When you file a case against someone, you need to find a professional to carry out the service of process. 

While some people would try to do it themselves or seek the help of a sheriff, most opt to hire a process server in California. Not only that the documents reach the intended individual, but these professionals have the right qualifications, knowledge, and resources to do this type of job properly and legally. 

The cost of a process server might be a factor, but it’s a very small price to pay to ensure due process is upheld.

So, which types of documents can you entrust with a process server?

Papers That Process Servers Serve


This is one of the most common papers that a process server serves. A subpoena is a legal document issued by the court or an attorney to compel someone to appear in court as a witness or to provide testimony or evidence. It may also require them to produce documents or other tangible items that are crucial in the legal proceeding.


Unlike a subpoena, a summons notifies an individual or business that they are being sued and must appear in court to respond to the allegations against them. It typically contains information about the lawsuit, including the name of the plaintiff, the nature of the claims being asserted, and the date and time of the court hearing. Failing to respond to a summons can lead to a default judgment against the defendant.

Divorce Petition

Also known as a petition for dissolution of marriage, a divorce petition is filed by one spouse to initiate the divorce process. It outlines the grounds for divorce, such as irreconcilable differences or adultery, and may also address issues, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts.

Once the divorce petition is served on the other spouse, they have a certain amount of time to respond before the divorce proceedings can move forward.

Legal Complaint

Generally, legal complaints are filed by a plaintiff to initiate a civil lawsuit against a defendant. It sets forth the factual allegations and claims against the defendant and requests relief, such as monetary damages or injunctive relief.

In California, a complaint must be served on the defendant following the Code of Civil Procedure, typically by a process server, to notify them of the lawsuit and allow them to respond.

Defendant’s Claim

A defendant’s claim, also known as a counterclaim, is a legal document filed by a defendant in response to a complaint. It asserts claims against the plaintiff and seeks relief, such as monetary damages or declaratory relief.

A counterclaim may arise out of the same facts and circumstances as the plaintiff’s claims or may be based on separate grounds. Once served on the plaintiff, the counterclaim becomes part of the lawsuit and will be litigated along with the plaintiff’s claims.

Notice of Contempt Motion

This is issued by the court to notify a party that they are being charged with contempt of court. This crime occurs when they fail to comply with a court order or otherwise disrupt the proceedings.

This notice informs the party of the specific allegations against them and provides them with an opportunity to respond before the court takes any action.


An affidavit is a sworn statement of fact that is signed by the affiant (the person making the statement) under oath or affirmation. This document is common in legal proceedings to present evidence or facts to the court. It is also used to support or oppose motions, provide testimony when a witness is unavailable, or establish facts that are not in dispute.

Affidavits must be signed in the presence of a notary public or other authorized official to be considered valid.

Notice to Quit

Widely known as an eviction notice, a notice to quit is served by a landlord to a tenant to inform them that they must vacate the premises by a certain date. Eviction notices are typically issued for non-payment of rent, violation of lease terms, or other breaches of the rental agreement.

This notice must comply with state and local laws regarding eviction procedures and provide the tenant with a specified period to remedy the situation or vacate the property.

Termination of Tenancy

Specifically, a termination of tenancy notice can be used by a landlord or a tenant to terminate a rental or lease agreement. Generally, it has the same grounds as an eviction notice, but for this one, they may include the tenant’s desire to end the tenancy for certain reasons. It also specifies the date on which the tenancy will end and any other terms or conditions of termination.

Bankruptcy Petition

A bankruptcy petition is filed by an individual or entity seeking protection from creditors and relief from debts under the bankruptcy laws. It initiates the bankruptcy process and provides information about the debtor’s financial situation, assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.

Depending on the type of bankruptcy, the petitioner may be required to submit additional documentation and attend hearings before the court. Once the petition is filed, an automatic stay goes into effect, halting most collection actions by creditors against the debtor.

Statutory Demand

A statutory demand is a formal written demand that creditors may serve on an individual or company to pay their outstanding debts within 21 days. While this document does not start court proceedings, it is a precursor to case filings.

This document specifies the amount owed, the basis for the debt, and the consequences of non-payment. If the debtor fails to comply with the demand within the specified time frame, the creditor may petition the court for a bankruptcy order.

Freezing Order

Also known as a freezing injunction, a freezing order is issued by the court to prevent an individual from disposing of or dealing with their assets pending the outcome of legal proceedings. It is typically sought by a creditor who is concerned that the debtor may try to dissipate their assets to avoid paying a debt.

Freezing orders are commonly used in cases involving fraud, asset recovery, and disputes over ownership or control of assets.

Contact Order

A contact order regulates the arrangements for contact between a child and a parent, guardian, or other person with whom the child has a significant relationship. It specifies the frequency, duration, and nature of contact, as well as any conditions or restrictions that apply.

