Notary Public & Legal Support Network Blog

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Convicted Felons acting as Process Servers

A NON-MEMBER OF THE NETWORK ASKS: You declined to accept me as a [Process Server] member of your network because I was convicted of a felony three years ago. Why can't I serve as a Process Server?

ANSWER: A Process Server is someone, authorized by law and court rules, who serves various types of legal process usually issued by a court of law, or an official authorized by court authority to issue process on behalf of the court (i.e.: justice of the peace, notary public).

In accordance with the law, a Process Server has to be a person of high standing and character. In fact, in Massachusetts, an experienced person can be appointed as a Special Process Server under a "4(c) Motion" {Mass.R.Civ.P. 4(c) }. A "4(c) Motion" is a litigants written request (motion) to appoint a special process server for service of process in a specific case. The person asking (motioning) the court to appoint a special process server is swearing, under penalties of perjury, that the person he/she wants appointed to serve process is (1) credible, (2) honest, and (3) of high standing and character. Obviously if a person has been convicted of a felony less then 10 years ago, that person is presumed to be dishonest and non-credible in a court of law.

Can a covicted felon become a police officer or constable? The answer is no!

Hypothetically, lets say a convicted felon is going around pretending to be a credible process server. The "wannabe process server" hides the fact that he is a convict from lawyers and members of the public and serves court process. Then, in one case, the opposing party(ies) investigates the case against him/her. They decide to check every aspect, including the technicalities involved with service of process. (Attorneys for litigants check nearly 95% of the time)

They obtain the paperwork that was legally served and look up the process server's name. Next, they do a simple background check on the process server by looking through old court records. Shockingly, they learn that the process server is a convicted felon who has been incarcerated in the past. Additionally, they learn that the person who served them has an extensive criminal record. What do you think is going to happen?

The opposing party(ies) would motion the court and contest service of process. Who do you think will win? The convict who is impersonating a credible court process server? Or the opposing party?

There have been cases where judges have permanently banned a person from acting as a process server. In fact, go here to review one such case:

IN CONCLUSION, if you are a convict, don't go around pretending to be a credible process server. One day your credibility will be questioned and your convict status will be exposed! You'll find yourself in a lot of hot water civilly, as well as criminally!



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