We left off last time covering the two most common types of service of process. But instead of jumping into the less common kinds, we will interlude and discuss who can serve process on a defendant. First and foremost, the person who can serve process is not you. If you are a party to the suit, you cannot go directly to confront the person you are suing and give them the documents. If you are suing someone, you have a personal stake of one kind or another and should not be in a situation to express your personal thoughts on the case.
Who Can Serve Process?
In the state of Georgia, under O.C.G.A. §9-11-4(c) (2019), process can be served by the sheriff or their deputies of the county where the action (lawsuit) is being brought or the defendant lives, the sheriff or marshal of the court or their deputies, by any citizen specially appointed by the court for that purpose, by someone who is not a party and is not younger than 18 years old and has been appointed as a permanent process server by the court in which the action is to take place, or finally by a certified process server as proscribed in O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4.1 (2019).
You should know at least vaguely who these people are as sheriff is an elected position, and you should have noticed their name on a ballot. The sheriff or marshal of the court is like an elected sheriff in that their purpose is to enforce court orders and mandates, but the sheriff/marshal of the court is usually one who is appointed to their position and is concerned with the orders, mandates, and possibly even safety and security of a specific court. Like the sheriff or marshal of a court, the court can appoint a person specifically to the task of serving process on defendants. After you file your complaint, you would pay the fee to this specially designated person to then serve process on your defendant. It would be their only role in the process, unlike a sheriff or marshal. This position might be specially appointed by the court for a specific length of time or a specific set of cases, or it can be a permanent post. Finally, there is the Hollywood staple of the professional process server.
You can’t just start taking money to chuck lawsuits at people. As laid out in O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4.1, you have to pass a background check, take a class, pass that class, get bonded and or insured in case you damage something or someone and be a US citizen. Even after all that, you still have to register with and have your application approved by the sheriff of the county you want to work in.
The most important takeaway here is YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SERVE YOUR OWN LAWSUITS!!
So please make sure you consult with an injury and accident attorney before taking legal action, and if you’ve been in a car wreck and want to make sure you get a fair deal from an insurance company, Call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Firm at (833) 254-2923.