• Kathryn Guthrie, Director

Quality record keeping essential for process servers

We recently stumbled upon this interesting article about process servers in New York City, and how they are concerned about "sewer service" and are tightening the rules to ensure regulations are met. It makes you realise why using a professional, well established process serving service is essential.

Our serve management software allows us to record the GPS co-ordinates of where service was effected, or an attempt was made.

At Docuserve our process servers are trained and experienced with the New Zealand requirements surrounding the service of process. Thorough records are kept of all attempts, enquiries, actions in order for us to provide detailed reports when required. This can include documenting the GPS co-ordinates using our online serve management technology. Our legal administration team can then use this information to produce professional affidavits of service that meet court requirements as evidence to support the document service.

Record-keeping an Important Goal for NYC Process Servers.

Written by Jules Doodnath on November 7, 2016

Process servers are fully aware that they must follow New York City’s statutes and Administrative Code regulations. The rules mandate how to serve process in many different situations and how to include the nature of service in the mandated logbook. The rules and regulations are enforced by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs. These rules explain how to use a logbook and what is necessary to be included in an affidavit of service which will be filed with the Court and signed by the licensed New York City process service and notarized under penalty of perjury.

But just as important for the process server is the creation and maintenance of complete and accurate records of each particular instance of service attempted or made. First, if a person in a lawsuit challenges the service of process, the server must be able to demonstrate its validity. Second, city regulators are stepping up efforts to oversee the profession and want proof that process servers are performing their duties correctly. The failure to do so may result in exorbitant fines or the suspension of the license to serve papers in the five boroughs.

The ability to have correct records are tantamount when defending alleged illegal service.

Valid service of process is a prerequisite for a lawsuit to proceed. So it is not uncommon for a named defendant to take the earliest opportunity to stop or delay the litigation. This will result in the Court scheduling a traverse hearing to determine whether the service was indeed proper. To uphold the validity of the service, the process server must be able to show that quality record-keeping system is in place and that proper practices under the law are always followed. The easiest way to show this is for the licensed process server to maintain an up to date logbook. In that sense the logbook could be entered into evidence and the process service can testify that the entries in them were inputted in the ordinary course of business. If a judge can see that the recordkeeping is accurate, the process server will most likely prevail in the traverse hearing. You will have instant credibility in defending the service of process; that is, to show that service was validly made, and that the filed proof of service is technically complete and sufficient.

Department of Consumer Affairs has stepped up penalties against Process Servers The Department of Consumer Affairs have become increasingly concerned in recent years about “sewer service” which is a failure to serve the documents despite a proof of service declaring that service was completed. This has allowed plenty of default judgments to go through the courts and judgments handed out against defendants in particularly debt collection and bankruptcy cases.

As a result of this, New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs issued more than 500 subpoenas on process servers for their records on their global positioning systems (GPS). The GPS coordinates would show where exactly the process server alleged they were located when they served the legal papers. Many did not have the required GPS coordinates or the GPS showed a location that was outside the location where the service was purportedly completed. The Department of Consumer Affairs allows you to enter your GPS within a half a mile from where service was effectuated.

Disclaimer: Docuserve is not a law firm, and none of our team are lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. If you require any assistance with legal matters you must seek the services of a qualified lawyer. Our website and its contents are based on our anecdotal experiences only.  


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