Contact orders are commonly used in cases involving divorce or separation where parents are unable to agree on arrangements for their children. The court will consider the best interests of the child when making this order, taking into consideration the child’s age, wishes, and relationship with each parent.

Foreclosure Notice

This is a legal document used by mortgage lenders to initiate a foreclosure against a borrower who has defaulted on their loan. A foreclosure notice informs the borrower that they are in default, specifies the amount owed, and provides a deadline for payment to avoid foreclosure.

If the borrower fails to cure the default within the specified time frame, the lender may proceed with the foreclosure proceedings, which may culminate in the lender taking ownership of the property and selling it to satisfy the debt.

However, when issuing these notices, lenders must provide the borrower with an opportunity to be heard before the property is sold. They should also adhere to the state laws governing foreclosure procedures.

Writ of Execution for Bank Levy

When a creditor needs to access funds from a debtor’s bank account to settle an outstanding debt, they can ask the court to issue a writ of execution for a bank levy

Upon issuance, the creditor is granted the authority to initiate the levy process. The writ is served directly to the financial institution where the debtor holds an account. 

Also, the bank is legally obligated to freeze the debtor’s account and allocate a portion of the funds to be transferred to the creditor to satisfy the debt. 

However, the amount that can be seized through this writ varies depending on the specifics of the debt and the relevant state laws.

Common scenarios where bank levy writs are employed include cases involving unpaid taxes, overdue child support payments, or judgments secured by creditors.

Third-Party Claim

In legal proceedings, a third-party claim allows a defendant to involve an additional individual or entity in the case to share liability or fulfill a related duty. 

This legal strategy is particularly common in insurance-related cases where parties beyond the policyholders are held accountable. 

For instance, a defendant may file an indemnity claim against a third party to allocate responsibility for damages.

Third-party claims are instrumental in determining the apportionment of negligence between the defendant and an additional party. 

They can also lead to the establishment of res judicata between the defendant and the third party, which solidifies the legal resolution. 

Given their significance, jurisdictions have enacted laws to regulate third-party claims and ensure their proper utilization within the legal framework.

For instance, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 14 states that a defendant can serve a summons and complaint on a non-party deemed liable for the claim against them. However, any party can move to strike the claim to sever it or try it separately.

Notice of Action for Visa Applicants

Specifically used for visa applications, a notice of action is Form I-797 sent by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It serves to inform immigrant and non-immigrant applicants about the status of their application, whether received or approved.

USCIS assigns a unique form number to every document, including green cards. While not all forms require completion, Form I-797 plays a crucial role in providing applicants with essential updates regarding their application status.

What Does a Process Server Do?

a process server completing the delivery of legal papers for a client

The main responsibility of process servers is to deliver these legal documents to the correct person and record the service of process as per state law. 

As simple as it may sound, these professionals have an indispensable role in the legal justice system.

So, what does a process server do?

When you file a case or have a legal complaint against someone, the “named person” has to be notified. In layman’s terms, they have to be told when and where to appear and why they are being asked to appear in court. 

And, this notification must be delivered by a professional who is not affiliated with both parties nor do they have any ties to the case. By being impartial, process servers do not have an ulterior motive in performing the task. They also do their job fairly and legally to uphold an individual’s legal right to due process.

Now, what is a process server allowed to do?

If the “named person” is trying to evade the service of process, process servers can be creative to locate them. For example, they can use a substituted service, like leaving a copy of the paper at the individual’s residence or place of business. 

They can also use certified mail. For individuals who are difficult to find, they can also perform skip tracing to collect information about the person in question.

However, there are also things that process servers are prohibited from doing. For example, they cannot break into or enter a home or place of business if the recipient is not available. 

They also cannot force someone to open the door. And, most importantly, they cannot pretend to be law enforcement. Or else, they would face potential legal consequences themselves.    

Hire a Process Server in California from D&R Legal Process Service!

When serving documents to someone, there are specific rules to be followed in every state. If you’re looking for process servers in California that you can trust, then you are in luck. D&R Legal Process Service is here to serve!

Our team of professionals is dedicated to providing you with honest, fast, dependable, and reliable services—at competitive rates! If you have any papers that a process server serves, we can take that assignment with precision and efficiency. Contact us today and let us take care of your legal document delivery needs!

Jason Burke

Jason Burke is a self-made man who knows that hard work pays off. He has dedicated his life to helping other people with their legal problems, and he loves every minute of it!

He has over 24 years of experience in the field, all of which are focused on serving papers. Jason serves papers regulatory and for the last couple of years has served almost everything in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Western Contra Costa Counties himself.

He pepares every single proof of service that D&R Legal Process Service produces to ensure that clients receive the highest quality they have come to expect from them.

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