process server tactics

Process Server Tactics: Confirming Identities

Process Server Tactics for Finding People

The majority of people that we serve on a daily basis at Diem Legal are not simply sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle. If they were, this job would be a breeze. No, they’re out at work like the rest of us or visiting their probation officer! When you see T.V programmes like ‘Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away’ the debtors are nearly always in, and that’s in the middle of the day.
In reality, the majority of our successful serves take place early morning or late at night, the rest of the time, we’re in investigation mode and planning our process server tactics. As a rule, we don’t knock on the door after 22:30pm, unless there is obvious movement inside the premises and we will not cause a disturbance. The only day that is out of bounds for a process server is Christmas Day. You can therefore imagine how many people we manage to serve on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.


Finding People In The UK

Tracking down our target is just one part of the jigsaw as a process server. Actually getting them to admit who they are and handing them the physical paperwork is another different ball game. In some court cases, with particularly elusive respondents, a special set of rules will be granted by the court judge in order to speed the case up and provide a resolution. However, in most cases it is normal for us to seek positive identification before serving paperwork.
The people we are trying to serve generally know a process server is on their case. Therefore, they try every trick in the book to deny who they are, or any knowledge of anything relating to our presence. Everyone has a weak point though, and the following are all actual tricks we have used to get people to confirm who they actually are, in order to achieve a successful serve.

  1. Calling the respondent while recording them answering on our dash cam is one of our common and successful process server tactics. It’s a great way of proving that someone is who we say they are. The embarrassment factor is usually enough for them to accept the papers from a process server once they’ve been rumbled.
  2. In one particular case, we had a guy who refused to admit that he was Mr X. We had already done our homework though, and anticipated the problems with this case. We checked his identity via social media beforehand, and tracked his updates right up until our visit. We were able to show him a post he had made exactly 19 minutes earlier in identical clothes to what he was currently wearing. Needless to say, he was very red faced and accepted the serve.
  3. We have never dressed up as a postman or delivery courier. Unlike American films depict, this is actually illegal in the UK. We have spoken to delivery people such as pizza delivery or prescriptions being dropped off and have stood with them as they make their delivery. You would be surprised at the number of people that have instinctively blurted out their name to us because they thought we were with the pizza company and that they may get a free meal.
  4. In the summer months next year we will hopefully be using a drone to fly over people’s gardens to ascertain if they are in. We are currently in discussions with some big companies to tie in with them to provide this service. As surveillance technology, such as drones, continues to evolve at an alarming rate, the Diem Legal process server team will utilise it wherever possible.
  5. Facebook serves are now taking place regularly, which is a sign of the times. The court judge has to agree this beforehand, whether or not this is allowed and whether the serve can be made by any means. We have a number of clever tactics to track people down on social media, and these will be covered in a future blog.
  6. A classic way of getting a respondent to admit their identity is to say to them: ‘I believe you are mr/mrs X and I’m going to serve these documents by dropping them at your feet.’ What this means is, if the person does not take them, that the face of the papers has their name and address on it. 99% of people will not want the shame of seeing a Non-molestation order with their name on it, for example and will reluctantly pick the papers up.


Process Server Or Court Bailiff

Using some of the above process server tactics is usually successful. In fact, a process server usually has more success in serving papers than a court bailiff. They are able to track down more respondents due to unsociable working hours and being specialists in particular types of cases. Many process servers will work together, and as such have a huge network through the whole of the UK. Our advice is to admit the inevitable if you’re being served and accept the paperwork. It may prolong things in your own head if you are to keep running, but we will find you, as will the courts, and they will take a dim view on anyone who is intent on being elusive.

Writer’s Bio: Lewis Murawski is the marketing and business development manager at Diem Legal and Managing Director of Kahootz Media. Need professional help with digital marketing? You can connect with Lewis directly on LinkedIn

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