Ontario Process Services - What Are They?
Service of process is the procedure employed to give legal notice to a person (defendant etc.) of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal. Usually, notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents to the person to be served.
Each jurisdiction has rules regarding the means of service of process. Typically, a summons and related documents must be served upon the defendant personally, or in some cases upon another person of suitable age and discretion at the person's abode or place of business or employment. In some cases, service of process may be affected through the mail as in some small claims court procedures. In exceptional cases, other forms of service may be authorized by procedural rules or court order, including service by publication when an individual cannot be located in a particular jurisdiction.
Proper service of process initially establishes personal jurisdiction of the court over the person served. If the defendant ignores further pleadings or fails to participate in the proceedings, then the court or administrative body may find the defendant in default and award relief to the claimant, petitioner or plaintiff. Service of process must be distinguished from service of subsequent documents (such as pleadings and motion papers) between the parties to litigation.
In past times in many countries, people didn't have the right to know that there were legal proceedings against them, and in some cases would only find out when magistrates showed up with the sheriff and seized their property, sometimes throwing them into debtor's prisons until their debts were paid. When the United States was founded, the Constitution said that everyone is entitled to due process of law, therefore the process server is "serving" the serve with their constitutional right to due process of the law.
In ancient times the service of a summons was considered a royal act that had serious consequences. It was a summons to come to the King's Court and to respond to the demand of a loyal subject. In ancient Persia, failure to respond to the King's summons meant a sentence of death. Today the penalty for ignoring a summons is usually a default money judgment that must be subsequently enforced.
Service on a defendant who resides in a country outside the jurisdiction of the Court must comply with special procedures prescribed under the Hague Service Convention, if the recipient's country is a signatory. Service on defendants in many South American countries and some other countries is affected through the Letter Rogatory process. Where a defendant's whereabouts are unknown, the Court may permit service by publication, usually in a newspaper.
Manner of Service
Personal Service by Process Server
Personal service is service of process directly to the (or a) party named on the summons, complaint or petition. In most lawsuits, personal service is required to prove service. In most Anglo-American legal systems the service of process is effectuated by a process server who must be an adult and (in most jurisdictions) not a party to the litigation.
Some jurisdictions require or permit process to be served by a court official, such as a sheriff, marshal, constable or bailiff. There may be licensing requirements for private process servers, as in New York City. Other jurisdictions, such as Georgia, require a court order allowing a private person to serve process.
In non-English speaking countries such as France, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan and China which follow the continental legal system based on the Napoleonic legal codes, service of process is performed by a huissier de justice (gerechtsdeurwaarder in Dutch), either in person or through the mail. In those countries there are two different types of service — signification and notification. The huissier is only responsible for signification, the more formal type of service 1.
When an individual party to be served is unavailable for personal service, many jurisdictions allow for substituted service. Substituted service allows the process server to leave service documents with another responsible individual such as cohabiting adults or an employer. California, Illinois, and many other U.S. jurisdictions require that in addition to substitute service the documents be mailed to the recipient. Substituted service often requires a serving party show that ordinary service is impracticable and that substituted service will reach the party and effect notice.
Service by Mail
Service by mail is permitted by most U.S. jurisdictions for service on defendants located in other U.S. states or foreign countries. Service by mail is not available if country of destination has filed objections to service by mail pursuant to the multinational Hague Service Convention.
For More Information on the process serving in Ontario please contact one of our process servers customer client representatives. We are able to legally conduct the service of process in the following cities:
Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Flamborough, Rockwood, Fergus, Erin, Orangeville, Ancaster, Dundas, Burlington, Milton, Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, North York, New Market, Port Dover, Simcoe, St. Jacobs, Elmira, St. Marys, Stratford, Breslau, Baden, Ajax, Oshawa, Acton, St. Catharines, Scarborough, Niagara Falls, Oakville, Barrie, Brantford, Cayuga, Collingwood, Etobicoke, Grimsby, Ingersoll, North Bay, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Paris, St. Thomas, Welland, Vaughn Welland, Woodbridge, Woodstock, Whitby and many more cities and towns in Ontario.