Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Serving Legal Documents on Celebrities

By Nelson Tucker
CEO, Process Service Network
 


Here in “Tinsel Town,” celebrities are everywhere.  It is common that many of them get sued from time to time.  Lawsuits come from producers for breach of contract, demented fans who file frivolous cases, songwriters whose work has been pirated by a pop artist, and collection agencies which seek to recover unpaid debts.
 
Most process servers are not skilled at serving high-profile persons, such as elected officials and celebrities; few specialize in such hard-to-serve cases.  I would like to share some insider tips that your process server may find effective in serving an entertainer or actor.
 
Now, how do you easily serve a celebrity?  That depends on what your requirements are:  personal or substituted service?  It also depends on how much you are willing to pay for the service.
 
If substituted service is acceptable, your process server can determine the name and address of the agent for the celebrity.  The agent will typically accept the documents to prevent service from occurring in a public place which could cause embarrassment to their client. Most state laws provide for service upon a person specifically designated to accept legal papers.
 
A simple way to determine the agent for an actor is to contact the studio where the last production was shot.  Ask for the name and address of the agent for the celebrity you are seeking.  You may also contact the Screen Actors Guild, in Los Angeles for the same information.
 
Personal service, for documents such as a Subpoena or other papers which requires personal service, requires more creativity and planning.  While your client may provide you with an address for service, sometimes the address is not easily available.  It is not as difficult as it may seem.
 
Most celebrities own their own home.  You can search real property records of the County Recorder or Tax Assessor in the county where the celebrity resides.  These records are considered public record and, if you go in person, you can obtain the data at no charge.  However, several on-line data bases are available for such purposes.
 
Keep in mind that most celebrities reside in the Los Angeles area, Florida, New York, and Connecticut.  Many live elsewhere, but Los Angeles is the best place to start if you are attempting to locate an address for service.  Most celebrities have social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest,  Google Plus+, and Tagged. You can search all of these sites to see where a celebrity may be in the near future. Or, Google their name for a list of websites that might have current information about their whereabouts.
 
Once you have determined the address where service can be made, the process server will carefully analyze the situation to determine the best approach to completing the service.  He or she will consider the location where the documents are to be served:  Is there easy access?  What must be said to gain entrance to the venue?  What will be the BEST “one-time” approach?  Where is the exact area where the celebrity will be?
 
One thing is certain:  If a process server arrives at the gate to a studio where the celebrity is working and announce that they have legal documents, they will not be given permission to enter.  There are ways to gain access to a studio lot, although they are sometimes risky and require fortitude.
 
Many studios have an office which accepts Subpoenas for personnel.  Although your Subpoena is for personal appearance, most studios have clauses with their talent allowing for acceptance of a Summons or Subpoena.
 
Many celebrities appear in public at live performances, charity affairs, sporting events, or restaurants.  If you know their whereabouts at a specific time, it is legal to serve them at any location.  One rule is paramount:  The use of courtesy and discretion while serving the papers is required at all times.  There is no reason to cause public embarrassment.  By using a polite, low-tone voice which cannot be overhead, the celebrity will probably smile, shake the process server’s hand, and say, “Thank you” after the service.  Of course, they are trying to disguise the fact they have just been served!
 
Some celebrities are very good at evading service.  Some are real jerks!  Those types deserve special attention and I have discovered a technique that is effective if the celebrity is in a major metropolitan area. I was recently given the assignment to serve a top-ranked musician/rapper that is known to almost everyone, Kanye West.  We tried serving him for weeks without success. His agent would not accept service, and even though he appeared seemingly everywhere in public, I could not seem to find him before he had moved on.  I woke up one night with a brilliant idea:  I contacted a top paparazzi in Los Angeles and created a partnership wherein he would determine the whereabouts of the celebrity and call me. I could serve the documents while he got the exclusive rights to photograph the service.  It was a win-win for us both.  However, his tracking was not much better than mine.  Finally, after 3 months I was able to complete the assignment by substituted service by serving the owner of the house, and co-resident, Kris Jenner. No photographers were involved.
 
If you have an address for service and a phone number, but your process server cannot gain access for personal service, they can call the Defendant’s phone number [most likely a voice message] and advise that they are a process server, that they do not wish to embarrass them in public, and that they seek to make arrangements to have the service completed.  The process server can leave a telephone number and the best time to call.  It is amazing how many celebrities [or their agent or attorney] will actually call back.  A good process server will not disclose any details about the service since they are relying on their curiosity for cooperation.
 
