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  • Monica Fields

Do Process Servers Get Killed?

Updated: Feb 18


“Don’t shoot the messenger.”- Henry IV, part 2, Shakespeare, 1598 AD

With the turmoil in the United States today, security has become forefront.


From a recent poll, by Serve Now, 42% of the respondents indicated they had taken additional precautions to ensure his/her personal safety.


At the top of the list are using your common sense and awareness techniques. Unfortunately, they only go so far!


When emotions are peaked


It can be difficult for those who are receiving the documents to comprehend that the process server {by law} is technically an uninvolved third party to his/her case.


Try to remain calm and know you have a plan. Be prepared.

The professionals use a coding system for being prepared in the field.


The code ranges from red which is the fight mode to white where there is no conflict. You should be aware of your immediate area in what is considered orange mode where you are quick to react to potential hazards.


View the ‘whole picture’ before you approach the door.

Try to maintain a distance of about 2 ½-feet between you and the client you are serving. Your personal space can help you defend yourself in case of attack.


Think of the possible scenarios before you come in direct contact with the individual. This approach is why continued training is important to you, your business, and in general your life.


Follow these basic tips:

Never park in a space where you can be blocked in by another vehicle.

Have a plan of action.

Before approaching the domain, know where the exits are located.

Have your cell phone charged and handy at all times.

Never turn your back on the person who is receiving the papers. It is impossible to know for sure what reaction you will receive.

Expect the unexpected and use your common sense at all times.

Trust your ‘gut instinct’ if you believe you’re in a dangerous situation. Just leave!

If you are pretty sure you will create drama, (ex. divorce papers or a restraining order), request law enforcement meets you at the location.

Most process servers depend on the ‘gut’ instinct on a daily basis. If a situation doesn’t feel right, leave it.


Remain professional and courteous at all times, even if the client loses his/her temper. Try to keep a smile on your face and keep your personal space.

The debate of firearms is one many processors consider. Some individuals believe carrying a container of pepper spray is all that is needed.


Others do carry a gun, but are well-trained and practice on the range. Many are required to pass a bi-annual shooting test to renew the license. Back to an adage,


“When in doubt, leave it out.”

"Fear is for the weak"


And, if you don't let yourself fear, then you won’t be less. Strength and professionalism go hand and hand. The strong are more likely to succeed in the corporate world than the timid.”


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