There's someone at your door and he says he has something for you. Do you open the door?
Turns out he is a process server. He is there to serve you with legal papers. Do you have to open the door?
A process server is someone who is hired by a lawyer to deliver legal papers. They play a very important role in civil lawsuits involving accident cases, personal injury cases, negligence matters, medical malpractice cases and even wrongful death cases.
When a lawsuit is started in New York, we are required to deliver the lawsuit papers to the people that you are suing. There are also specific requirements about how those papers are to be delivered. The best way to deliver them is to personally hand-deliver the papers to the people you are suing.
What happens if you cannot locate the person you are trying to sue or that person refuses to come out of their office or home? There are alternative methods of delivering those papers.
Once the papers have been delivered, the process server is required to fill out a piece of paper called an affidavit. In the affidavit, he swears that the papers were delivered at a particular date and time to the person being sued. He must also identify them physically, sign his name and then send the document to the lawyer.
That document is known as an affidavit of service and is often filed with the court to prove that the legal papers were properly delivered.
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