Safety of Process Servers – Legal Document Servers

January 6, 2024
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Process Servers – Safe & Effective Legal Document Serving

How you can assist your process server to serve your legal documents safely?

Serving legal documents for process servers are hazardous especially with alcohol, drug abuse and mental health issues continually on the increase in our community. While the dangers of serving legal documents are not new, we have found clients don’t always realise the risks associated with legal document serving by process servers in New Zealand. Sometimes, the process servers can be sent into the “lions den” that is emotionally fuelled.

There are a few steps both clients and process servers can take to ensure that legal documents are served safely to minimise the risk.

Consider this to help your process server…

Serving legal documents or Court proceedings safely starts with obtaining information about the recipient or defendant. As a client, there are a few things to consider:

  • Advise the process server of any concerns or history of violence involving the individual concerned or the situation that has caused legal action to be taken.
  • Does the assignment involve emotional or potentially threatening situations (protection orders, parenting orders, divorce applications, etc).
  • Provide as much detailed information as you can about the assignment and the recipient or defendant to the process server.

We train our process servers…

Our process servers are trained in conflict management and personal safety tactics. To ensure personal safety and effective service, process servers must always…

  • Stay alert and aware of their surroundings.
  • If there is a potential threat or the situation appears to be hazardous, they must re-evaluate and attempt service at another time.
  • Our process servers always remain polite, respectful and professional despite the often abrasive behaviour of the recipient or defendant.
  • Understand that receiving legal documents or Court proceedings maybe a trigger, they should attempt to diffuse tension and manage any conflict.
  • Take additional precautions when serving legal documents or Court proceedings at night (including a stab proof vest).
  • Park their motor vehicle is a safe area with quick access to allow them to leave if a volatile situation is evident.
  • Never go inside a property even if invited, always take a few steps back from the door.
  • To avoid a potential assault, never turn their back on the recipient or defendant being served.