A Real Day In The Life of a Process Server
A Process Server is often seen as the ‘bad guy’. After all, it’s their job to serve the court and legal documents that the recipient definitely does not want to receive. But the fact is, most process servers are decent, hardworking people with family and social lives to juggle with what can be a very stressful and deadline-driven occupation.
Charlotte Beard is a Director of Diem Legal LTD – a nationwide UK process server. She gives us the lowdown of a recent typical day in her life as a process server…
06:30am – The Alarm Clock goes off and I hit the snooze button – I’m a process server but I am no different to the majority of human beings – does anyone like getting up in the morning?
06:40am – The Alarm Clock goes off AGAIN and I know it’s finally time to get up. I grab my phone and check the emails that have come in overnight (international clients don’t work to GMT so we will often receive contact around the clock 24/7).
07:00am – Now comes the important part… the dog and the chickens are fed and an extra large pot of coffee is prepared.
07:30am – It is breakfast time and also the ideal opportunity to catch up with team to run through the day’s cases.
8:00am – I congratulate the team on planning my route, as the first two jobs appear to be just around the corner – always a bonus. Communication is via Skype, mobile or various other means. It doesn’t always require face-to-face meetings, which saves time and means we can speak to each other from various locations.
09:00am – I head out to my first job. A (mortgage arrears) client has asked me to help them reconnect with their customer who hasn’t paid their mortgage for the last 3 months. Such cases can vary, so I always keep an open mind.
09:15am – I arrive at the property and run through I&E (income & expenditure) with the debtor to help understand why they have not paid and ascertain the likelihood of them being able to afford further payments.
09:50am – I already arrive at my 2nd job of the day, a field service call for an insurance company. I run through the claim with the policy holder, and take photographs of the water damaged carpet, ceiling and the walls etc to provide to the insurer.
10:00am – It’s time for me to write an overview of the case to the insurance company. They will then assess the information provided, to see if it’s in line with the claim and then they will decide how to proceed.
10:25am – Following a short journey, I arrive at a farm house in the middle of nowhere. This is common for a process server, and it’s often a case of trying to locate a difficult-to-find property. Rarely are there numbers in these rural locations, so I have to keep a keen eye out for house names.
10:30am – Luckily, it’s a car we need to locate, which my eagle-process-server eye spots sitting on the driveway of the property. I speak to the occupier, who mentions that they have recently lost their job and had therefore stopped paying the finance company.
11:00am – Discretion kicks in, as this is obviously an unfortunate position for anyone to be in. However, I still have to be professional as a process server. I call the finance company while I am on site, so a payment plan can be put in place to suit both parties. Job done, and the occupier is relieved to see some compassion. It’s all part of what makes a successful process server.
12:00pm – I begin the journey to Lowestoft to meet with a lady who has obtained a non-molestation order against her partner. I discussed the options for serving paperwork in detail and we both agreed it would be best to go straight to the Mr’s place of work and process serve him there.
12:45pm – Arriving at Mr X’s place of work (a restaurant in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk) I positively identify the subject via a photo provided by applicant and serve the papers to him discreetly. A swift text is sent to the applicant to advise that serve had taken place and confirm a positive result.
13:00pm – A stop for lunch and I also check in with the office, so they can prepare an affidavit for non-molestation order and update the system with the days jobs completed thus far.
14:00pm – On the way to a Norwich-based Solicitors – those guys work just as hard as the Diem Team to collect urgent papers. We have a good working relationship with all of our solicitor clients as we share a common goal. It’s our job to help reduce the lifecycle of their outstanding cases and it’s important we work closely.
15:30pm – I’m back in the office and have an update with team before they head home to enjoy the rest of the weekend . I study the team brief and make sure the Diem Legal out of hours process server team member has all the necessary information to deal with any jobs that will come in out of hours.
4:00pm – I prepare for a couple of hours time off work. It’s not all fun though, as have a surveillance/discrete enquire case later this evening to attend to. That’s not to mention a 5-year-old that wants to visit the Norwich festival! It’s a challenge juggling a work/life balance running a process serving company.
19:30pm – I arrive at an Indian restaurant for dinner, with the additional motive of finding out if our subject is working (client requires evidence that Mr X is working in the UK) it’s our job to provide conclusive evidence.
20:00pm – 3 popadums , 2 onion bhajis and a chicken Danzak later I am stuffed, but more importantly I have the evidence required to report back to client that Mr X is in fact an employee and performing waiting duties. Job done!
21:10pm – As most people are either sipping on a cocktail or readying their PJs I stop at a property en route to home in Norwich to check that a property is occupied (a commercial client required an occupancy check on behalf of their client, who lives abroad).
21:45pm – Finally, I arrive home, check up on the little one who is being cared for by partner and make my way downstairs to catch up with X factor. See we are human, after all!
Process Server summary
It’s not always glamorous, it’s not always enjoyable, but being a process server requires a unique skill set of being adaptable, calm and prepared to challenge the unexpected head on. We work to super-tight deadlines, which means there isn’t a huge amount of time for strategy. We must, as a team, think on our feet and react quicker than our targets to ensure positive results.
Diem Legal is a process server and document collection company working throughout the UK. We also provide an expert people tracing service.
Winding Up Petitions
N79a Suspended committal order
N84 Third Party Debt Order
N39 – order to attend court
Prohibited Steps Order