Over the years, I have served many top celebrities, including Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Britany Spears, Erik Estrada, Jackie Mason, Michael Landon, Wolfgang Puck, Kanye West, Pamela Anderson, Burt Reynolds,  Zsa Zsa Gabor, Chris Brown, Hugh Hefner,  and the Sheik of Abu Dhabi.  All were interesting experiences and all were served.  After all, “We always get our man (or woman)!”
 
 
Nelson Tucker is CEO of Process Service Network, LLC in the Los Angeles area that specializes in international service of process and hard-to-serve cases.  He has authored 4 books on process service and investigations and is an Associate Member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), and the Ventura County Bar Association.  He can be contacted at nelson@processnet1.com   or through the firm’s website at www.processnet1.com .

Friday, September 6, 2013

How to Relieve Stress for Attorneys and Legal Professionals


by Nelson Tucker
CEO, Process Service Network
No one doubts that a typical work day in the life of an attorney is stressful.  The question to be asked is, “How do I manage my workday schedule in such a way as to make it more productive and less stressful?”  The answer is simple:  Eat right to help manage stress.
 
No legal professional benefits from stress.  It can lead to other issues, including high blood pressure and depression.  “Worst of all, stress leads people make poor food choices. When you self-medicate with junk food, it can actually amplify anxiety and do more damage to your health,” says Barbara Mendez, a nutritionist in New York City.
 
Keep in mind that stress blocks the body’s ability to break down fat and we all know that extra fat is one of the major contributors to an unhealthy body.  The burden of excessive fat is the liver cannot properly filter toxins resulting in obesity, sluggishness and mental fatigue.
 
Speaking of fat, don’t be afraid of it if consumed in moderation.  Fat is an essential component of every cell in your body.  It helps you absorb fat-soluble nutrients from low-fat foods, keeps your hair healthy, and helps your brain work more efficiently.  Good fats include olive oil, parmesan and toasted nuts.
 
[“How can you compete effectively if
your mind and body are not in shape?”]
 
In order to be at your best, remain sharper, and win more cases you must be able to be at your physical and mental optimum during the workday.  How can you compete effectively if your mind and body are not in shape?  The solution, in part, is eating foods that provide you with stamina and mental intensity.
 
This is not to suggest that you go on a new diet.  On the contrary, all that is needed is to eat properly during the days you are in the office or the courtroom.
 
Healthy foods to seek out include spinach (promotes a sense of calm while increasing energy levels), salmon (nourishes the brain and promotes healthy blood flow), turkey (boosts serotonin production which eases stress), nuts (improves immune system and reduces stress), berries and citrus fruit (boosts your immune system), oatmeal (lowers blood pressure and stabilizes blood sugar) and root vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes (source of vitamins and minerals).
 
Foods to avoid include those high in carbohydrates, such as bread and pastries, candy, potatoes and pizza, IF consumed alone.  Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy, but when consumed by themselves, they get turned into glucose faster and cause a spike in insulin.  The result is a blood sugar crash that only leaves you hungry for more.  If paired with a slice of cheese or some oil and vinegar on a salad, digestion is favorably slowed. 
 
Here are some tips on eating certain foods that stimulate clear thinking and productivity during the day: 
 
BREAKFAST
Begin the day right by eating foods high in protein and grains.  Good choices are oatmeal, sugar-free cereals, eggs and bacon – that’s right, I said it, “eggs and bacon.”  They may be high in cholesterol and fat but they provide the nutrients needed for a strong start to the day.
 
SNACK
Avoid excessive cups of coffee and replace with tea.  Why? Tea contains an array of flavonoids, antioxidants that protect your heart and guard against infection.  Avoid sodas, even sugar-free as they contain false stimulants. Snacks with dried fruit, fresh fruit and fruit chips provide satisfaction without the burden of extra calories and an over-filled feeling.
 
LUNCH
Focus on foods which are high in protein, such as fish (Salmon is perfect for noontime), lean meat, lentils and peanut butter.  This is especially important for women over 30 who benefit from a concentrated dose of protein in a single meal.  The key is to eat sensibly but also eat healthy foods that you enjoy.  The afternoon will be much more productive if you eat a healthy lunch.
 
