New Legislation Aimed at Changing the Way Process Servers Do Their Jobs Signed Into Law

Legislation aimed at changing the way process servers do their jobs was recently signed into law by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Who is a process server?

In legal matters, a process server is a trained professional who delivers notice – often by hand – that indicates that a legal action has been initiated.

A trained person who 18 years of age or older may serve as a process server, provided they are unbiased and don’t have any interest in the parties involved in the lawsuit. While delivering notice, the process server must make sure to follow local laws and keep proper records of their service of process, which may be admissible in court.

What does the current law state?

Under the Commencement of Action and Service of Process Act (the Act), a proof of service process must be made by one of the following methods:

  • Written acknowledgment of the receipt of a summons and copy of the complaint, dated and signed by the person authorized under the Act to receive them;
  • A certificate, stating the facts of service, if service is made by a sheriff or a deputy sheriff, medical examiner, bailiff, or a deputy of any of these officers, if the officers held office in a county in which the court issuing the process is held; or
  • An affidavit, stating the facts of service, if service is made by any other person, and indicating his or her official capacity, if any.

What does the new law state?

The law amends the Act to modify the affidavit provision. The change states that proof of service of process would be made by one of the first two methods listed above, or the following:

  • A written statement of fact of service that is signed and dated and verified by the following statement: “I declare under the penalty of perjury that this proof of service has been examined by me and that its contents are true to the best of my information, knowledge, and belief,” if service were made by an individual other than a sheriff, a deputy sheriff, a medical examiner, a court officer, or a deputy of any of those officers.

Help is available

The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to assist you if you are involved in a lawsuit. For more information, call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

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