Jones & Swanson

Process Serving May Become Much Simpler

A process server is someone that presents legal documentation to citizens that are a part of court proceedings in which they should be informed of. If a court has deemed that a person’s involvement in a case is necessary, a process server will be used to “serve” those legal documents. Plaintiffs’ lawyers use process servers often. They are used to serve papers to those involved in all types of cases. Each state’s process server laws are different. In Georgia, each county has different methods of serving. Currently, the Georgia Process Server Licensing Requirements state that summons and complaints can be served by one of the following:

  • The sheriff, or their deputies, of the county in which action is brought or where the defendant is located
  • The marshal or sheriff of the court
  • Any United States citizen that is appointed by the court to serve process for a particular case or on a long-term basis. This person cannot be a party in the investigation and must be 18 years of age or older.
  • A certified private process server that has been approved by the sheriff.

Plaintiff’s lawyers do not always have the option of using sheriff’s departments to serve papers, so they file a motion for the judge to appoint a private process server. Time constraints can be an issue when serving legal papers, so waiting for sheriffs or deputies to serve papers is not always an option for Marietta personal injury attorneys. Because sheriffs and deputies work on shifts, it usually takes longer to serve in this method. These instances are when most attorneys request the county’s judge to assign a private process server.

In 2010, state lawmakers allowed private process servers to work in Georgia, but this is not foolproof. Sheriffs must approve these private process servers in their counties, but often will not for various reasons. Most courts refuse to make permanent appointments. Whether this is because of money or personal preference, it negatively affects cases. When private process servers are used, lawyers and their clients spend a great amount of money and time that could have been implemented more effectively elsewhere. Many times attorneys will be in a situation where the statute of limitations is about to expire, so they are unable to take the case because of time constraints these methods place on them.

Marietta Personal Injury Lawsuits May Face Less Time Constraints

A new bill that is before the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Bill 1048, would solve these problems. It would allow private process servers who have finished the statutory certification process to work statewide, without facing a potential veto by a county’s sheriff. This certification process would include finishing training, passing an exam, and enduring an extensive background check that includes fingerprinting. If passed, the bill will not change the current ability for county sheriffs and marshals to serve papers, as well as the option for judges to appoint process servers, but it would provide a much quicker method of process serving in Georgia. Without the county confinements based on the respective sheriffs, personal injury claims will become much less time-constrained. By having a certified private process server available to serve papers immediately, lawyers’ needs for someone to make several attempts in one day or being somewhere at a set time may be answered.

Local Marietta Injury Lawyers

Jones & Swanson supports this new bill and hopes that it will allow for better representation of our Atlanta personal injury clients. We take a genuine interest in the lives of our clients. When you are injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced and personal lawyer to represent you. Our Kennesaw personal injury attorneys have represented clients throughout Georgia that were involved in Atlanta auto accidents, tractor trailer wrecks, drunk driving crashes, dog bite incidents, wrecks as a result of automobile defects, and even the wrongful deaths of their loved ones from catastrophic injuries.

Please contact our Marietta personal injury attorneys today for honest, genuine, and personal concern regarding an injury sustained by your or a loved one.

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