DINNER
It really doesn’t matter so much what you eat for dinner as long as it is not too late in the evening.  Why?  Eating late does not allow the meal to be properly digested throughout the night and may cause you to be restless. Certain foods consumed during dinner offer additional benefits such as spinach, bok choy, green and yellow vegetables, such as squash, zucchini and peppers, saut√©ed in extra virgin olive oil.  Such veggies are excellent for the skin and help to prevent wrinkles while providing a sense of calmness. For some, fatty foods, alcohol, tomato sauce, citrus and chocolate can trigger heartburn and should be avoided if you have a sensitivity to them.  One glass of red wine is good for heart but overindulgence negatively affects the liver and can result in sleeplessness.
 
In summary, to have a productive day at the office, or in court, it is vital to eat a diet that provides the nutrients to be at your best. Healthy eating will result in a productive workday! 
 
 
Nelson Tucker is CEO of Process Service Network in the Los Angeles area.  His expertise is in legal support services, not nutrition.  After 35 years of working with attorneys and legal support professionals, he is keenly aware that a stress-free working environment is the key to being fully productive.  He may be reached at nelson@processnet1.com .

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why Your Process Server May Be Letting You Down


by Nelson Tucker, M.P.S.
CEO, Process Service Network



This is not an indictment of your process server, but rather, is intended to help you help your process server do a more effective job for your firm.  Please allow me to explain.
 

Many process servers are highly trained, capable and effective – some are not!  You know if you have a good one based on their performance.  All of us who provide legal support services can always use additional training and acquiring of new resources.  Finding the additional training and on-going education can be difficult for some process servers to find.  Here are some helpful tips that you can pass along to your process server.
 

Develop creative ways to get people served – the days of simply knocking on the front door of a defendant or witness and expecting them to open the portal and accept the documents are a thing of the past.  People have become more cynical of a stranger at the door, especially at night. Some techniques utilized by many process servers include:
 

·         Wearing their ID card in a lanyard around their neck – people inside the residence may peek through a window or peephole and see what appears to be identification and will be more likely to open the door;

·         Displaying their process server badge (in states where allowed) when a person inside looks out to see who is at the door;

·         Leaving a “Notice” on the front door of the residence if persons inside do not respond after knocking.  Process Service Network developed a notice that advises the defendant that they have 24 hours to contact the process server to make arrangements for service or legal consequences may follow.  The result is an 89% call-in rate and 100% service completion.  We are pleased to share the notice with interested parties;

·         Include a special notice, with the appropriate laws of the state where service is being made, on top of the service documents.  This one-page notice describes the optional methods of service (substituted service, posting, service by publication, etc.) and educates the person being served that personal service may not be the exclusive method of service.  This is especially effective when performing a substituted service;

·         If serving a defendant at work, call them while outside in the parking lot and advise that you are a process server, that you have legal documents for them, and you do not wish to cause them embarrassment by serving them at work.  One hundred percent of the defendants will either come outside to accept or direct you to the reception area where they will meet to accept the documents.
 

Serve people the way you would expect to be served – the movies and TV have always portrayed process servers as villains who slap a subpoena on the chest of a witness and proclaim, “You’ve been served!”  Bad idea.  It has been said that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  True. You can serve more people with kindness than with rudeness.  The question a process server should ask themselves is “How would I like to be served if someone were serving me?”  The answer is with dignity and professionalism.
 

No doubt, your process server is proficient in modern techniques and current laws.  These suggestions can only make him or her more efficient.
 

If we can assist with hard-to-serve cases domestically or international services anywhere in the world, please contact us at nelson@processnet1.com .
 

Nelson Tucker is CEO of Process Service Network, LLC in the Los Angeles area where his firm has provided legal support services since 1978.  He has authored 3 books on service of process and has personally trained over 1700 process servers and investigators nationwide.  Nelson may be reached by email at nelson@processnet.com  or by visiting his website at www.processnet1.com .  He is active with the American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Ventura County Bar Association, and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Don’t Bother Avoiding a Process Server


By Nelson Tucker

Isn’t it amazing that some people think that if they avoid service of process that a lawsuit filed against them will go away?  Litigation will not disappear unless it is either settled or the time for service elapses.  Avoiding service usually makes things worse and can result in additional costs to the defendant while evasion only delays the inevitable.
 

How do I know?  I have a registered process server for the past 35 years.  While the vast majority of services are routine, a few pose some significant challenges in getting them personally served.
 

[“You’ll never be able to serve me personally!” claimed the defendant. 
The next evening he was served leaving his favorite restaurant with his family.]
 

