Process Server

Let’s be very clear, an attorney should always be consulted to determine a tenant’s rights in a specific eviction and to determine the best course of action. In California, you may be able to start an unlawful detainer (eviction) by giving notice.

An unlawful detainer is a lawsuit to evict a tenant. In this type of case, tenants are usually being removed from a property for cause (e.g., not paying their rent, engaging in criminal behavior, endangering the safety of other tenants, or other behavior that violates their lease). To defend these tenants, the opposite of what is alleged must be proven. 

Nonpayment of rent is hard to dispute. Loud noise complaints, receiving threats from a neighbor, and improperly subletting a unit are all complex legal issues that may need to be investigated.

Why Should a Property Manager or Owner Hire a Process Server?

Serving documents on a tenant probably isn’t your cup of tea. It can be awkward at best, confrontational at worst. Emotions can run high, leaving an opportunity for an unscrupulous tenant to make allegations that can postpone or prevent their eviction.  Here are some other reasons to hire a process server:

  • Process servers are professional and have experience serving legal documents by the book. The requirements for proper service of eviction notices are strict. Process servers are professional and have experience serving legal documents. This experience assures you that your legal document will be served properly and according to standard.  
  • Process servers create a comfortable and safe barrier between the property manager or owner and the tenant.  Hiring a process server creates space between the property manager or owner and the tenant, helping both parties avoid an awkward situation. Because the process server is a third party, most people understand that while serving, they are just doing their job and are therefore neutral, which can help the tenant not take the process personal.
  • Process servers ensure eviction case documents are served on time. When serving a legal eviction notice to a tenant, timeliness is of utmost importance. Imagine going several days into the process, or even weeks, before realizing the tenant was not properly served the documents. Knowing every step of the way and every detail therein allows the process server to serve documents on time. 
  • Process servers give property managers or owners peace of mind during a legal eviction.  When a property manager or owner hires a process server, they can continue business as usual without interrupting their daily activities. Most property managers and owners have enough on their plate maintaining their property. The process server will provide the property manager or owner with proof of service (POS) of notices/eviction documents that have been served. The POS is signed by the server under penalty of perjury of method of service that was completed by the server with their registration number included. 

In conclusion, tenants have rights, and so do property managers and owners. Process servers are an integral part of the first line of defense for property managers and owners to protect their rights and property and ensure their tenants adhere to the laws of the land.

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Eviction Cases Expected to Surge

Across the nation and the state, Covid-19 eviction moratoriums have expired or are nearing expiration, creating an environment ripe for evictions. Emergency acts put in place at both national and state levels due to Covid-19 prevented landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent as the nation grappled with unforeseen economic and public health challenges. 

The first nationwide moratorium was imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on September 4, 2020. After several extensions of the nationwide eviction moratorium by Congress, the last of which ending on July 31, 2021, the CDC stepped in again to extend the moratorium once more, this time to October 3, 2021. However, on August 26, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled against it. In the states where tenant protections have expired, landlords who had been waiting months to evict past-due tenants are now able to begin the eviction process. 

Tenants living in the state of California unable to pay their rent since April 2022 could face eviction when the state moratorium expired on June 30, 2022. Coincidentally, California helped tenants unable to pay their rent due to Covid-19 before the federal government imposed the nationwide moratorium on September 4, 2020. There are many details regarding the nationwide and state moratoriums not covered in this article, but for the sake of time, this is the gist of the nationwide and state Covid-19 eviction moratoriums. Going forward, the expiring moratorium(s) can significantly impact the civil process service industry as the backlog of eviction cases makes its way through the courts.  

It should be noted that the information in this article is provided by a registered process server and licensed private investigator in the state of California. This article should not be considered as legal advice. An attorney should be consulted to determine a tenant’s rights in a specific eviction and to determine the best course of action.

Lindon Lilly is with Rhino Investigation and Process Serving. For more information, visit www.lllegalassistance.com, email [email protected] or call 833-711-3400.