service of process

Service of Process in The UK Changes Due To Digital Disruption

Writer’s Bio: Lewis Murawski is the Managing Director of Kahootz Media digital marketing agency. He has been ranking websites on the first page of Google for more than 10 years. 

If you want to be successful in any business nowadays you must move with the times and open your eyes to the fact that Digital Disruption is happening everywhere. Technology is changing the way we operate, do business and live our lives forever.

Service Of Process UK

Process Servers should know that one week or two weeks to serve court documents is no longer good enough. Clients want same day or next day service as standard. The process servers that are ahead in the game are already using social media, and other digital channels to not only connect with clients in the first place, but also enable the server to track and monitor respondents’ behaviour to provide an unbeatable chance of being in the right place at the right time when serving court papers.

Many of our clients contact us directly via our website, they don’t even have to speak to us on the phone if they don’t want to. We have Live Chat where people can speak to us in real time while sat outside a courthouse or on a beach somewhere overseas. Compare that to even a few years ago when most enquiries were phone calls, and it highlights the importance of a strong online presence and communication channels to the end user for successful process servers.

If our clients are contacting us directly online now, what’s to stop us from serving court papers via Facebook, or other means via the internet?

The law usually states that service of process in the UK must be carried out in person for the majority of court orders. That’s not to say that provisions may be granted further down the line in the case of particularly elusive respondents. It’s likely, that will increased abilities to track people’s behaviour and receipt of messages online, that service of process will become more frequent, but the court is likely to look more favourably if a professional process server has completed the job rather than you attempting service of process yourself.

Did you know?
Facebook has a pattern recognition software that can recognise faces better than humans themselves!

It’s a growing trend in the U.S for Federal courts to allow service of process via Facebook as the sole means of service. It’s not a blanket policy, however, and there are courts that have ruled out its use as means of service of process.

Service Of Process Via Facebook

There is such a grey area for overseas process serving, as the rules in one country may be that service of process is not allowed via Facebook or the internet, but the respondent may be located in a country where it is more widely accepted. The UK is a relatively small island with a dense population, but imagine the problems of locating a single individual in the Australian outback and you can see the differences in International Process Serving.

Of course, savvy respondents that elude the service of process by traditional means may also have enough nouse to delete their social profiles or act under another guise online. However, Process servers that are digitally savvy will have the edge in the coming years, and those that are unwilling to utilise the strengths of modern technology within their business are likely to find demand for their services in a gradual decline. We are living in a culture where everything is immediate – the majority of things can be done at the press of a button from an office or armchair.

Internet Service Of Process

The Process serving industry is evolving, and the process serving companies that are able to provide realtime updates on cases by utilising up-to-date technology will set themselves apart from the rest and achieve a competitive advantage.

Did you know?
It is predicted that by 2020 more than 70% of the world’s population will own a smartphone. And with many handsets available for just $10 in certain parts of the world that figure could be even higher.

Serving Court Papers Online

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. The process serving industry is not immune to this, and ironically those most at risk of ignoring the digital trends have been process serving for many years and could be reluctant to change.
Whether we’re serving papers via Facebook, WhatsApp or not in the coming years, if we look any further we could be utilising self-driving cars to carry out our day-to-day job. Crazy? It’s called Digital Disruption and whether you’re a Lawyer, Process Server, Taxi Driver or Estate Agent you are probably experiencing it right at this very moment.
The Ministry Of Justice has already put plans forward for defendants being able to plead guilty online. Marilyn Stowe, a leading family law firm in the UK, recently reported that entirely online divorce proceedings could be available as early as June 2017.

If these measures are approved, it will change the legal landscape in the UK forever and inevitably lead to other digitally-led initiatives receiving the green light.

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