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Serving Papers on Holidays

  • December 27, 2011
  • by ServeNow Staff

Serving papers on holidays

With the holiday season coming to a close there's been a lot of chatter about process servers working on holidays, particularly on Christmas and Christmas Eve. News of altercations resulting from Christmas Eve serves has brought many professionals to social media sites in an effort to share their opinions. We've gathered information from various channels and summarized what we've read to share what your colleagues think. Do you have an opinion on serving papers on holidays? Share your thoughts in our poll at the end of the article.

General thoughts on working on Christmas and Christmas Eve

The feeling shared by most process servers is that the holidays are a time for process servers to relax, be happy and spend time with their families. Some have told their peers that life is too short to not spend this time with loved ones, while others have described holiday serves as unkind.

Some process servers have encountered attorneys and individuals that specifically request to have papers served on Christmas and Christmas Eve. Most professionals find requests like these unreasonable, and in return ask for advanced payment at a premium rate. Requests like these generally result in a change of heart by the attorney or client. 

Overall, most professionals said they prefer not to serve on holidays, partially to avoid a potential emotional conflict with the recipient of the papers.


Most process servers will only serve on a holiday if there is a child is in an abusive situation, will be affected by a restraining order, or is somehow in danger.

According to one process server, courts in his area shy away from serving until after the first of the year when the situation can have a negative effect on a child. 

Of course, many process servers acknowledged that they need the work and will make the serve, sometimes at a higher rate. Some professionals specifically plan their serves on or near holidays as skips and evasive individuals will likely be with their families.

For many, serving on holidays is a gray area, but others have no problem working through the holidays.

Service on Sundays and religious holidays

Because Christmas fell on a Sunday this year some individuals weren't able to serve. Some states don't allow service on Sundays, and others go a step further to prohibit service on religious holidays. Many professionals simply said they wouldn't serve due to these laws, but most of them acknowledged that even if Christmas was on another day or if service was allowed they would still choose not to serve. 

What people are saying on Facebook

Many process servers shared their thoughts on the many pages and walls of Facebook, including the Official ServeNow Facebook Page. Here's what they had to say:

"I am strongly against serving around x-mas, I won't serve up to 2 or 3 days before and 2 or 3 days after, unless its an urgent subpoena or something going to a company. Serving people at such an emotional time does exacerbate problems or reactions that otherwise may not have happened" - Agls Process Michigan

"Normally, no serving on holidays. However, if someone is avoiding me or impossible to get on other days, I'm going to get them when I can." - Sandra Kozero

"I don't think so. It's one day out of the year that families are actually able to spend time together and are generally happy. I say no." - Jesse Acosta

"We can serve here. We don't unless there is some kind of restraining order or where the child will be spending Christmas will be affected. There has to be a really good reason. Otherwise, I agree. I prefer not to." - Julie Edgar Gliem

"We can serve on Sunday, but even if it was on a different day I would keep Christmas Christmas." - Amy Moffet

"No problem for me. I need the work" - Dennis Chevy Chevalier

"I had a client who wanted 24 30 Day Notices to Quit served on Christmas Eve. I told him that I would be the only Janney employee asked to work on Christmas Eve and it would cost $500.00 a notice, payment in advance. Funny, suddenly the 26th was ok. I believe I am as professional and client-oriented as anyone, but certain services cost more." - Steve Janney

Share your opinion

Answer our poll to share your opinion on holiday service:


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