Process Server Safety Policy
Michigan Civil Process Service recognizes the spread of COVID-19 as a threat to the safety and well-being of our staff, clients, witnesses and defendants alike. Accordingly, we have enacted the following policies and procedures in order to minimize the spread of the disease as much as it is within our power. We will continue to monitor local, state, and federal agencies for guidance on the best ways to stay safe and will update our policies accordingly.
The following policies outline the safety requirements of all office staff and visitors.
In an effort to minimize person-to-person contact in the office, only essential staff will be permitted to come in. All staff whose presence in the office is not required to do their job will work remotely. A staff member who is feeling sick and experiencing symptoms or has been in contact with someone feeling sick and experiencing symptoms is to stay home.
Those working in the office will:
- Submit to a daily health screening that includes taking their temperature and reporting potential exposure.
- Remain six feet away from other staff at all times.
- Wear a face mask at appropriate times.
- Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer regularly and before touching shared supplies or documents to be served.
All office visitors or servers in the field will:
- Remain six feet away from the office staff as much as possible.
- Wear a face mask at all times.
- Stay physically separated from our staff and only enter the lobby area.
- Submit to a health screening that includes taking their temperature and reporting potential exposure.
When possible, we will mitigate our field process servers from entering the office by having them print documents to be served, following the above guidelines, or by providing a disinfected, secure space where the process server can retrieve the document packets.
Before being sent out for service, all documents must be properly sanitized in order to reduce risk to the recipient. All staff must ensure that they are masked and that their hands are clean or gloved before handling the documents.
Policies for Fieldwork
The following policies outline the safety requirements of all process servers in the field.
Before the Serve
Prior to serving, process servers will assess their own health by taking their temperature and monitoring potential recent exposure. If a server is experiencing symptoms or feeling sick, they are not permitted to serve. Servers must also ensure that their cars, documents, and hands are properly sanitized.
Making the Serve
Here are the steps a process server must follow when conducting a serve:
- Put on a mask and ensure hands are sanitized and gloved.
- Knock on the door and retreat a minimum of six feet or as far as possible.
- Once the door opens, the server will request confirmation of residency and identity as normal except at a distance.
- If confirmed, identify the papers as legal documents, and the server will either approach and have the recipient take the documents from a folder or place the documents on the ground, whichever the recipient chooses.
- The process server will then retreat.
- The process server will not enter any residence, even if directed to do so by the occupants.
If a recipient refuses to come to the door, the server must confirm identity through the door and obtain a visual confirmation through a window. Once identified, the server will leave the documents by the door and retreat.
Since these times are unprecedented and complicated, it is important to document what is being done differently in case someone challenges a serve later on. Therefore, our process servers will also carefully document their serves to avoid doubt about the validity of the serve if it is brought to court.
All office staff and process servers must agree to the following protocol. Those who do not agree cannot be utilized until social distancing guidelines are lifted.