Judicial Summons Expert Witnesses

A judicial summons expert witness may opine regarding the process server’s work product. The National Association of Professional Process Servers has established the Standards, Best Practices and The Policy Manual. Although applicable only to members of this association, the Policy Manual is also published for public awareness and use.

These guidelines address three important aspects of proofs or affidavits of service: content, signature(s) and record keeping. They are designed to ensure that the proofs or affidavits of service be completed and signed by the person making service. The traditional and fundamental components of proving service must be maintained. The process server must attest to the facts under penalty of perjury, or by sworn affidavit, and personally sign, or, where permitted by law, cause his or her signature to be affixed electronically to, the proof or affidavit of service.

It is not proper for a proof of service to be signed before completion, or signed in blank to be completed later. It is not permissible to sign the process server’s name to a proof of service on his or her behalf.

A written permanent record of the service should be maintained, and made available upon request. Although a process server’s declaration is made based upon personal knowledge, a business may proffer evidence of service under Federal Rules of Evidence Sec. 807, or state equivalent. A business record, offered in lieu of a personal declaration of the server, when the server is unavailable, does not violate the hearsay rule if it is supported with a declaration of the custodian of the record. Making a record of the service based upon a writing made in the regular course of business does not violate these Best Practices, nor the NAPPS Code of Ethics.