What Is A Process Server And Why Do I Need One?

What Is A Process Server And Why Do I Need One?

There may come a time when you either need to have papers served or you have been served with papers. If you have ever wondered about the specifics of who a process server is, and what they do, continue reading to learn how you can benefit from hiring one, and then call Prism Court Serve in Aurora.

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In order to talk about the tasks that a process server performs, it is important that we begin with a brief explanation of how their position was created. The Constitution of the United States set forth the privilege to receive service of due service which means that all citizens of the U.S. have the right to be informed of being summoned to court. Originally, process servers were simply intended to be a specialty messenger system that let people know what legal issue specifically involved them. Local county sheriffs were the original process servers, but as cities grew, it became impractical for them to find the individuals they needed while also attending to the other obligations within their jurisdiction. As a result, the job of a process server was created as someone other than the sheriff was needed to perform this valuable function.


Process servers actually accomplish a number of different tasks, such as filing court papers, document retrieval, and of course, serving legal documents. Typically, they are delivering documents to the defendant or individual listed on the legal document that is being served. After the delivery, the crucial piece of their job is to provide evidence of the completed delivery. This confirmation is called an Affidavit of Service and is a notarized document that is then given to the individual or individuals who requested the service.


Just as each court case is unique, the pieces of documentation for each case are also unique. Therefore, a process server does not serve simply one type of documentation. Below are some of the documents they may serve:

  • Writ – A writ is a form of written command that is drafted in the name of the court or another legal authority to either act or abstain from acting in some way. For example, if a landlord has just cause to evict a tenant, they may request that a Writ of Eviction be served.
  • Subpoena – A subpoena can be either a legal order to provide evidence, or a notification that you will need to appear in court. Basically, a court is ordering you to do something such as testify in court or provide documents that are important for the case at hand.
  • Complaint – In legal terminology, a complaint refers specifically to any formal legal document that presents the legal reasons that one party believes are sufficient to support their claim against another party in court.
  • Summons – A summons is the actual order to appear in court. When you receive a summons, you are legally required to be present at the date and time specified in the document.

The state of Illinois allows for three types of service of summons on an individual defendant.

  1. The first allowance says that you may leave a copy with the defendant personally.
  2. The second allowance says that you may leave a copy at their usual place of residence with either a family member, or a person who lives there that is at least 13 years of age or older. The person who receives the documents must also be informed of the contents. The process server must additionally mail a copy of the summons in a sealed envelope that is addressed to the defendant at their usual place of residence.
  3. The third allowance says that if the defendant is receiving papers alerting them to their violation of parking laws or standing vehicles in cities larger than 500,000, the process service will be considered complete simply by the server providing their certificate or affidavit that they have done so.

There are many questions that we receive about process servers and the jobs that they can do. We hope that the information we provided today is helpful, and you can look forward to future posts that will address even more of the questions we receive. Contact Prism CourtServe today and begin your process.


You can begin to see how the nature of these types of documents would require someone with the knowledge and resources required to successfully deliver these types of documents. If you are in need of help with serving documents, call Prism Court Serve in Aurora and learn how we can help.