Should Process Servers Be Regulated by the State Bar of California?

iStock_000016583408Medium California State legislators are reviewing a new bill, AB 2286, that would mandate process servers to be regulated by the State Bar of California.

Currently, California process servers are regulated by their county of main employment. The Business and Professions Code Section 22350 mandates that anyone who renders service of process for pay more than 10 times a year must file a certificate of registration with the local county clerk in which he or she resides or has a principal place of business. California has 58 counties that regulate process servers which has been a bit confusing to register with for process severs that work throughout the state.

Now, several process servers are in favor of being regulated by the state bar as a collective whole instead of by each individual county. Donald P. Wagner, R-Tustin, sponsored AB 2286 to remove oversight of the registration of process servers from the counties and place it within the State Bar of California.

The State bar board of trustees "is open to the concept as a means to further our mission to protect the public," said bar CEO Joseph L. Dunn. "However, it is also aware that oversight of the process server community will have to be independent from its oversight of the lawyers of California."

Being in the same regulatory body as lawyers is "a natural fit" for process servers "because we're doing the legwork in the field," said Cliff Jacobs, a national manager with a legal support company in northern California and vice president of the California association.

No one has openly opposed the bill so far. Several registered process servers feel that the bill, if enacted, would help streamline the regulatory process in lieu of being regulated by individual counties.

Staffs in some clerks’ offices have been known to mistakenly insert that a process server register in any county in which he serves a document rather than just in his home county.

Proponents of the bill also believe that "sewer service" (unlawful service of process) practices will also decrease as a result of the bill. The goal is to keep the standards of service of process at the highest level and The state bar is in a better position to reprimand process servers that employ "sewer service" practices in comparison to county clerk offices.

The bill will receive its first hearing in late April or early May. Direct Legal Support, Inc. will continue to provide you with updates regarding the bill.

Sources

AB-2286 Process servers

DeBenedictis, Don. "Process Servers Want to be Regulated by the State Bar." Daily Journal. March 2014. Internet.

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