A lot of people may be unaware that the personal service or delivery of claim forms, statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions, divorce papers and the like are often carried out by the 1,000 or so Professional Private Investigators operating as Process Servers in the UK on a daily basis.
The arrival of mandatory licensing in the UK for the Private Investigators will reinforce the already exacting standards that we and other investigators in the private sector acting as process servers already adhere to.
In anticipation of licensing we have been proactive and have built up: Private Investigator Training UK, whereby our trainers offer the L3 Professional Investigator Award that was accredited by the SIA as being a valid proof of a learners: Probity, ethics and standards.
We receive serves through the Document Exchange (The: “DX”) or through the post. We have a couple of ex-military personnel who serve Court Papers such as: Statutory Demands (Statutory Demand under section 268(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986), or, if the debtor ignores this document the Bankruptcy Petition that follows (Creditor’s Bankruptcy Petition on Failure to Comply with a Statutory Demand for a Liquidated Sum Payable Immediately).
We support the Legal Services throughout the area in collecting urgent serves directly from the offices of solicitors on a regular basis in our immediate area of West Yorkshire and its main conurbations of Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Halifax and Huddersfield. These serves can range from family law matters such as domestic violence Injunctions or occasionally a Claim Form for Possession of Property. This Claim Form obtained from the County Court and is issued by the Solicitor to remove in most cases travellers from a particular site. A Witness Statement will accompany the Claim Form and will set out the facts of who actually owns the land. We serve the papers by placing maybe seven or eight Claim Forms in clear waterproof plastic covers around the land in question and hand some out to the occupiers themselves. The papers give the defendants or “Persons Unknown”, a date when the matter will be heard in court.
The secret to good process serving is courtesy and professionalism. The heavy handed approach is not required. Very occasionally you will be thanked for keeping the matter confidential or for being tactful when approaching a person’s residence.
The people that you serve are infinitely varied and will frustrate and enthuse you in equal measures…you can might meet a TV celebrity one day and a down and out the next…
The process servers job is not nine to five as work during the evenings and weekends is part of the job. As most people are out working during the working week, the best times to effect serves are early Saturday or Sunday mornings (Although try to avoid being too early…..it is counterproductive) and during the evenings.
When you serve documents you need to be aware of the Data Protection Act – in that the information you hold in the papers is very much, “Personal Information”. Exercise caution when speaking to a party that has not been identified as being the person you are serving….
Everyone has the right to have respect for their private and family life, home and correspondence – just make sure you bear this in mind and don’t act like a fool.
When you choose a process server you need to check that they are capable of producing error free Statements of Service or Affidavits of Service. These documents prove to the Court that the document has been served in the prescribed manner.
So, in summary, we recommend that you select a process serving firm that also operates as Private Investigators. Try to ensure that they belong to an appropriate Trade Association and have full Professional Indemnity Insurances. It will be a bonus if they are established and accredited, perhaps with a qualification in professional investigations in the private sector. Effective process server field craft training is also a pre requist.