Houston process servers perform a valuable task on behalf of courts and attorneys. Unfortunately, the natural instinct of many consumers is to avoid these legal representatives. This does nothing to prevent the progress of ongoing court actions and may even make matters worse in some cases. Here are four reasons you should answer the door and accept the service of legal documents from your local process servers.
Refusing to Accept Service Only Delays the Inevitable
Personal service of court documents is only the first step in a long list of actions the court may take to locate and inform individuals about pending litigation. Under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, courts have a number of options called substituted service when multiple attempts have failed to serve process on an individual:
- The documents can be delivered by certified mail to individuals or businesses.
- If the respondent’s address is known, the process service documents can be attached to the front door of the residence even in the absence of any adults over the age of 16 years.
- Service by publication allows the court or attorney to notify defendants or respondents by publishing notice in local newspapers.
- Signature services from commercial shipping companies like FedEx and UPS can sometimes also be used to serve process on respondents.
- In rare cases, email or social media messaging may also be employed to make contact with individuals and companies.
At best, avoiding process servers can only produce a short delay in the court actions against you. This can draw out the process and will not prevent legal proceedings from commencing in your case.
Avoiding Process Service Deprives You of Valuable Information
The documents delivered by Houston legal process servers typically contain information vital to protecting your interests in the courtroom setting. If an action has been initiated against you, finding out about it in a timely fashion can allow you to plan for your defense and retain legal counsel to manage your case more effectively. Especially in cases that involve debt collection and recovery, a little added time to gather documentation about the alleged amounts owed can sometimes result in a dismissal or a significant reduction in the judgment against you in court. If you are unaware of the actions underway against you, however, you will have no opportunity to defend yourself in court. In most cases, this will lead to a default judgment against you that could lead to garnishment, seizure of bank accounts and other serious financial repercussions.
Accepting Service Can Help You Avoid Embarrassment
If you avoid accepting documents from a Houston process server at home, their next move may be to visit your employer and to serve you with court orders and other documentation at your workplace. This can cause embarrassment for you and may raise unpleasant questions from supervisors and administrative staff. Some process servers may also contact your family members or neighbors in their attempts to determine your whereabouts. By simply accepting service at your home, you can avoid these unpleasant scenes to keep your private life out of the public spotlight.
Accepting Service Can Provide Closure
By avoiding process service, you can often prolong pending litigation for months or even years. Meanwhile, the threat of legal action will continue to cause stress and worry for you and your family. By facing these issues head on and addressing them right away, you can enjoy greater peace of mind and reduced stress regarding pending legal matters.
Texas process servers work on behalf of the court system to deliver necessary documentation to defendants and respondents in a wide range of cases. By opening the door and accepting the documents delivered by these hard-working professionals, you can protect your own financial interests and reduce the risks associated with courtroom proceedings and legal actions.