It can be said that process servers make our lives easier by delivering legal documents, which we would otherwise be reluctant or scared to deliver ourselves.
Throughout Oklahoma City, process servers deliver court documents for a living on a daily basis. These dedicated workers are committed to getting your legal documents served quickly and professionally. These documents include summons and complaints necessary to start a trial. Many of these special delivery personnel are required to undertake specialized methods and go the extra mile in order to deliver papers to defendants who are deliberately trying to evade such legal notices.
Now we all know that the service of process is necessary to initiate legal action. To ensure that the other party responds to the proceedings before a court of law, and in many cases, the OKC process server must perform unlimited attempts to serve the party and deliver notarized proof of service after completing the process.
Choosing Between the Sheriff and Private Process Servers
There are generally two types of process servers. Mostly, legal documents are also delivered directly through the Sherrif’s office in Oklahoma City. However, independent or private process servers are also operational throughout the city. They should not be confused with always being an independent contractor. These are only those who are not directly employed by the courts. Most of these private process servers are contacted and appointed directly by law firms.
Surveys in the past have revealed that respondents prefer independent process servers over the Sherrif. Often, private process servers provide a superior level of service and much better turn-around time in comparison to the sheriff. Surveys have also exhibited that independent process servers are astoundingly 90% faster than Sheriffs.
Oftentimes, the sheriff’s department has numerous other tasks and responsibilities to supervise. And as such the service of process ends up being a lower priority as compared to other important duties.
COVID-19 Pandemic Has Made Life Tough for Process Servers
The coronavirus outbreak has disfigured social norms, economic activities and business processes throughout the world. Businesses and institutions globally have been forced to adapt to the new regulations of physical interactions. Front line workers and delivery personnel have been forced into a perplexing situation since close interaction with the intended party is inevitable for them.
Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers are no exceptions. It is often required of them to re-visit a location several times. In most cases, they would need to call upon different locations in order to track down a suspect to avoid confrontation. Such activities will always involve close interactions and physical contact with a lot of people. If any one of them is infected, then there is a high chance of a process server catching the virus.
How Can Process Servers in Oklahoma City Avoid Getting COVID?
In most court cases in Oklahoma City, it was permissible for the process servers to only get as close to the defendant as was reasonably practical. In such scenarios, the deliverables were dropped at a location on their premises while the recipient was watching.
Improvising delivery techniques to avoid prolonged contact is another step that the process server can take.
Whenever the situation does not require person-to-person exposure or where the defendant is willing to receive and respond to a court summons, the process server should avoid direct contact with the named party. Instead, the documents can be left at the door.
Process servers can keep themselves safe by utilizing the legal process of “Substituted Service.” In using this method, process servers throughout Oklahoma City can drop the required documents with an adult residing at the same home as the party in the case. The same can be done with a management-level employee at a workplace or company’s office. In this manner, the process server can eliminate re-visits.
There are also circumstances when the process server can post in a prominent place. A certified mail copy follows this step. This is also an acceptable method that can keep the process server safe.
Other precautions to be considered by process servers include:
- The most common COVID-19 SOPs, which a process server must follow, is to keep their hands clean at all times, wearing a mask and avoiding close contact.
- Process servers should take extreme care of keeping their vehicles clean. Surface cleaning liquids or sprays should be present in the vehicles all the time. In addition, the server should be mindful of keeping the frequently used parts of the vehicle’s interior These can be the steering wheel, gear shifter, and door handles.
- Like their vehicles, process servers should also keep any equipment or gadgets that they carry clean and dis
- The process server should also always be packing alcohol-based hand rubs, disinfectants, disposable towels or disinfectant wipes. Also, these should be sufficient in quantity to last a full working day.
- The process server should wear disposable gloves to handle documents or packages containing such documents wherever possible. After delivery and acquiring signatures, the gloves should be removed, and hands must be washed. A new pair of gloves should be worn for each new delivery task.
- The use of protective face masks should be continuous. The nose and mouth should both stay covered with the mask.
- Practicing good personal hygiene at all times can considerably reduce the risk and chances of contracting the COVID-19 virus among process servers.
How Process Servers Can Avoid Spreading COVID-19 During the Pandemic?
- The process server should report any safety and health concerns to their attorneys or employer.
- The process server should obviously cease all work activities if they start to feel unwell. Or if they start to experience any uncommon physical or physiological changes.
- If a process server starts to display any symptoms of COVID-19, then immediate self-isolation should be initiated.
- In case a process server is waiting for COVID-19 test results, then in that case also, their delivery activities should stop. Likewise, if health authorities require a server to self-isolate, then those instructions should also be adhered to by the process server.
- If any unwanted symptoms arise, the process server should immediately inform the concerned authorities and begin self-isolation.
- It is also an intelligent choice and best practice that the process server stays up to date with all current medical regulations of Oklahoma City at all times.
Due to the apparent social distance requirements, the role and activities of process servers will change drastically. As a result, traditional methods and existing laws will also evolve from typical practices for the foreseeable future.
Under a lot of circumstances, process servers are expected and required to make an unlimited number of tries to serve the legal documents to the concerned party and arrange reliable service proof. These repeated efforts and constant interactions with the public increase the risk of contracting the COVID virus for these legal workers.
These circumstances do not rule out the possibility of business as usual, but it does mean that process servers and the law firms who hire them, will need to come up with improvised and innovative techniques so they can adhere to COVID SOPs to govern their physical interactions with defendants and parties named in a case.