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Once a process server has completed service, the next step is for both the client and the courts to obtain a copy of the service affidavit. A service affidavit is a critical document that shows proof that the service documents were delivered to the intended recipient of service. A service affidavit needs to be notarized and it can act as proof in the event the individual served denies that they received the documents. Getting this important document to the courts and the client is often time-sensitive as the affidavit must be received before the deadline passes. Knowing the best way to get your affidavits to the intended recipient is important, especially during the holidays when mail volume is high. Keep reading to learn the different methods in which process servers can get the service affidavit delivered.
Local process servers can hand deliver affidavits to their clients or submit it into the court system themselves. Hand delivery of affidavits can result in a great customer experience and timely turnaround for clients. Hand delivery may expend more time and efforts, but local process server can consider this option in their services and pricing.
However, not all process servers are able to provide hand delivery of affidavits due to time restrictions, location issues, or other unforeseen complications. That is when other options are most useful.
Many states, like California, Illinois, Texas, and Indiana, and counties now require electronic court filing, or e-filing, of documents in lieu of the traditional filing of documents with the court.
While this may eliminate the step of having to deliver a hard copy to the courts, but not all courts allow e-filing and best practice is to also send a copy of the affidavit to the client for their records.
While eFiling and hand delivery are options that process servers may take to deliver affidavits to the courts and to clients, oftentimes hand delivery is not fastest, or even possible, option to send a client their required affidavit. Instead, many process servers rely on mail delivery services to send affidavits. But which is the best? Here we break down some popular delivery services.
The United States Postal Service offers two choices, registered mail and certified mail, that are acceptable for affidavit delivery. According to the USPS website, they consider these options as add-on insurance services to standard mail delivery.
Registered mail offers “maximum security,” and it comes with a mailing receipt. Upon request, registered mail can provide an electronic delivery verification or a notice that a delivery attempt was made. While this option won’t guarantee 100% delivery, it will provide proof that the documents were sent to the intended recipient (and when).
The second option provided by USPS, certified mail, is arguably more dependable as it requires a signature upon delivery. Not only will you receive proof that you sent the affidavit, but you will also receive proof of successful delivery.
Each option available by the USPS can be accompanied by other add-ons, such as tracking and email confirmations. The prices are fairly inexpensive — ranging from just a few dollars per piece to more than $10 per item.
Another option to get your affidavits to the right place is FedEx. Although typically known for larger packages, FedEx is a popular option for those looking to have a receipt of mailing, tracking options, expedited delivery options, and delivery confirmation. This courier offers a number of shipping options. Prices range depending on the weight of the document and the final location.
If you need to send a large number of papers to one location, FedEx may be a good option, but for regular affidavit delivery, FedEx may not be the best, more affordable choice.
Additionally, some process serving companies opt to use UPS. UPS is especially useful in times when you send paper internationally. Similarly to Fedex, UPS offers document shipping options that come with tracking, delivery confirmation, the option for expedited delivery, and even overnight delivery. Also similar to Fedex, prices range depending on the weight of the document and the final location.
UPS also have options for people who ship weekly or even more often. There are options for payment accounts, regular pickup scheduling, automatic tracking, and even a shipping software if you ship daily. Depending on your volume, these options may provide a higher standard of service that you can pass along to all your clients.
In addition to the frequent shipper options, UPS has a Small Business page which answers questions and can help determine your shipping needs.
Regardless of what delivery service you choose, we recommend sending affidavits in a manila folder to protect the document and keep the case information secure. If you are unsure of what company works best for you, see who is in your area and use the Rate/Quote features on their website to determine costs per shipment.
Additionally, tracking numbers and email confirmations are worth the extra cost as clients often follow-up about the status of their affidavit and delivery date. Since their case deadline is often a factor, they are invested in receiving affidavits on time. Protect your company’s integrity with a tracking number and certified delivery to prove your services are complete.
When it comes to getting affidavits or other legal documents delivered to your clients in a reliable, on time method is essential to your process serving business. Which delivery method does your company prefer to handle filing process service affidavits? Let us know in the comments.
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