Some defendants are skilled at avoiding service.  Many are experienced because of the number of lawsuits filed against them. For example, a celebrity was contacted through his Twitter account and was advised that he would be served in public unless he agreed to a confidentially arranged service. “You’ll never be able to serve me personally!” claimed the defendant.  The next evening he was served leaving his favorite restaurant with his family.
 

Here are the primary methods for completing a service of process assignment on a defendant:
 

1.       Personal service:   In most states that means handing the documents to a defendant, whether they accept the papers, or not.  There is ample case law that allows for the documents to be dropped at the feet of the defendant who refuses to accept service.[1]  It is still personal service since the act of leaving the documents within reasonable proximity to the person being served is the key element of service[2].

2.       Substituted service:  This simply means handing the documents to a person of suitable age and discretion (in the absence of the defendant) at an address, in California for example, where the defendant either resides, works, receives mail, or where a security guard denies access to the premises.[3]  Service can also be made by serving the agent of a celebrity if the defendant (celebrity) or agent agrees. Most attorneys are not aware of a provision that allows for substituted service at an address on file with the DMV, even if the defendant no longer live there![4]

3.       Service by Publication.  After a diligent attempt at other methods of service and not knowing of the existence of a valid address for service, a court order can be obtained allowing for service by publishing proper notice in a local newspaper for 4 consecutive weeks.

 If a defendant is made aware of the alternatives to personal service, they are more likely to agree to voluntarily accept service.  That can be accomplished by leaving a “notice” at their known address which explains the various options available to the process server.  It is utilized only if the process server has clear evidence that the defendant is intentionally avoiding service of process.
 

Here is an excerpt of a notice we use in California:
                Should it become necessary, due to your documented failure to respond, the Court may award costs against you for any or all of the following:
·         Stake-out of your home or business by a licensed private investigator or registered process server;
·         Service at your place of employment by leaving the documents with the person in charge of the business;
·         Service at your residence by leaving the documents with any member of the household who is at least 18 years of age;
·         Investigative costs to determine another place for service;
·         Service by publication in a local newspaper;
·         Service by means of break-in by a Sheriff, upon Court Order;[1]
·         Or, any other alternative legal means of service.”
 
Upon reading the full “Notice to Defendant” it becomes clear that is it in the best interest of the defendant to contact the process server to arrange for service at a convenient time and location.
 
There is an old adage in process serving circles, “You can run but you cannot hide.”  Avoiding service will only delay the inevitable and will surely result in additional costs to be payable by the defendant.
 
Nelson Tucker is CEO of Process Service Network located in the Los Angeles area.  He has been a process server and owner of a legal services firm for the past 35 years.  His firm specializes in international and hard-to-serve cases, including celebrities and heads-of-state.  He may be contacted at nelson@processnet1.com  .




[1] In re Ball (1934) 2 Cal App 2d 578,579, 38 P 2d 411
[2] Crescendo Corp. v. Shelted (1968) 267 Cal App 2d 209,212, 72 Cal Rptr 776
[3] California Code of Civil Procedure, §415.20, §415.21
[4] California Vehicle Code §1808.21(c)
[1]Los Angeles County Sheriff Handbook

Friday, June 28, 2013

Top 10 Things You Should Know About International Service of Process


By Nelson Tucker, CEO, Process Service Network, Associate Member of the American Bar Association


International service of process is challenging and difficult to understand if you are attempting to do it on your own.  The hours of research can drain your budget and may not provide accurate information to complete the service properly.  That is why you need a company that is experienced and qualified in international process service. 

