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What Is a Service of Process?

It is the right of an individual to be informed if court proceedings have begun in his or her name. In the event that it does, the individual is served a set of documents referred to as process that details the legal proceedings that involve him or her. The process of delivering such documents is called service of process. Upon the delivery and receipt of the process or legal documents, service of process is completed and a lawsuit exists between a plaintiff and a defendant.

The purpose of service of process is to alert an individual in the event that legal proceedings have begun against him or her. This is to provide the individual with enough time to respond to such legal proceedings. Each jurisdiction however has its own set of rules as to how to conduct a service of process. This generally involves the delivery and receipt of a summons as well as the process or legal documents that detail the claim or case being filed against an individual. The summons and the process must be personally received by the individual summoned or by another who is of age and is able to represent the individual, upon the discretion of the party in charge of the service of process.

If an individual can rightfully claim that he or she has not received service of process, he or she is not legally bound to the court’s decision. It is even possible for the individual to challenge the decision in the event that service of process is proven to have failed.

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