How many days do you have to serve process?
A subpoena or summons (or any pack of court paperwork) needs to be serve so the party receiving it has a reasonable amount of time before the court date or deadline in the court order.
This is usually spelled out by the courts as a specific number of days.
Where I am, the packs are usually required to be served 28 days before the court date.
Many times that does not happen (and it’s not the end of the world).
Don’t get me wrong, if you want to keep your clients happy and stay in business(!) – then serve the packs as you are required!
But here’s the thing… You won’t even get a lot of the packs within the “technical” deadline.
Here’s the real answer: It varies from case to case and packet to packet.
Some of the people you serve will be “friendly” witnesses. They need to get the court summons just so the lawyer can check off the box with the court, but that witness is going to show up no matter what because they WANT to be there.
A Case Study
Imagen this case… A guy is charged with assault. His buddy was there when the “assault” happened. His buddy knows what REALLY happened was the defendant (his friend) was hit three times before he fought back to defend himself! The buddy (“friendly witness”) is going to show up for that court date whether or not he gets a subpoena from the court! But you still gotta’ serve him.
The Real Measure… Ask your client (the law firm) if they need the papers served by a certain date.
Sometimes they will have a “rush” packet to get served and I recommend you charge extra for those. But if you serve the packs you get within 3 days or so of them being issued, you’re going to be a Rock Star in your client’s mind!
If you like this helpful information, then don’t miss out on my free special report If You Want To Be a Private Investigator Give Up… Unless You Do These Three Things. If not, you can get it right here…
Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – Do the right thing even if it’s the hard thing!