What is Service of Legal Process

In its simplest terms, service of process is the procedure by which a party to a legal action gives appropriate “notice” of a legal action to a person or entity (such as a defendant, respondent, or witness). The legal action may be in a court or administrative body of some type. The purpose of service is to allow the court or administrative body to exercise jurisdiction over that person or entity.

“Notice” is given by delivering a set of legal documents (called “process”) to the person or entity being served. The manner in which notice is given varies widely from state to state. The courses offered here are specific to the rules of service in Washington State.

A Career

Opportunities for professional process servers are ever present. For some it is a life long career and for others it is a stepping stone to other work within the legal system. This includes careers such as:

  • Law enforcement
  • Private investigations
  • Paralegal
  • Guardian ad litem
  • Videography
  • and many more

Get Rich Quick?

Becoming a process server is NOT a quick path to riches and fame. As in any business there are a few who do very well, many more who will moderately succeed, and many more beyond that who simply fail and leave the business behind.

Success is founded on many things. Persistence is one, attention to detail is another. And there are many more. But one of the most important is knowledge. On its surface process serving appears relatively simple. What is not so obvious are the many little traps for the unwary. Traps created by statutory law, court rules, and appellate court decisions. 

For instance, how do you serve a summons and complaint which is part of an action being brought because a state trooper lost control of his vehicle, was involved in a crash, and someone died? If you don’t know the answer do you know how to look it up? If not then you will almost certainly serve the documents in an incorrect manner. Which, depending on circumstances, could make you the person responsible for paying a massive wrongful death judgment!

Knowledge is your best tool in becoming an effective and successful process server. And that is why we’re here.

Process Serving 101

Includes both The Basic Elements and The Video Series

Everything you need to become a

Washington Certified Process Server

through the Center’s certification program.

The Basic Elements

The Video Series

  • Who May Serve
  • When to Serve
  • How to Serve
  • Time
  • Fees
  • The Return of Service
  • Service of the Summons
    • Part 1
    • Part 2
    • Part 3
    • Part 4
  • Advertising
  • Before Service Checklist
  • After Service Checklist

Process Serving 102 – Case Law

The Center believes in offering the best training available. As part of our mission we strive to provide Continuing Professional Development courses in a variety of formats.

Over 30 appellate cases, each dealing with an important aspect of service of process, have been analyzed and summarized to make their meaning clear. These cases cover:

  • Personal Service
  • Abode Service
  • Improper Service
  • Immunity from Service
  • Publication
  • Due Diligence
  • Non-Resident Motorist Act
  • Evasion of Service
  • Time Computation
  • Service on a County
  • Service on an Entity
  • Instructed Service
  • Who May Serve
  • And Much More

Process Serving 103 – Standards and Best Practices

The Center sets the standard for the industry through the creation of standards and best practices. Training, knowledge, ethics, and more are covered in detail.

  • Service of Process
  • Training
  • Communications
  • Record Keeping
  • Field Work – Behavior While Serving
  • Business Practices
  • Proofs of Service
  • Exchange Work – Received
  • Exchange Work – Forwarded
  • And Much More