An affidavit of non-service is a sworn legal statement or document that indicates that a person was unable to serve legal documents. This sworn statement goes on record to demonstrate the effort made to reach the recipient of the legal documents and provide important details about when and how service was attempted. If the legal case actually reaches court, and a dispute over service of the legal documents arises, this affidavit of non-service can be used as evidence to validate a good faith effort to make contact with the intended recipient of the documents.
Individuals tasked with serving legal documents can include law enforcement officers, as well as private process servers which specialize in this task as part of their business. In both instances, individuals are tasked with locating the subject of the documents and personally serving or delivering it to the intended recipient. Some additional procedure may need to be followed, such as tracking down a forwarding address or finding out where a person works at. If an initial attempt at service is unsuccessful, additional attempt may be necessary. Process servers may ask friends and neighbors for help when attempting to locate the recipient with the end goal of successfully serving the legal documents. Successfully serving the documents on the intended recipient is also known as perfecting service or perfection of service.
If, despite trying to serve the legal documents in every reasonable place and at a variety of different days and times, and the process server declares it undeliverable, an affidavit of non-service is completed and forwarded to the client. The affidavit of non-service identifies the name of the process server and provides contact information before listing the details about the various service attempts and explaining why they failed. When a process server makes various attempts to serve the documents it is also called due diligence. A process server might note that they have spoken to a neighbor who said the intended recipient moved without leaving a forwarding address, for instance, or that an employer indicated that the individual was no longer employed with the company.
In the affidavit of non-service, the process server documents the due diligence used to try to find the subject of the document. Depending on the type of case involved, various legal actions can be taken, including moving forward with the case and potentially entering a judgment against the subject in absentia.
Process servers try to avoid situations where they end up having to draft an affidavit of non-service, as this can make a case more difficult to proceed with in court. Process servers are permitted to use a variety of techniques when tracking people down to serve legal papers, and sometimes it can take several weeks to successfully locate someone, especially if that person is actively attempting to avoid the process server. When the intended recipient avoids the process server, this can also be referred to as evading service. It is advisable for individuals to leave a forwarding address and work information when they move to avoid instances where a process server tries to reach them and fails, allowing court proceedings to move on without them. In the end, process servers ensure due process of law afforded under the United States Constitution.
AGGRESSIVE AND PROFESSIONAL NATIONWIDE PRIVATE PROCESS SERVERS