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Serving Multiple Persons

Serving Multiple Parties in Arizona

RapidRPS.com endeavors to service the needs of our clients utilizing the very best means possible, so that our services do not later become issues of "excusable neglect" or be considered "misrepresentation or other misconduct of an adverse party"[1].  As Process Servers, RapidRPS.com is an extension of our clients' interests in securing proper service of process.

Occasionally, a difference of opinion will arise in serving multiple parties.  Our policy is that when there are two or more parties named on the summons and complaint, an attempt is made to secure service on each party named as per the assignment[2].  Each party is issued their own set of legal process, and in the service thereof, each is afforded their individual due process[3].  A Proof of Service, or Declaration of Due Diligence is rendered for each individual party to be served. 

The dispute usually arises when the "old way" of doing things crops up with a new client.  In many instances, counsel will name multiple parties (usually individuals involved in a collection or personal injury matter) on a single summons.  Certain process servers (not RapidRPS) have served only one copy of the summons and complaint to all persons at a residential address and rendered a Proof of Service stating that all persons were served, personally or by substitute service. 

Our policies and procedures, based on law and experience is that service of one party with one (single) copy of the summons and complaint for that party and any other(s),  does not necessarily mean that the co-defendant(s) has(have) been served.  In consideration of the language set forth in ARCP Rule 4(a) and 4.1(d), serving a single copy of the summons and complaint for multiple persons would not satisfy the "…due process standards of being the best means of notice practicable under the circumstances and reasonably calculated to apprise interested parties of the institution and/or pendency of the proceedings".  Each party to serve is afforded a separate copy of the summons and complaint.

When a substitute service is made by RapidRPS, regardless of whether or not it is statutorily required, RapidRPS will mail a copy of the legal process served at that time by first class mail to the defendant.  This step, while not required under the ARCP is designed to best service our clients' needs in providing an additional method of delivery of the documents served, to help circumvent any motion to vacate the judgment due to an alleged lack of personal or constructive notice.  It also provides an additional measure to secure against a claim of error or omission.

As to the fees charged by RapidRPS.com, each party to serve is charged for.  This is a common practice in the attorney service profession, however, each agency dictates their charges according to their own policies and procedures.  Some will not overtly charge for a second party to serve, however will include "garbage fees" (time, mileage, return trips, notary preparation, postal verification, etc.) as an additional profit center.  At RapidRPS, we occasionally have the opportunity to review invoices from other agencies, and find that many will include a second defendant charge, plus time, mileage, return trips, notary preparation, skiptracing, postal verification, and the like.  In one instance, a well known, large attorney service firm charged a client over $800 for what in the end was a non-service.  The client then hired RapidRPS.com and the defendant was successfully served for a flat fee of $89 in a matter of three days.

While  RapidRPS.com does not necessarily compete on price, we compete on prompt, professional service versus the servers who conduct themselves questionably, in our opinion.  It is not just lip service to claim to have the knowledge, professionalism and diligence to stake our reputation that every paper we serve is done right, every time.  We actively seek to live up to that commitment. 

At RapidRPS.com, we give all of our clients' matters the expediency and attention deserved, taking them very seriously and responding accordingly.  After all, our professional services support your needs, and are a direct reflection on you with your client.

[1] ARCP Rule 60(c).
[2] Per the terms and conditions on our website: http://www.rapidrps.com/Service_Terms.html, see Paragraph 7.
[3] Per ARCP Rule 4(a), "…A summons, or a copy of the summons if addressed to multiple persons, shall be issued for each person to be served" and ARCP Rule 4.1(d), "… shall be effected by delivering a copy of the summons and of the pleading to that individual personally or by leaving copies thereof…".
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