Here are 10 things you should MUST know about serving legal documents in a foreign country:  
1.      Do NOT mail documents to foreign defendants.  It is a violation of federal laws in most countries and is punishable by civil and criminal penalties in countries such as China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Switzerland and Venezuela.  The parties that are liable are the plaintiff, their attorney, and anyone else associated with the mailing.
2.      Choose the correct method of service.  There are two basic methods for serving legal documents in foreign jurisdictions:
a.      Formal service – by utilizing either the provisions of the Hague Service Convention, the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, or Letters Rogatory.  The choice depends on the country and type of document being served.  The advantage is a more enforceable judgment; the disadvantage is the time delay and cost.  If you intend to enforce the judgment in the foreign country, this is the recommended method.
b.      Informal service – by private process server.  This method is similar to how process serving is done in the United States and Canada.  The advantage is faster completion of the service; the disadvantage is the cost and possibility that the enforcement of judgment may be challenged.  If you are seeking to merely satisfy the court of jurisdiction that service has been accomplished, this is the recommended method.
3.      Service in other countries is different than it is here!  It is not a matter of telling a process server in Colombia, for example, to go serve a defendant tomorrow.  The work habits, traditions, communications, and laws of the foreign nation determine how and when a service will take place.  It is not uncommon for payment of “fees” to be made to local law enforcement officials in order to obtain permission to serve documents.  It is also an obstacle to have instant communication (email, phone, etc.) with process servers in parts of Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East due to slow or downed Internet connections and telephone outages.
4.      Beware of problem countries.  Some countries are currently attempting to delay service of process requests in order to protect against the assets of their entities from leaving the country.  The recent downturn in the global economy has encouraged this type of behavior by governments and foreign courts.  Among the worst culprits are Mexico, India, China, Venezuela, Argentina, Italy, and Russia.  Russia handles the obstacle by simply ignoring formal requests made pursuant to the Hague Service Convention.  The others either stall in the execution of the request or reject the documents on baseless grounds in hopes that the requesting party will give up.
5.      Your local Court must be educated.  Because of the delays in international service of process, it may be necessary to request an extension of time for completion of service.  Hague service can take one to seven months, depending upon the country (worst are Italy and India currently).  While service by private process server may take as little as 24 hours (Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Philippines, Brazil), it may also take over a month due to local situations there and the availability of the person being served.  My firm is always pleased to provide an affidavit explaining the reasons for delay, if any, to be used in seeking an extension of time for service.
6.      Translation is required in most countries.  If serving by a formal method, translation is always required.  Remember that all documents must be translated, including exhibits. Translation is optional if utilizing service by private process server.  However, there can be problems if the documents are not translated and the defendant does not file a response, resulting in a default judgment.  Their defense will be that they simply did not understand the nature of the documents and the necessity of filing a written response. Think about this: If your client received a summons from a court in China, written in Chinese, would they be able to recognize the requirements for responding and protections afforded under Chinese laws?
7.      Cost of service seems unreasonably high. Process serving is more expensive in most countries than locally because of 1) security issues, 2) cost of living in the foreign nation, 3) scarcity of qualified process servers in some areas, 4) currency exchange, 5) fuel costs, 6) travel time, 7) number of attempts required to complete service, 8) belief by foreign process servers that U.S. attorneys can afford to pay more, 9) bank transfer costs to pay foreign process servers, and 10) “fees” that are often required in order to obtain permission to perform the service.  For example, most process servers in Latin America, Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia take 2-4 bodyguards with them while serving. Also, fuel costs approach US$9.00 per gallon in some areas and $6.00+ per gallon is the norm in most nations.
8.      Understand the promise.  Don’t take for granted how the service will be completed. Ask for specifics as to how the process works, time frame, possible obstacles. Determine, up front, if there are hidden costs and who is responsible for errors made in the process. Always get everything in writing (email).
9.      Trust, but verify.  There are many companies that claim to provide assistance with international service of process.  There is also a plethora of information on the Internet regarding process service across international borders.  For example, if you compare any three sources against each other you will likely find varying advice and “facts” about service in a specific country.  Even the U.S. Department of State’s website sometimes has erroneous information (we always share the suggested corrections with them as we discover the errors). How do you know what is correct?  Click on www.processnet1.com for information provided free of charge by a firm that has provided accurate international service of process since 1978 (35 years). Always ask the process service firm two questions: 1) “How long have you been in business?” and 2) “How long have you specialized in international service of process?” Ask for proof of both in order to insure that you are dealing with a reputable and qualified firm.
10.   Relax! If you assign the service to a reliable process service firm you should expect that they will handle your assignment correctly and timely. Keep in mind that service of process in another country will not be as efficient or as speedy as it is here in the U.S. and Canada due to customs, conflicting laws, and local restrictions on process servers. Your process service firm should be sensitive to court deadlines and provide an affidavit regarding the status of the service, at no charge, upon your request.  If they seek to charge extra, beware!

