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What Happens When a Process Server Fails


What Happens When a Process Server Fails

Process servers play a crucial role in the legal system by delivering important legal documents to individuals involved in a court case. However, there are instances when a process server may fail to serve the intended recipient. In such cases, it is important to understand what happens next and what options are available.

When a process server fails, it means that they were unable to successfully deliver the legal documents to the intended recipient. This could be due to various reasons such as the recipient not being available at the given address, refusing to accept the documents, or simply evading service. Whatever the reason, the failure to serve can significantly impact the progress of the legal case.

In such situations, the process server will typically file an affidavit of non-service with the court, providing details of their attempts to serve the individual. This affidavit serves as proof that the server made reasonable attempts to deliver the documents. The court will then decide on the next steps, which could involve alternative methods of service or further attempts to locate and serve the recipient.


1. What happens if the process server fails to serve the recipient?
If the process server is unable to serve the intended recipient, they will file an affidavit of non-service with the court.

2. Can the court proceed without proper service?
No, the court requires proper service to ensure that all parties involved are aware of the legal proceedings.

3. What are alternative methods of service?
Alternative methods of service may include delivering the documents to a family member or authorized representative, posting the documents at the recipient’s address, or even serving through publication.

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4. Can the process server try again to serve the recipient?
Yes, the process server may make multiple attempts to serve the recipient, especially if they believe the individual is evading service.

5. Can a failure to serve lead to the dismissal of a case?
It depends on the specific circumstances and the judge’s decision. In some cases, the court may dismiss the case if proper service cannot be achieved.

6. Can I hire a different process server if one fails?
Yes, if a process server fails, you can hire another one to make further attempts at serving the legal documents.

7. What should I do if I believe the process server is not making sufficient efforts?
If you suspect that the process server is not making reasonable attempts to serve the recipient, you can bring this to the attention of the court and request another attempt or a different process server.

In conclusion, when a process server fails to serve the intended recipient, it can complicate a legal case. However, the court will take appropriate actions to ensure proper service is achieved, either through alternative methods or additional attempts. It is crucial to understand the legal implications and consult with an attorney if you find yourself in such a situation.