Process serving or service of process is the procedure where a person is given legal notice that they are summoned before a court for a hearing. This usually involves a set of court documents known as the "process" that is delivered to the person being served.
Different areas and jurisdictions will have different rules regarding process servers. Typically, the serving of documents requires personal service by the process server, which means that the documents are served to the party personally. In some cases, such as in some small claims court procedures, service of process may be conducted through the mail.
The most common sort of cases where process servers are required is in family law cases and divorce.
Often process servers will provide additional legal services as well as process serving, and often also debt collection services, warrants, repossessions, and eviction services as similar skills may be required. They will often work on a fee basis determined by where the documents need to be served.
They may also offer services to find missing persons as these skills will also be required.
Many process servers may also outsource their documents to third party process servers in order to carry our process serving in farther locations and overseas.