An Affidavit of Service – also known as a Proof of Service or Return of Service – is an important document provided by process servers after they have successfully served documents to someone. This affidavit is a notarized testimony signed by the server that details the time, date, manner of service, identity of the person served and other details of the job. If a party in the case claims to not have been notified of pending legal action, the Affidavit of Service can be presented to prove otherwise.
Even if the process server isn’t able to serve the person, the affidavit can be used to prove due diligence. Using an Affidavit of Due Diligence, the server can show that he or she made a number of attempts and can detail the reasons why service of process was not possible. This Affidavit of Due Diligence shows that you made every effort to notify the other party or parties of pending legal proceedings.
The information included in a proof of service typically includes:
Once a process server serves the relevant legal documents, it is then their responsibility to file the affidavit form with the local court in order to confirm proper service of process. If this is not done or done incorrectly, the proceedings have the potential to be challenged or dismissed completely due to improper service of process. Similarly, if the affidavit of service form is proven fraudulent, the case may be dismissed and the process server subject to a civil suit for forgery of court documents, which is a criminal offense.
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