delivery.