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Process service is sometimes called a "recession-proof" job because even in a bad economy, there is always the need for process servers. If you have no experience in the field, there are numerous ways to learn the profession, such as taking classes, reading books, attending association meetings and mentoring with a professional process server. Before advertising your services, you must understand the state and federal regulations governing process service and complete any state licensure requirements.
Take a class. Learning the regulations affecting process service in your area is essential, so contact a regional process service association or college. Inquire about introductory courses on process service. The National Association of Professional Process Servers recommends that basic study topics include due process of law, structure of state and federal courts, purpose of civil process, state and federal regulations, licensing or other regulatory requirements, proofs of service and ethics.
Read a book. The National Association of Professional Process Servers offers a list of educational books on process servicing that outline the basic requirements and tools for becoming a process server. PIstore.com also offers books to learn the basics of process service.
Study the regulations. As of May 2011, the following states require a person to obtain a license to practice process service: Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington. The National Association of Professional Process Servers lists state and federal laws regarding licensure and statutes.
Attend a meeting. Many process server associations open their meetings to the public, which are excellent opportunities to network with other process servers and learn about the profession. The National Association of Professional Process Servers lists all chartered state organizations, including contact information.
Mentor with a professional process server. It is beneficial to gain on-the-job training as a process server to understand what strategies work best in varying, and sometimes difficult, real-world situations. After ensuring you meet local and state regulations to practice process service (see Step 3), contact local process servers and request an internship. If you are unsure which process servers to contact, contact your state or regional process server association and ask for recommendations.
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- National Association of Professional Process Server: Process Serving Best Practices
- ServeNow; Process Server License: Which States Require One?; April 2011
- National Association of Professional Process Servers: Process Server Laws
In 1997 Harlequin published Colleen Collins' first novel, followed by many more by Harlequin and Dorchester. Her articles and writing have appeared in "P.I. Magazine," "Pursuit Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan." She earned a B.A. in theater arts from University of California, Santa Barbara and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.