process serving tips and tricks

The staff at MCA Process Serving have been serving documents for twenty-four years.  In that time, we have served a significant number of court documents upon individuals and companies.  While we continue our honest and reliable approach, we have seen things over the years that are worth noting.  Because of this, we have opted to write a blog posting discussing process serving tips and tricks.  By keeping some of these suggestions in mind, it will help to foster an excellent relationship between the law firm and the process server.

Proper Timelines:

It is helpful when receiving a court document for service to be provided proper timelines. The memorandum of instruction should give a deadline for the service date.  By having this deadline date, it is evident when the document must get served.  The service deadline date also helps to determine if the service is routine, rush, or requiring immediate attention.  There are generally higher fees charged when serving documents on a rush or immediate basis.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to be asked to serve a paper on a routine basis but then receive an inquiry within a day or two looking for a status update.  We are always left to wonder if it was a routine service request.   By not correctly noting a timeline, it is setting up the process server to fail, and that is unfortunate.

Report by Date:

Having a report by date is handy.  This date should be between the time of being retained and the service deadline date.  The report by date would be a time that the process server is required to provide a status report.  The status report would identify attempts at service, problems experienced, etc.  The server might report sooner. For example, if an issue surrounding the service arises.

Photographs of Respondents

There are many instances where having a photograph of the respondent would be the difference between effecting a service or not.   Our office once had a service where we had several photos.  The photos included: a picture of the respondent, the vehicle owned by the respondent, and a picture of the respondent standing beside the car.  The information provided proved exceptionally helpful.  While attending to this specific service, I had observed two male individuals moving a couch out of a residence.  Both individuals refused to identify themselves and claimed they were not the respondent. The photos proved invaluable as I was able to show one of the males his photo, a picture of his car that incidentally was parked in the driveway as well as him standing beside the car.  I served the respondent and have laughed about it ever since. Had we not had the photos, I am confident that the service would not have done that evening.  I also believe that the service would have become far more difficult to effect at a later date as repeated attempts would have been necessary.

Telephone Numbers

There are many times when telephone numbers would be handy to have.  Although telephone numbers do not generally get provided, we feel it useful to have any possible contact numbers for a responding party. Our office does not typically call on the first attempt or two.  However, we might call if we sense that an address for service does not look right. We definitely would call after making several attempts at service.

Useful Information

If there is useful information that would help with the service, it is advisable to provide.  For example, if you know when an individual is generally home, that is great to know.   This information would be used as a guideline when attempting a service.  Does the respondent live with anyone?  If so, provide the names especially occupants over the age of 18 years.  Is there employment information?  The likelihood of serving a document quicker can be dependent upon the disclosure provided in a memorandum of instruction. Some of these process serving tips and tricks are useful to consider when retaining a process server for a future matter.

We would welcome the opportunity to assist with the serving of court documents.  For more information, please visit our website at   Feel free to reach out to our office by e-mail at or by telephone 1-613-791-4954