A routine day of civil process service involves a lot of patience. Defendants occasionally avoid service. Some reluctantly take the papers. And some pull out guns.
Of course, it is the hope of every process server that they never have to deal with that. But the latter is exactly what happened to one of Firefly Legal’s process servers. Even when taking all precautions for personal safety, our process servers sometimes walk into situations not knowing the outcome.
In this case, our server walked up to the front door of a defendant’s home. Through the glass door, he could see that a woman was home. She saw the server and answered the door, whereupon the server identified himself and his purpose. But instead of accepting or even just refusing the papers, the woman pulled out her gun, aimed it at our server’s chest, and told him to leave.
Our server did leave and later returned with the sheriff to get the job done, but the bottom line is that these types of situations shouldn’t happen. If a process server clearly identifies him or herself and their purpose, making it clear that there is no intention of physical harm to the individual and that they are simply there as messengers of the court, the server should be respected. Their lives or personal safety should never be threatened.
But situations like this one are happening because the repercussions aren’t strong enough for those who choose to take that course of action. Adequate regulation is necessary to protect those within our industry.
The work that a process server does is not glamorous, and it’s difficult to do. They face the unknown, but they do it bravely and without fear. They are trained to know how to handle unfavorable situations as they arise. They don’t just drop papers and run; they perform a service by delivering court documents properly, efficiently, and with appropriate documentation. Our servers have families, many of them have kids, and they have their own lives outside of their job. Appreciate the work that process servers do. Understand the difficulties that they face. And stand up for them.
This incident is just another reason to promote reform so that there are the laws on the books protecting our servers. Firefly Legal has always supported the reform of legislation with regard to server’s safety. Firefly supported legislators such as IL State Representative Bill Cunningham who has helped to reform laws protecting process servers. Illinois was the first state to make assaulting a process server is a felony, which went into effect January 1, 2012. Unfortunately, this type of legislation is not present throughout the US. Do your part and make your voice heard so that we can promote legislative reform to protect process servers in every state, not just in Illinois.
###Headquartered in Mokena, IL, Firefly Legal is a national associate legal services provider, offering process serving, skip tracing, court filing, document retrieval, and loss mitigation. To find out more about our civil process service or any of our national associate legal services, contact us at 877.963.3534. 1 comment