process server

Process Servers Quick Guide

Service Rules

Below is some basic information covered by the CPR Rules, a full copy of which can be found at the Department of Constitutional Affairs website. The rules below are intended as a guide only. Your process server will be aware of any specific issues relating to the documents you have.

A document must be personally served unless CPR Rules allow otherwise (such as a Statutory Demand) or you have authority the issuing Court allowing service by another means.

A document must be served within the standard timescales allowed by the Court, unless you have special approval from the issuing Court.

The document can be served at any time of the day or night, on any day of the week, and is not limited to the address of the subject shown on the document. It is generally best practice to serve a limited company during normal business hours, or during their usual working hours if they are different. We also discourage clients from requesting us to serve on important dates such as Christmas Day unless there is a very specific need to do so.

A legal document should NOT be personally served in an envelope as the contents should be clearly visible to the subject of service. In some cases a standard letter can be served in an envelope, but the process server must have seen it's contents.

Only a Court can make an amendment to an issued document. Attempting to amend it yourself can invalidate it.

Where service is required on a husband and wife, personal service should be effected on both parties. It is not acceptable to leave both sets of documents with one person.

Documents for persons under 18 years of age should be served upon their parent or guardian, or the person with whom the child resides with or whose care they are in.

Documents for Patients who by reason of mental disorder are incapabale of managing their own affairs should be served upon the person authorised under the Mental Health Act 1983 to conduct proceedings in their name, or on the person with whom the patient resides with or is in the care of.

Time Scales For Service

Claim Form Within 4 months of the date of issue (or amendment), or within 6 months if it is served out of the Jurisdiction.
Particulars of Claim Within 14 days of service of the Claim Form.
Application Notice As soon as possible, and not less than 3 days before the hearing
N39 Order to Attend Court for Questioning Not less than 14 days before the date appointed for the examination to take place
N79a Suspended Committal Order Not less than 14 days before the date appointed for the examination to take place
Claim for Possession of Land Residential - not less than 5 clear days before hearing.Other Land - not less than 2 clear days before hearing.
Notice of Application for Attachment of Earnings It is recommended  that if personally served, it is at least 8 clear days before the hearing.
Notice of Application for Injunction Not less than 3 days before the Court is due to hear the application
Divorce Petition No set timescale
Judgment Summons Personal service not less than 10 days before the Hearing. Debtor is entitled to a reasonable sum to cover travelling expenses.
Family Law - Applications with Notice Not less than 2 business days before the date on which the Application is being heard
Family Law - Application without Notice As soon as possible
Statutory Demand No set time limit
Winding Up Petition It should be dealt with as a matter of urgency, and in any case at least 21 days before the date of the Hearing.
Bankruptcy Petition Not less than 14 clear days before the Hearing
Magistrates Court Summons Where circumstances permit it should be served at least 7 days before the Hearing



Statements, Affidavits & Others

Statement or Certificate of Service - a document signed by the process server, as testament to the service of your documents. The Statement will show a Statement of Truth reading similar to 'I believe the facts contained in this Statement are true'.

Sworn Affidavit - requires the server to attend at the offices of a Commissioner for Oaths (or a County Court if relevant), and swear on Oath that the information contained in his Affidavit is true. This is why you will see a signature of the process server, and a further signature of the person who he/she has sworn in front of. As there is more work involved in the producing of an Affidavit of Service (and usually a charge by the Commissioner for Oaths), we do make a charge for the provision of an Affidavit.

Notarised Affidavit - Documents originating from outside of the UK may require for us to swear Affidavit in the presence of a Affidavit Creation, and not a Commissioner for Oaths. They can charge highly for their time, therefore if you require this service we recommend you contact us.

If you are unsure which document you require (some documents only require a Statement, others always require an Affidavit) please just include 'please supply the relevant confirmation of service' on your instructing letter to us. We will always provide you with a free of charge Statement if it is acceptable in your case.

We hope this Process Server's Quick Guide has, and will continue to help you.

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