St. Patrick’s Day and Process Serving in the South
Continuing our journey state to state discussing process serving laws, this month leads us back to the South and the beautiful peach of a state, Georgia. The state capital of Georgia is Atlanta and that is where Accurate Serve® has based their GA operations/office. Did you know Atlanta is home to one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in all of the south? The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in Atlanta dates back to 1858, so it has been running for over 150 years. That’s impressive!!
So, process serving dates back as far as we can remember, with the actual date nearly impossible to ascertain. One date we can lock in is 1982. That is the year NAPPS was founded. NAPPS is the National Association of Professional Process Servers. It was founded in Las Vegas. NAPPS encouraged states to charter their own state associations. In 1997, GAPPS was first formed (see NAPPS, sub in GA for National). Although formed in 1997, not much progress took place until 2001. For the next five years, GAPPS accumulated funds to launch a legislative campaign to allow for private process servers certification courses.
From 2006 to 2010, the efforts of GAPPS were fought by the GA Sheriff’s Association (GSA). In 2010, it seems the GSA had a change of heart and decided to work with GAPPS as opposed to against them. At this time in 2010, a bill was passed in these regards, O.C.G.A. 9-11-4-1, which will be discussed below.
9-11-4-1: What are some requirements to serve process in GA?
Must be 18
Never convicted of a felony
Complete an education course and pass a test
A process server must take an oath and renew their certification every 3 years.
Are there fees involved in becoming a process server in GA? The answer is Yes. See below:
A process server must obtain a Surety Bond or Commercial insurance policy
The Sheriff will collect an $80 processing fee for each application ($30 of this goes to GSA to maintain the PS list)
The class offered by GAPPS is approved by GSA and the cost is $180
What are some responsibilities of process servers in GA?
All work will be done is a lawful, professional and ethical manner
A CPS (certified process server) shall attempt to perfect service w/in 5 days of receipt
A CPS shall display credentials at all times while serving process and report lost/stolen credentials to issuing Sheriff w/in 3 days
A CPS shall not impersonate a public officer or employee
To find out more about serving process in GA, check out the above Statutes and related topics. The GAPPS website is a great resource as well.
It is safe to say that everybody reading this probably knows that if you want to serve a summons on a company here in Florida you will need to send a server to the address of the registered agent.
Here in Tallahassee we have Corporation Service company, one of the larger registered agents in the state. We go there multiple times each week, and we can help effect service there for you and your clients easily, and efficiently.
Other than the smiling faces waiting to process our summon’ at 1201 Hays st., nobody wants to receive a summons… especially if their company went out of business. These types of serves can be more difficult than effecting service on a large business who uses a reputable registered agent for service of process.
So what do you do if you’re trying to serve a summons to a company that is out of business??
If the registered agent listing on sunbiz is the old place of business, then that is a dead end. This is common in our business, but there are steps we can take from there!!
According to the statutes you would want to begin making attempts to serve the owner of the business. If they can’t be found at the place of business anymore we can help! We can offer a skip trace to find a new address. With a skip trace we can tap into a database that law enforcement uses to get last known addresses of people. Then unbelievably, no matter where that person may be hiding, we can get them served; or at least get a server to begin making attempts. We have servers everywhere, and a network of servers around the country.
If this person is expecting to receive a summons, they may decide to move to the country, and live in a home behind a fence, and a yard full of large dogs. It sounds simple, but no process server is going to get chewed apart voluntarily to serve a summons. This is actually a very effective strategy for people trying to avoid being served. What we would do in this case is sit outside and perform surveillance until they leave their house and we can serve them. Surveillance can get expensive and we charge by the hour.
It may be more effective, and less expensive, and time consuming to simply perform our diligence at the potentially viable addresses. Then we would create non-serve affidavits if we are not able to effect service on the subject or a co-resident. Then at this point we can then serve the Secretary of State in lieu of obtaining personal or substitute service.
Our office in Tallahassee can bring this service to the Secretary of State. The following 3 things are required for service to be accepted.
1. A cover letter citing the statute that has directed us to the Secretary of State as the proper recipient for service. OR The summons can cite the proper statute.
2. The non-serve returns of service from making attempts at either the Registered Agent, or the principal of the company.
3. A check for $8.75
As we all know, with a government entity, all the boxes need to be checked. If any of these 3 are missing the service is rejected. If we receive your service request missing one of these items we will advise your office as to what the requirements are before we attempt service .
Your local Accurate Serve® office can advise you as well on the best way to effect service on your subjects around the state.
M A R C H
Dates to Remember *All month long is Women’s History Month 3/8 – Women’s Day
3/17 – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
3/28 – Palm Sunday
Tampa, Florida Office
February 2021 Job Statistics
February 2021 Job Count – 4,411
Average Number of Days from Receiving Paper to Paper Being Served* -4.4
*This includes jobs that may be on hold or waiting for new info. There is no way to take those jobs out of the calculation. So, if a job is placed on hold for 2 weeks, that’s 14 days on that job which factors in to this average. So, we’re even better than what the eyes see, LOL. Some papers get served same day, some next day and some take multiple attempts/addresses to effect service. All we do all day and every day is serve papers. We’re good at it and we love what we do. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to continue to serve your papers.