Understanding what goes into the cost of process service
Understanding what goes into the cost of process service

When it comes to litigation or legal court matters, process service is a critical factor that deserves careful consideration. And choosing a process service company based solely on cost, is NOT recommended. But as you consider choosing a vendor, it can be helpful to understand what goes into the pricing of your fees. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the various components that contribute to the overall cost of process service, providing you with a clear understanding of where your investment goes. (Other factors like marketing and general overhead aren’t addressed here, but should also be taken into consideration.)

1. Research Costs: Uncovering the Details

Successful process service begins with thorough research. Our team at Solid Serve Legal doesn’t rely solely on an address provided to us by our clients. We invest a bit of time upfront confirming the address is valid (you’d be surprised how often people give totally fake addresses that don’t exist) and what type of address we’ll be visiting. For example, it is a locked and secure apartment building? An office building with weird hours? What kind of neighborhood is the address located? If our client isn’t sure about an address, we may also perform one of our free skip traces to see what the servee’s official last known address is. This may involve delving into public records, databases, and other online sources to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. The quality of our research significantly influences the success of the service, making it a crucial component of the overall cost.

2. Travel Expenses: Reaching Every Corner

Process service often requires reaching individuals at various locations, and this necessitates travel. Whether it’s within the city, in a rural area, or even in another state, our commitment to serving your documents knows no bounds. Travel expenses cover not only the cost of transportation but also other logistical considerations like toll roads and/or parking. Rest assured, our team goes the extra mile – quite literally – to ensure timely and effective service.

3. Legal Paperwork: Precision in Documentation

Accuracy and precision in legal paperwork are non-negotiable. Our dedicated team takes the time to review the documents that are sent to us to ensure the request matches the parties named and that all typical files are included (e.g., was the summons also included with the complaint?). In Oregon, we also e-file the completed Proof of Service along with the Summons. We also print the documents provided to us electronically and do a quality check to ensure all pages are included and legible. The paperwork involved in process service is a critical component of the overall cost, reflecting our commitment to compliance and adherence to legal standards. This meticulous approach ensures that your case proceeds without unnecessary hitches.

4. Service Attempts: Getting it Right the First Time

Every unsuccessful attempt at service incurs additional costs. At Solid Serve Legal, we do everything we can to get your documents served right on the first attempt. Our experienced process servers use strategic approaches based on the individual’s schedule and habits, minimizing the need for repeated service attempts. This not only saves us money but also accelerates the legal proceedings associated with your case. And when we’re successful on the first attempt, your costs stay lower.

5. Technology Investments: Streamlining the Process

Embracing technology is a key aspect of our commitment to efficiency. The cost of implementing and maintaining cutting-edge tracking systems, digital documentation, and communication tools is factored into our service fees. These investments significantly contribute to streamlining the process, reducing delays, and providing you with real-time updates on the status of your service.

6. Paying our Team a Living Wage

When we work with other process servers (e.g., in a location outside our service area), our professional standards mean we only work with those whose experience and knowledge match our requirements. These professionals have the same costs as we do and we know that you often get what you pay for. When we give you a quote for service in any area, that quote encompasses the fee that the affiliate we’re working with requires. They often keep 75% or more of the fee that you pay to us. When we work with individuals locally, we take the same approach and work only with those who have passed a background check and are trained professionals. Their level pay reflects this. Other companies may utilize folks who haven’t been trained and who are willing to accept fees of about $20 for up to three attempts. Believe us when we tell you that you do NOT want someone who doesn’t meet our professional standards to work on your process service job.

In conclusion, the true cost of process service is a multifaceted consideration that goes beyond the surface. At Solid Serve Legal, we believe in transparency and providing value for every dollar invested. Our comprehensive approach covers research, travel, paperwork, service attempts, and technology investments, ensuring that you receive a service that is not only effective but also a prudent investment in the success of your legal endeavors. Choose us for a process service experience that prioritizes quality, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.

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