Service of process is when legal documents -- such as summonses, complaints and subpoenas -- are delivered to an individual or organization involved in a legal proceeding. The service, or delivery, of these legal papers must be served by a person who is not a party to the legal case. The cost depends on the type of service, the difficulty of the service and if there is additional work, such as locating a person.
Service Rates And Mileage:
Routine services, meaning the first service attempt is within the same day or following day after receipt of papers and it varies, depending on the type of case and region. My typical rates vary between $75 to $125. If you require the service to be a "rush" service, meaning the papers must be served that day, my service price includes RUSH SERVICE. Extra Travel Fee will be quoted with services beyond the city limits of Bakersfield.
Quoted Fee must be paid upfront...
Service of legal papers to some organizations is done through a registered agent, not to the organization itself. This registered agent might be a person or business. Process servers sometimes call these "drop" services because the papers are "dropped off." The charges for these services are typically $75 routine process services. If a process service is to conduct multiple drop services to the same registered agent, I will charge a bulk rate or a discounted rate.
Sometimes the person being served legal papers actively dodges the process server by, for example, not answering her door, having family members claim he doesn't live at that address or other avoidance tactics. Process servers often call these "difficult" services. Due to the additional effort, investigative techniques and time required to serve the person, I the process server will charges more. These additional rates are negotiated between me and you the client, and usually reflect private investigation rates for the region, but I am no private investigator.
Although the routine service rate typically includes the cost of a notary, some process servers charge separately for that service -- an average cost for a notary is $30 to $150 (travel within the city limits of Bakersfield and what type of notary assignment). If a client is unsure where the person to be served lives, the process server might skip trace (locate) the person for an additional hourly or flat fee. I as a process server, I will also file the proof of service to the courts (also called return of service) for an additional fee (Travel + Court Fees)