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How to Become a Process Server in Michigan

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Michigan, unlike many states, does not require process servers to be licensed. In fact, according to state process service laws, any "legally competent adult," who is not a corporate party officer or a party, is permitted to serve. Process servers work with courts and attorneys to deliver legal documents, such as summonses and subpoenas, to defendants. These documents are often delivered to the defendant's home or workplace. In an interview with the International Process Servers Association, Richard Zicari said that the most important trait a process server can have is reliability.

Familiarize yourself with Michigan state process laws (see Resources), including: -600.1831 Civil process; exemptions. [M.S.A. 27a.1831] -600.1835 Civil process; privileged persons. [M.S.A. 27a.1835] -600.1841 Civil process; service on Great Lakes or border waters Keep in mind that no services can take place on holidays. Also, be familiar with the following rules, and how they pertain to serving various individuals, including minors, and companies: -Rule 2.103 Process; Who may serve -Rule 2.104 Process; Proof of service -Rule 2.105 Process; Manner of service -Rule 2.506 Subpoena Some processes, such as property seizure and arrests, can only be served by law enforcement officers.

Gain practical experience with an area process serving firm. Inquire about any opportunities at a local firm, even if it is only shadowing a veteran server. Try to secure a summer internship, and network aggressively. Learn about proper delivery methods, collecting service fees, gathering confirmation of delivery and remaining professional in all of your interactions. Become proficient in various process server software, such as Loyal Dog and Process Place.

Consider earning your Certified Process Server designation. Certification is contingent on passing a written exam on the laws and procedures that relate to the civil process, according to the Michigan Court Officer, Deputy Sheriff & Process Servers Association (MCODSA) website. The exam is generally offered at least twice a year, in April and November, and costs $200 or $100 for MCODSA members. While the state of Michigan does not require process servers to become CPSs, some courts are beginning to mandate certification. Consult the Michigan Court Officers Civil Process Handbook, which is available for purchase online, for information on this process.

Be sworn in at the court you will be working with. For more information, you may contact the court administrator. You may also visit a site such as FindLaw.com for a list of private firms that hire process servers (see Resources).

Tip

Having good insurance is highly recommended, so contact an insurance company to get bonded.

About the Author

Marlon Trotsky was born in St. Paul, Minn. and graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, while minoring in sociology. His work has appeared in various print and online publications, including: "The Trentonian," "San Jose Mercury News" and "Oakland Tribune."

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