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    May 19, 2023
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    Process Service
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    Steven A. Hemmat

Understanding Process Service: An Easy Guide to Washington State Law

Washington courts require process service. But what is it, and why is it necessary in the age of emails and direct messaging? Learn more about the basics of process and how it might impact you.

Today we’re going to break down a big idea from the world of law into simple pieces. We’re going to learn about something called “process service.” It’s a crucial part of the law here in Washington State that protects the rights of citizens and litigants alike.

What Is Process Service?

First things first, let’s talk about what process service is. You can think of it like this: it’s the job of making sure important papers get to the right people. When there’s a lawsuit happening, there are a lot of papers that go back and forth between different people. These papers could be something like a summons, which is a fancy way of saying, “you need to come to court,” or they could be subpoenas, which are orders to show up in court or to provide some sort of evidence.

Why Do We Need Process Service?

Now, you might be asking, “Why can’t we just send these papers through the mail or by email?” That’s a great question! Court cases are very important, and the papers that go with them are just as important. Society can’t risk these papers getting lost in the mail or accidentally deleted from an inbox. We need to make sure they get exactly where they need to go. That’s where the process server comes in. They make sure that these papers are hand-delivered directly to the person they’re meant for – ensuring they receive their day in court.

Process service is important because it’s part of making sure everyone in a court case has a fair shot. Everyone involved needs to know what’s going on so they can make their best case. This is part of something we call “due process,” which means everyone should be treated fairly when they’re dealing with the court system.

How Does Process Service Work in Washington State?

In Washington State, we have specific rules for how process service should work. Here’s how it goes: First, the person delivering the papers (we call this person the process server) has to be at least 18 years old and not involved in the case at all. They could be a professional process server, a sheriff, or even just a friend or family member who’s willing to help out.
The process server’s job is to personally deliver the papers to the person named on them. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the person who needs to get the papers. When that happens, the process server can leave the papers with someone at the person’s home. This is called “substitute service.” In some cases, if the court gives permission, the process server can also post a notice in a public place or even in a newspaper.

Why Does Process Service Matter?

Even though it might not seem like it at first, process service is a big deal. It’s all about making sure that everyone in a court case knows what’s going on and has a chance to tell their side of the story. This is a key part of our legal system, which is set up to protect everyone’s rights and make sure justice is served.

Even if you’re not involved in a court case right now, it’s good to know about process service. If you have recently been served with papers, or if you want to ensure documents get to where they need to go, get in touch with an experienced Washington attorney near you to ensure your rights are respected.

If you are looking for caring and compassionate legal guidance in the Seattle area, contact the Hemmat Law Group today at (206) 682-5200 to speak with a dedicated family law attorney.


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Article by Steven A. Hemmat
Founder, CEO