Process Serving in Prison

Sent To Prison! Process Server Weekly Update 2017 #3

By Charlotte Beard – Director, Wax Jacket Group Ltd

Last week we had some good fresh enquiries through via our website from solicitors who have heard about us recently, and lots of questions answered via our Live Chat facility. We were also sent to prison, and one of our process servers was attacked. More on that later…

Last week in Numbers:

  • 41 Non-Molestation domestic abuse court orders served
  • 12 Pre-Litigation mortgage reports served
  • 5.5 Finance reconnects (I say the .5 because the customer was paying the arrears on the phone as we knocked on the door)
  • 2 Statutory Demands served
  • 1 poorly computer in need of repair

Serving Court Documents to Someone in Prison

Last week we received a request to process serve an individual in a Norwich prison. This is a specialist job, and one that requires seamless communication and plenty of planning to comply with prison and process serving rules.

The day of the prison serve:

It wasn’t the coldest day we’ve had recently, but it was most definitely a bitter one. I was required to serve a prohibited steps order to an inmate at HM Prison Norwich. The prison is a striking building, that has stood at the top of Mousehould Heath looking over the city of Norwich since 1887. Based on previous legal visits to the prison, I am well aware how cold it can be there. Today is not a day to forget my coat.

process serving prison

Serving a Prohibited Steps Order

I received a call from the team mid-morning, to advise the prohibited steps order would also require a non-molestation order serving in tandem. Legal counsel had not waited for a copy of the order and requested me to head into the Norwich Family Court to collect a copy. All part of the service!

I head off up the A11 with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately, the second the ice arrives, drivers slow to an almost snail-like pace. Arriving at the court, I see a fellow process server who is working on behalf of a mutual client. We exchange pleasantries and promise to meet up for coffee to discuss best working practice in the industry moving forward.

The papers have been drawn, and are waiting in a sealed envelope for me to collect. I have 20 minutes spare before my pre-booked visit at the prison. I suggest to the team that we have a quick catch up call, to cover the jobs that have arrived in today.

Process Server Attacked

I am informed on the call of a serious incident that has taken place. One of our process servers has been attacked, whilst attempting to serve documents in a Northern City. This is the third incident in as many weeks – a process server in Sheffield was also assaulted with a cigarette recently. I halt the call, and ring the process server that was injured in his line of work. He is in good spirits, and feeling a little silly that he allowed himself to be put into the position where the respondent could attack. It raises an interesting quandary. Do I re-introduce body cameras and stab vests to the team? We don’t want to come across as aggressors, but protecting our process servers in their line of work is vital.

It’s time for the prison visit. I have for the 1st time managed to park just outside the wing where visits take place. I go in an find its very empty today. In fact, there isn’t anyone around except the guards. I’m informed the visits are taking place in a different wing today, and I should make my way through the grounds to another. It’s not my lucky day. The heavens have opened and I’m not going to get through two security gates without getting soaked.

serving someone in prison

Prison Court Order Explained

My subject, the respondent, has been brought into a private room for me to run through the order. This ensures he understands what he is and isn’t able to do, relating to his children and ex-partner.
The order has some very specific clauses that the respondent needs to understand. A breach of these may results in him being imprisoned – and / or fined. The respondent understands the order but has a few questions, which I’m able to answer.

Next to the prison is a cafe – Cafe Britannia.  It’s the former barracks, with spectacular views over the City of Norwich. The cafe is staffed by category D low risk prisoners, that have volunteered to learn new skills, improve their lives, and make a fresh start. All tips and profits generated from the cafe go to rehabilitating prisoners and charitable cause. They serve the best cakes and the coffee is excellent. Being so close to the prison means it’s a great place for me to catch-up on paperwork.

Wax Jacket Data Protection

It’s a personal mission of mine to help make Wax Jacket the company that people talk about for all the right reasons. I have a real sense of passion and pride when I hear people mention the “speedy” service or “quick turnaround” that can be lacking in this industry. With that in mind, I get the MacBook straight out and begin the statement of service. Because of where I am, the personal details shall be added in the office to comply with our strict rules on Data Protection compliance. One of my pet hates is hearing meetings in coffee shops or hotel lounges, where very personal and confidential information is aired for all and sundry to hear.

Facts about Process Serving Someone in Prison

  • Our prices start at £50 + VAT for a prison process serve
  • If you know the prisoners number you can book a visit on line direct with the prison
  • If you don’t know what prison a subject/ respondent is in you can use prisoner location services  then contact the prison and request a visit.
  • It’s important that people in prison are served non-molestation orders, as they still have the ability to harass the survivors via phone calls and text messages, as well as encouraging others to do so on their behalf.
  • The law is the same in prison as it is out of it – you must have confirmation that the person you are serving is the correct person and that they are served in the correct manner

Motor Finance Visit

One final task for me before heading back to HQ. The team have a Motor Finance case just 1 minute’s drive from the prison they would like me to look at before returning to the office. The documents ping through on my phone. It’s a very nice Porsche 911 that the borrower has defaulted on. The cost of the arrears and incidentals isn’t that high. To be honest, I’ve seen almost double the arrears on a Ford Focus.

Arriving at the house, I’m in luck, or so I thought. The car is parked on the drive and there is signs of life inside the house. I knock on the door to see if the borrower is in. Unfortunately, it’s his wife that answers. She advises that her husband, the borrower, is not due back until the weekend. I shall return to speak to him then and update you all as to the outcome next week.

Charlotte Beard

Director

Wax Jacket Group LTD

Process Server of all Court & Legal Documents – Statutory Demands, Bankruptcy, Divorce Petitions & more…

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