Generally speaking, process servers are hired to serve legal documents, such as subpoenas. In this post, we will discuss the process of hiring a process server in Oakland by including important information, such as what these professionals do, the types of services they offer, and how much they typically charge, to help you find one that suits your needs!

What Is A Process Server?

A process server is an agent of the court who delivers notice of lawsuits; summons to defendants; subpoenas to witnesses or individuals who possess substantial evidence for a certain case; complaints; and motions. Oftentimes, they are hired by lawyers, law firms, and corporations for delivering these legal documents to people involved in civil cases.

The process server must personally deliver these documents because they have been signed under oath to do so.

Different Methods Used By Process Servers

When serving legal documents, process servers use a variety of methods. Depending on the situation, they would:

  • Deliver the documents in person.
  • Send a soft copy to the recipient through email.
  • Mail the document using the state or national postal service.
  • Do it by publication, where the process server publishes notice on a newspaper.
  • Use the Federal Express or other commercial delivery services.

In case a process server is not able to get in contact with the recipient, they would leave the document to an entrusted individual at a location where the recipient is regularly found, such as their place of employment. Or, they will mail the document to an alternative address the recipient is using. For this reason, it is necessary that process servers have specific information regarding the recipient so they can properly serve a process in accordance with state law requirements.

How Much Do Process Servers Charge?

A process server in Oakland typically charges $100 to $150 for in-person service. This price includes mileage and the document delivery fee.

For certified mail, process server fees are usually around $20 per recipient served with a maximum of three recipients included in one envelope or package.

Process servers generally do not charge by publication because it is very difficult to serve a process through this method. However, they may charge an additional fee if they must make multiple attempts to serve a process in this way or due to the special circumstances of your case.

Important Steps In Hiring A Process Server

When you hire a process server in Oakland, there are a few things to consider before signing the contract.

Sharing Of Important Information

During your meeting, you and the process server will need to share essential information for efficient delivery. These include the following:

  • Full name of the recipient
  • Good address of the person to be served
  • How many attempts it should take if no one is present
  • Dates of service
  • Process server availability for those dates
  • Special instructions from your lawyer or law firm

Asking For A Proof Of Service

After the document has been delivered successfully, you will need to order an affidavit or proof of service. This document becomes part of the court file and proves that legal notice was given as required by state law. The proof you receive back from the process serving agency must show the following:

  • Recipient’s name and address
  • The date the recipient was served
  • The fees paid, with attached receipts

Process serving, if done incorrectly, can cause your case to be dismissed which you obviously would not want. So, when hiring process servers in Oakland, make sure they are properly trained on how to serve a process according to state laws.

You should also check their references and ask about process server insurance coverage in case they cause damages or lose documents while on the job. As with all legal services, make sure you sign a contract and get it in writing before proceeding to use their services.

For more information on hiring process servers, visit this page,

Where To Find A Process Server In Oakland

When looking for process serving jobs, you will have a number of options online. You can also check your local courts, as they will surely have a list of recommended process servers for your situation. Of course, you can always use your local phone book.

When choosing a process server, it is important to look at their experience and choose the one that best suits the needs of your case. The process serving agency will be responsible for completing all services in accordance with state law, so you should never attempt to serve court documents yourself or ask a friend or family member to do it for you!

Process Server FAQs

Can I hire my own process server?

No, only an authorized agent of the court may deliver legal papers, such as summons, complaints, and subpoenas.

How long after being served must someone respond?

Usually, a defendant has 30 days from being served to respond.

How do process servers know if a person is at home?

Process servers will knock several times before leaving service documents at the door or gate in an attempt for them to be sent via mail.

What happens when process servers cannot find a person to serve papers to?

They would return with proof of attempt that must be signed by an authorized individual. This could be part of the proof of service.

How long do process servers have to serve papers?

These professionals typically have up to 120 days for most states, including Oakland, but there are some exceptions. For example, they may be required by the court to serve a process within a specific time frame.

Do process servers work on holidays?

Most process server companies do not operate on the weekends or major holidays, but if you need someone to provide services over the weekend or during a holiday, then it can be arranged for an extra fee.


Hiring a process server in Oakland has never been easier. With online process server listings and phone books, you can find just the right process server for your situation quickly. However, you should make sure to do some research first! Look at process server experience and customer reviews before signing a contract with one.

For more information on the law and other legal processes, feel free to browse our site!

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