Starting a lawsuit, like after a car accident or slip and fall accident, means you have to tell the other person involved quickly. This is a basic rule called service of process, and it changes a bit from state to state.

Here’s what’s generally needed:

  • The person who gives out the lawsuit papers must be older than 18.
  • They can’t be part of the lawsuit themselves.
  • After they give out the papers, they have to tell the court they did it.

In Texas, for example, the person who delivers these papers (called a process server) has to get a special certification. They also have to follow a set of rules called the Code of Ethics. If they don’t, they could get in trouble.

Handing someone lawsuit papers is a bit like inviting them to a party they don’t want to go to. You might have seen on TV shows where someone is surprised with a “You’ve been served.” 

While it’s entertaining on TV, it’s not always as fun in real life. Even if the person tries to avoid getting these papers, the process server has to stick to the rules. If you need legal help regarding process service, reach out to Anderson Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.

Process Servers Must Act Ethically

In Texas, the task of delivering legal documents is taken very seriously, emphasizing the importance of following the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC) and its Code of Ethics. T

his guidance is essential for anyone involved in the process of serving legal papers, ensuring that every action is carried out with the utmost integrity and respect.

Key principles outlined in the Code of Ethics include:

  • Professionalism and Respect: Process servers must treat everyone they serve with dignity, even under challenging circumstances.
  • Honesty: They are expected to be truthful in all aspects of their duties, including reporting back to the JBCC on the successful delivery of documents.
  • Appropriate Conduct: It’s important for process servers to not overstate their authority. This is particularly relevant for those in law enforcement who serve papers, as they must not wear their badge during service to avoid any confusion.
  • Integrity: Process servers cannot misrepresent themselves, commit unlawful acts while performing their duties, or engage in fraudulent, dishonest, or deceitful activities.

These points offer a snapshot of the ethical framework that governs the role of process servers in Texas. By adhering to these standards, process servers contribute to the fairness and efficiency of the legal system, ensuring that all parties are informed and able to participate in the judicial process. This structure highlights the responsibilities and limitations placed on those who undertake this crucial role in the legal system.

Serving Process on Businesses 

If you need to sue a business, it’s a bit easier in Texas. In some cases, you can send the lawsuit papers to the Secretary of State instead of finding the business yourself (specific requirements can be found here). This works well for suing companies from other places, but it’s not for all cases.

For personal issues, like arguments between people or divorce, you need a certified process server. They know the rules about how to give out lawsuit papers properly, treating everyone fairly and honestly.

This way, whether you’re suing a local shop or a big foreign company, everything is done right and fairly, following Texas law.

Default Judgments

Ignoring lawsuit papers, whether they come through a process server, mail, newspaper, or any other legal method, won’t make the problem go away. If you don’t respond or show up in court, you might face a default judgment. 

This means the court can decide against you without hearing your side, leading to serious consequences like having your wages or bank accounts taken or even jail time in serious cases.

Once a default judgment is made, you’ll need a good reason for not responding to the lawsuit. Texas courts prefer to solve legal issues based on their facts, not on technicalities like someone avoiding court. 

However, they don’t take kindly to people who deliberately dodge their legal responsibilities. So, if you’ve been avoiding lawsuit papers, know that it could make things harder for you in court, especially if you don’t have a valid excuse for your absence.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Texas

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth or Dallas and need legal help, contact our personal injury lawyers at Anderson Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve Tarrant County, Dallas County, and throughout Texas.

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Fort Worth Office
1310 W El Paso St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 294-1900

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Fort Worth Office (Secondary)
6618 Fossil Bluff Dr # 108, Fort Worth, TX 76137
(817) 631-4113

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Dallas Office
408 W Eighth St Suite 202, Dallas, TX 75208
(214) 327-8000

Anderson Injury Lawyers – Dallas Office (Secondary)
6301 Gaston Ave suite 610, Dallas, TX 75214
(469) 457-4711