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A civil process server is someone who personally delivers a non-criminal lawsuit or a subpoena to another person. In most states, one of the responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Department is to handle process serving, but private citizens can also offer this service, provided that the court authorizes them to do so. Texas has several rules pertaining to becoming a civil process server for matters within the state.
To be legally able to serve process in Texas, a person must be 18 or older and must not be a party to or have any interest in the outcome of the matter at issue. The citizen must also be physically and mentally able to follow the rules that govern how service is to be perfected. For example, the process server must be able to fill out and verify the Affidavit of Service to be filed in connection with the case.
Texas is one of eight states that require process servers to be licensed. To become licensed, a person must complete a Texas-sponsored training program, submit to a criminal background check, provide a driver’s license and fingerprints and fill out an application. A review committee then oversees the application package and decides whether or not to grant a license. Once licensed by the state, Texas civil process servers may apply to become appointed to a permanent process server list in each individual county. They can also petition the court to be named to serve process in individual cases.
Affidavit of Service Requirements
A key requirement of Texas civil process server rules is that the agent who makes service must document the date and time when he received the matter to be served. Additionally, once service the papers have been physically served, the process server must fill out an Affidavit of Service and sign it in front of a notary public.
Rules Concerning Fees
Texas process servers cannot ask for or collect fees up front from their clients. Once service has been perfected or attempted, an invoice can then be sent.
Janice Fahy is a freelance writer who is comfortable researching and writing on just about any topic under the sun. With a professional history that includes more than 15 years of writing for newspapers, magazines, law firms and private Web clients, she also writes for Break Studios, eHow and Trails.