1 Source Private Investigations - 219-381-8685
RSS Follow Become a Fan

Recent Posts

Evading, Avoiding, Interfering, Ignoring a Process Server
The PI Blog Line is back online


First subject post: Process Service
PI Blogline Launch
powered by

The PI Blogline

Evading, Avoiding, Interfering, Ignoring a Process Server

The purpose of this post is to educate people about process service or receiving papers from a process server.
First of all; the law: 28 U.S.C. § 3004 : US Code - Section 3004: Service of process; enforcement; notice; is the Federal Law regarding the manner of service. If you are not up to date on the manner of service under Federal Rules, please go read it!
Secondly; Title 18 U.S.C. § 1501, is the Federal Law which puts the teeth or power in the hands of the Process Server; which provides in relevant part:

"Assault on Process Server
Whoever knowingly and willingly obstructs, resists or opposes any officer of the United States, or other person duly authorized, in serving, or attempting to serve or execute, any legal or judicial writ or process of any court of the United States...shall, except as otherwise provided by law, be fined not more than $300 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."

Many states have their own law, however, Indiana, the state in which I do most of my business does not have a state law. It is important to note at this point that in the absence of a state law, the Federal Law is to be enforced. I make this point because I have experienced two primary issues with this fact. Number one being that far and wide, local police departments are completely ignorant to the law that governs process servers, and number two; if they are aware of it, they routinely ignore it and refuse to enforce it. The operative language in the Federal Statue is "any court of the United States". Reading this literally would seem to mean "any court within the United States" however, we know that it means any court whose jurisdiction is part of the federal judicial branch of government. I wish all states would adopt the federal statute verbatim to give process servers some protection.
The vast majority of people I come into contact with during process service have no idea what their obligations are. Many people think that if they evade or avoid service the problem will either go away, or just be put off into the future indefinitely. Simply put; by not taking the papers the individual actually makes their legal issue worse. Point of fact is that in many cases if the process server acting on behalf of the plaintiff makes reasonable effort to serve the other party at the appropriate address, service can be considered performed or the court in jurisdiction may allow an alternate means of service, IE: posting or publishing. I have had cases where contact was made with an individual, and the identity confirmed as being the intended recipient, but they refused to accept service. I have submitted affidavits after such incident which were accepted by the court. Eventually, unless the subject party is found to be deceased, one of two things always happen: 1. court orders alternate non-personal service or 2. the person is served by other unconventional means.
I have had instances where a legal defendant not only refused to accept service by avoidance, but telephoned me with a direct threat of physical violence if I stepped foot on his property. Specifically, he left a voice mail stating that he would "beat me to death with a baseball bat if I stepped foot onto his property again..."
I would like to hear your own opinions, comments and stories.

7 Comments to Evading, Avoiding, Interfering, Ignoring a Process Server :

Comments RSS
Jay on Monday, May 09, 2011 11:48 PM
In Tucson, Arizona and surrounding cities the Police will do a civil assist and go with you to the address you are trying to serve. They will only keep the peace and will not say anything about the serve. Basically they are there just in case the person does something stupid. I honestly find it quite irritating that the police will not enforce the law of refusing service or interfering with service. I could show them the revised statutes but they will not arrest someone and charge them with anything.... :(
Reply to comment

D Larson on Friday, January 13, 2012 11:33 PM
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1501 does "of any court of the United States" mean United States Federal Court, or does it mean any lower court as well? You could be reading this wrong. Get an interpretation of "Court of the United States" to see if this Federal Law covers your with STATE Circuit Court papers in hand. PLS let me know what you find....
Reply to comment

Tom on Saturday, January 14, 2012 12:39 PM
In reply to the question: Under 18 U.S.C. § 1501 does "of any court of the United States" mean United States Federal Court, or state court? The answer is: US Federal Court, not state court. Technically; and I mean this literally - in the per se for example the Indiana Constitution, in the absence of a corresponding state law that is covered by a federal law, the state constitutionally is required to follow it. This state like many others just choose not to. It really is a travesty, but it is the reality of our time.
Reply to comment

Dan Challon on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 7:00 AM
Having been a process server in the past, I have effectively evaded service and I have also gone after bonds and had lying process servers charged with perjury and losing their liceneses. I do not believe in the brotherhood of the server, and I despise gutter service: one time a guy claimed he served me when I was in another state, which I had proof with airline ticket and hotel bill. He signed the PoS with his name and nothing more...research found that he owned a process serve conpany but six months had lapsed without renewing hus license or bond; in California, a person cannot serve more than ten papers a year without a license number and bond or else it is a crime under the Business Code, and signing PoS is perjury. I sued the guy for fraud...to keep me from going to the DA and going forward to sue, he paid me $25,000 as settlement. Here is how to effectiveluy dodge process in California: never answer the door if you know you may be served, there is no law that states you have to answer the dor if you are home, even if it is a cop and he has no warant; be careful about your physical address for voting because that is public record and how many servers/PIs find people; if you answer the door, do not let them see your face, say the guy they are looking for was the prevous tenent or house owner or whatever; say he was your roommate and left; put out mail packages on doorstep with someone elses name because servers will look; check outside for someone you don't know sitting in a car and waiting; don't keep a routne of coming and going...if they know where you work, then it may be unavoidable...if they get tired of trying to find you and lie about serving you (which many lazy servers will do knowing 90% of people will no know how to fight this) and you have solid evidence you were not home, go for getting them on perjury...I got one guy on perjury by wearing fake glasses in court; when I asked the server what I was wearing when he served me, he said blah blah and that I had glasses on...I showed the judge that my glasses were stage props with no lenses. Guy got three days for contempt, lost his license, I went after his bond, and the DA charged him for perjury. You have no legal onligation to accept service where there is no contract under admiralty law. Obstruction is a crime, and never threaten or attack a server...if they do gutter service and lie (in Calif, legislation has been introduced on the matter because it has become a big problem of servers not wanting to work hard for $40-60)then you have an obligation to address the damage to your due process rights: nail these liars, get their bond for damages, put a lien on them so they can never get another bond...lying servers get no breaks.
Reply to comment

RealityCheck on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 5:54 PM
Avoiding service of process is one of the all time stupidest ideas I've ever heard. How hard is it to wait outside someones door until they come out? You cant stay inside forever and if you think your problem is going away by avoiding service, think again. Evaders only make me hungrier. I will stakeout the address free of charge simply because I wont allow an idiot who thinks he can outfox me to get away with it. it isnt just personal. Its downright anti American to avoid service of process. Our nation is built on laws which give all parties fair hearing. Compare that to the likes of Syria or some other foreign country where you have no voice, no trial, no opportunity to defend yourself. Those who avoid service of process promote the demise of a fair legal system. How American is that? Dont' be a coward and step up to your responsibility like an adult, not a moron.
Reply to comment

Rhys Kirk on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 10:24 AM
a person absolutely have excellent article content. Thanks pertaining to sharing inside all of us your online site. even though the particular topic is this season touchy for almost all individuals, MY OWN opinion could be the fact That there possesses to be able to become a good middle or maybe widespread ground The item we just about all may locate.
Reply to comment
Thomas Smith on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 3:58 PM
Nothing wrong with middle ground so long as it isn't just code for "independent", as in political independent. Because being independent is just not being willing to take sides.

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint