Do Process Servers Prefer Worksheets With Forwarded Jobs?
A recent discussion in the Process Servers LinkedIn Group has sparked an interesting dialogue about worksheets, cover letters, and forwarding work to others. The question: “For those people who send work out to others, either in state or out of state for service, how many send out a worksheet to be returned with the affidavit?”
Kathy Broom, a group member from North Carolina was the first to respond, sharing, “We don’t send out a worksheet. Also, I don’t normally fill them out when we receive them. I find them redundant. Everything needed is in the affidavit.”
“When forwarding service requests to others a worksheet is essential and should always be part of your forwarding packet,” group member Jonathan Levy shared. “The worksheet is, for all intents and purposes your contract with the forwarding agent. More importantly, the worksheet should state specifically all the requirements of proper service.” He noted that the worksheet might include file numbers, timing requirements or deadlines, tracking numbers, scanning codes, addresses, payment terms, fee limits, restrictions, and more. “We do not accept work sent to our office without a worksheet, or at minimum, an email outlining specific requirements of the service.”
Other group members agreed with Levey’s comments, sharing their stance that there should always be a field sheet. “The more instructions and information the more professional the serve,” Eric Farley of Boston noted. Still, other group members noted that they only forward a worksheet for out-of-state jobs or instead provide a cover sheet or Service Request Form.
The top half of my Service Request Form has all of the information that is needed: Date of Birth, residence and business, alternate address, license plate number, and any and all phone numbers available. The bottom half has a section to describe the person served and boxes for date, time, mileage, and service code.William Reed
“The top half of my Service Request Form has all of the information that is needed: Date of Birth, residence and business, alternate address, license plate number, and any and all phone numbers available,” William Reed shared at the request of another group member. “The bottom half has a section to describe the person served and boxes for date, time, mileage, and service code.” He also shared that the back of the sheet is used for additional notes like confrontation information or any additional information he’s found that is relevant to the serve or case. Reed asks for a copy back so that, in the event that a question or problem comes up, he does not have to contact the person that the work was contracted out to. “I have all of the information right there at my fingertips.” Though Reed requests that a copy be returned, many other group members shared that if a field sheet or worksheet is provided they do not send a copy back. Group member Hampton E. Black sends a cover letter with specific details and instructions on how to serve the individual, but never a worksheet. “A worksheet is more for the individual process server to have and keep notes on his service,” he said. “We’re not here to show you how to keep your notes.”
At this, Levy chimes in again. “Worksheets are essential,” he says. “They act as a contract whereby the process server receiving the work sees what you require and the conditions upon which he or she must adhere to properly effect service of process.” Misty Knapp of Atlanta noted that she generally receives a worksheet or field sheet and fills it in if needed.
When I receive jobs, from out of state especially, I like receiving a worksheet so I know exactly what they expect and require.Kathy Kirtley
Some group members who do not forward work but often receive jobs shared that they appreciate the worksheet. Blu Daniels who runs a one-person operation in Texas and receives nearly all forward jobs from out-of-county or out-of-state, shared that she appreciates the worksheet. “[The worksheet] answers a lot of questions that come up. I don’t have to print one of my own, and it has phone numbers of contact.” Fellow group member Kathy Kirtley noted, “When I receive jobs, from out of state especially, I like receiving a worksheet so I know exactly what they expect and require.” Kirtley shared that she keeps the worksheet as a visual reminder that she was paid, what was served, and as a point of reference to locate the copy of an Affidavit if needed.” Another group member shared that she holds onto her worksheets as a backup and to ensure that she receives payment for all of the serves she has completed. “Another reason why the worksheets or field sheets are helpful is because it helps me with filing my taxes at the end of the year,” she noted.
Levy closed the discussion noting that the Affidavit memorializes the service details and the process server’s efforts whether or not the defendant is served. Summarizing much of the conversation, he noted the importance of being detailed and providing as all of the necessary information for the process server to complete the job, posing the final question, “Why not include as many details as you reasonably can?”
For the full thread and to join the discussion, click here.