Home for the Holidays - Process Serving on Holidays
It is that time of year where we all may be asking ourselves--should we or should we not serve on holidays? Some states and clients refrain from service being attempted on holidays while some states and clients leave the decision to the Seller (Process Server). Majority of state’s Rules of Civil Procedure advise on rules for serving on or around the holidays.
- Recipients tend to be home during the holidays and Sellers (Process Servers) have a better chance of getting the documents served
- An increased chance of being able to deem the address “bad’ if a Seller (Process Server) can talk to the homeowner
- Getting jobs delivered and making money in the process
- Ethics of serving recipients on a holiday
- Sellers (Process Servers) may miss celebrating the holiday with their family
- Aggressive behavior from recipients due to service being made on a holiday
Some clients may not want service attempted on a holiday, and to maintain a good relationship with your client, one should adhere to their request while still making sure they are within the states Rules of Civil Procedure.
A sample of a study suggests that few attempts/serves occur on holidays. However, data shows that the days preceding a holiday have high service rates in comparison to a regular weekend that was sampled. Compared to a regular weekend not proceeding a holiday, the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday successful service rate after Thanksgiving 2021 saw an increase of almost 10%.
What do process servers say? Here are a couple of views regarding service and holidays from some process servers:
“As a former process server and business owner, I always checked with my client to see their preferences. I also verified the Rules of Civil Procedure. Depending on the holiday, I would decide if I would be delivering documents. There are many holidays that it is much easier to locate someone at their home. I was often successful on holidays. I personally never encountered an unpleasant situation. I never delivered on Thanksgiving or Christmas though. There are situations that make holidays a suitable time to deliver documents. Many people work out of town and are home for the holidays. Truck drivers would encourage these times. A professional process server should be able to judge a situation upon arrival.”
-Process Server, Business owner of 14 years
“I am against service on holidays. We have the rest of the year to serve. This is for the vendors and the defendants”
-Process Server of 12 years
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