Stephanie Mitchell wrote two very important articles on Process Server Safety and dealing with and preventing dogs bites while serving process but the basic question still remains, “Is process serving dangerous?”
Unfortunately, there have been several recent instances where process servers have been attacked and / or killed while serving court documents. While it is extremely rare, it seems to be a problem that is worsening rather than getting better. I’m not sure whether that is because there is more process being served in a gloomy economy where many people are growing increasingly frustrated or if the 24 hour news cycle and a plethora of news outlets are striving to deliver more news and we are hearing about h0micides and assaults that would have otherwise been buried 5 or 10 years ago.
The simple answer is, “Yes, service of process can be a dangerous assignment… but it does not have to be.” In all things common sense must prevail. Here is a recent video that discusses some common sense tips about process server safety that closely parallels the article Stephanie wrote a year and a half ago.
To recap the information in the video:
- Use common sense
- Talk to the client- is the subject known to have been violent in the past?
- Contact the police if you believe the person being served may react violently.
- Know your surroundings.
- Keep your car close and a cell phone handy.
- Go with a partner.
- Be friendly and polite.
- Never turn your back on the subject.
Remember, while most process servers will never find themselves in a life or death situation there is no job in the world that is worth your life! Let common sense be your guide and stay safe out there!