Nelson Tucker is CEO of Process Service Network, LLC that specializes in international service of process for the past 35 years. He can be contacted at nelson@processnet1.com  or through the firm’s website at www.processnet1.com

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why International Process Service Is So Expensive

( Re-Print of blog from December 2011 with updates)

People ask me all of the time, “Why is international service of process so expensive?”  My answer is simple although it does not resonate well with some attorneys and paralegals. 
Process serving is more expensive in most countries than locally because of 1) security issues, 2) cost of living in the foreign nation, 3)  scarcity of qualified process servers in some areas, 4) currency exchange, 5) fuel costs, 6) travel time, 7) number of attempts required to complete service, 8) expertise of the U.S. firm which is handling the service, 9) belief by foreign process servers that U.S. attorneys can afford to pay more, 10) bank transfer costs to pay foreign process servers, and 11) bribes that are often required in order to obtain permission to perform the service.  Please allow me to explain each reason:
1.       Although the bribery issue may be the most shocking, the primary cause of high costs is security issues associated with serving legal documents in many nations.  For example, it is customary for a process server in other countries to have 2-4 bodyguards with him while making the service. That extra security is not related to actually serving the documents, but rather, to issues such as kidnapping, mugging, and attack by street people.  If you calculate the costs of two to four additional people involved in the service, you quickly see that the costs can be staggering.  Process servers are subjected to threats that are unheard of in most areas of North America and they must take additional precautions to insure their safety.
2.       The cost of living and prevailing rates charged by process servers in many areas of the world explain high costs.  Hong Kong, Singapore and Paris are good examples of cities having an extreme cost of living and process service fees are proportionally higher than in such places as Dublin, Vancouver or Cancun.
3.       Because process serving is not a common task in many countries due to their legal system, there are often no qualified process servers to perform the assignment.  When Process Service Network began serving in foreign countries, we developed a team of private process servers, private investigators, and off-duty law enforcement officers to handle the tasks.  Often, we had to train the person in order to have a qualified agent to handle services. Now, we offer the #1 training program in the world through our own Process Service University. Costs are affected by currency exchange rates in such areas as Europe, especially the UK where the Sterling Pound is strong against the Dollar.  A service that would normally cost $100 in the U.S. would be $200 in the UK, assuming all other factors were equal.
4.       Fuel costs are seriously higher in almost every area of the world compared to the states. In most of Europe gas is over $6.00 per gallon while in Taiwan is often reaches $8.00 per gallon.
5.       Travel time is a major factor in international service of process as it is common for drive time to be several hours to get from one side of a major city to the other.  If you have ever visited Manila, Mexico City, Tokyo, Taipei, Beijing, Paris or Rome you understand.  Service in outlying areas where there are no process servers often require overnight stays and multiple attempts, thus increasing the cost.
6.       Process servers are contracted for completing a service rather than simply making attempts.  Therefore, they set their fees to accommodate having to make numerous attempts at service.  For example, it is common for 10 or more attempts at service be made prior to completing the service.  Since the foreign process server must pay his/her own expenses, their quoted rates are high due to anticipated trips. I recently visited Kauai, Hawaii which is a relatively small island.  It took 1 hour and 50 minutes to travel from one area to another (one way!).  Imagine if it required numerous attempts to complete the service.
7.       Just as an attorney is entitled to significant hourly rates based on their expertise, companies which specialize in international service of process have specific expertise that command a fair market rate.  Fortunately, most reputable process service firms charge a flat rate for the case, not by the hour, or by the number of attempts.
8.       There is a perception among foreign process servers that all U.S. attorneys are rich….too much television.  That opinion leads them to believe that they can gouge American law firms.  In reality, U.S. attorneys face the same fiscal constraints as those in any other country.  Educating the overseas process server is the job of a reputable company that facilitates international service of process on behalf of their clients.
9.       Bank wire fees, and sometimes, Western Union fees lead to increased costs.  Since many foreign process servers require payment, in advance, it is usually necessary to make payment by bank transfer or other methods prior to making the assignment.
10.   The final cost that creates higher rates is the money that must be paid for bribes to get permission from local officials to serve legal documents.  Bribes are a reality and are quite common in most regions of the world – it’s the way things get done.  Process servers are forced to pay “fees” to government officials in order to get law enforcement cooperation and even, in some cases, to avoid prosecution for not paying the bribe.
In summary, things work differently in most parts of the world than in North America.  You may not fully understand that until you visit certain regions and experience the hidden costs that are often associated with conducting business.
The solution to avoiding unknown hidden costs is to employ the services of a reputable process service firm that specializes in international service.  They understand the ins-and-outs of the business and know how to circumvent many of the concealed costs.
For answers to questions you may have about this article, please contact Nelson Tucker, CEO of Process Service Network, LLC, by email at processnet@sbcglobal.net, phone at 1-800-417-7623, or visit the website at www.processnet1.com.