Why Is Service of Process So Important?
Both the 5th and the 14th Amendments require due process of law. Due process is in place to protect the defendant in any and all legal proceedings. Both state and federal courts must protect the right of the defendant to a fair trial. Because of this, service of process, or the prior notification of legal proceedings, is both necessary and crucial to the success of any case.
To have time to prepare a defense, a defendant must receive fair and proper notice of the charges against them. Each state or jurisdiction has their own rules on how this should be done. While it may seem negligible, your case will be thrown out before the first piece of evidence is reviewed. Even in the most valid or cases, a court will not hear your case if the service of process is missing or done incorrectly. In the recent New York case Goralski v. Nadzan, the defendant claimed to never receive notice of the case, while the plaintiff claimed the summons and complaint were served. Since the plaintiff could not provide proof of their claim, the court responded to the allegations by holding a mini-court trial to determine who was telling the truth. No doubt, this costly added trial made the plaintiff regret skipping this important step.
Service of process is crucial to ensuring the court has the legal authority to make a ruling. State courts are given legal jurisdiction over incidents occurring within state lines. This means the court is given the ability to hear the details of a case and make a final ruling. However, without proper service of process, the court immediately loses jurisdiction. Without service of process, there is no case. Therefore, it is extremely important to know your state laws to ensure your time and legal investments do not go to waste.
Service of process is so essential to a court proceeding that without it, a case cannot proceed. It is a legal construct put into place to protect the legal rights of all American citizens. While a case can’t be won by following this guideline, your case will be lost in an instant if it is overlooked.
Contact Direct Legal Support, Inc. for your service of process needs. We provide process serving services to attorneys and self-represented parties across the U.S.