(Edited March 3, 2009)
Who can be a process server in Texas?
Any adult over the age of eighteen (18) years old, that is not a party to the case, or a member of a corporation or organization that is a party, may serve (deliver) the papers.
Does Texas require process servers to be licensed?
Are there any day or time restrictions to service of process in Texas?
Rule 3-125: Process may be served on a Sunday or holiday, except that a writ of distraint or for eviction or possession shall not be served on Sunday.
Other Recommended Training Books:
- SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL PROCESS SERVING & CERTIFICATION
(Includes PROCESS SERVICE TEST and Forum Access to IPIU members. Examination & Diploma are optional)
- HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A PROCESS SERVER
- PROCESS SERVER'S HANDBOOK AND LEGAL REFERENCE DIRECTORY
- PROCESS SERVING FOR PROS
- The Registered Process Server's Guide
There are three by-laws in Texas concerning process servering. They are as follows....To qualify under Rule 103 a person must be a sheriff, a deputy sheriff, a constable, a deputy constable, or a person appointed by the court issuing the process.
- RULE 6. SUITS COMMENCED ON SUNDAY.
No civil suit shall be commenced nor process issued or served on Sunday, except in cases of injunction, attachment, garnishment, sequestration, or distress proceedings; provided that citation by publication on Sunday shall be valid.
- RULE 103. TEXAS RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE. WHO MAY SERVE
Citation and other notices may be served anywhere by (1) any sheriff or constable or other person authorized by law or, (2) by any person authorized by law or the written order of the court who is not less than eighteen years of age. No person who is a party to or interested in the outcome of the suit shall serve any process. Service by registered or certified mail and citation by publication shall, if requested be made by the clerk of the court in which the case is pending. The order authorizing a person to serve process may be made without written motion and no fee shall be imposed for issuance of such order.
- Rule 106, T.R.C.P. METHOD OF SERVICE
(a) Unless the citation or an order of the court otherwise directs, the citation shall be served by any person authorized by Rule 103 by:
(1) delivering to the defendant, in person, a true copy of the citation with the date of delivery endorsed thereon with a copy of the petition attached thereto, or
(2) mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true copy of the citation with a copy of the petition attached thereto.
(b) Upon motion supported by affidavit stating the location of the defendants usual place of business or usual place of abode or other place where the defendant can probably be found and stating specifically the facts showing that service has been attempted under either (a)(1) or (a)(2) at the location named in such affidavit but has not been successful, the court may authorize service
(1) by leaving a true copy of the citation, with a copy of the petition attached, with anyone over sixteen years of age at the location specified in such affidavit, or
(2) in any other manner that the affidavit or other evidence before the court shows will be reasonably effective to give the defendant notice of the suit.
In Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, Travis, Bexar, and a few other counties the courts have adapted a “standing order.” The administrative judge in those counties reviews the applicant and determines whether he or she is qualified. If the order is granted the individual may serve certain items of process (Citation and other Notices) without further order.
To qualify for the 103 order the person must sign an affidavit attesting to the fact that he or she is over the age of 18, is a disinterested party, and has no disqualifying criminal convictions. The disqualifying conviction varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Some counties, such as Dallas and Denton, require training.
An exception to Rule 103 is found in Rule 176. A subpoena may be served by any disinterested party who is 18 years of age or older. Federal Summons (Federal Rule 4) and Subpoenas (Federal Rule 45) may also be served by any disinterested person who is age 18 or older.
After appointment by the court to serve process it is the responsibility of each individual to generate his own book of business. The courts will not provide process to be served nor will they provide leads to new business. Many who are new to the industry gain experience and knowledge by serving process for an established company. Nearly all major cities have a number of established process service companies. View our Help Wanted page for some leads to those companies.
The charge for serving process is set by the process server (or his company policy.) Many base their charges upon what the county officers (Sheriff & Constables) charge. A call to your local District Clerks office should reveal the county fees. Others charge by the hour or by other criteria. It is the responsibility of the litigant asking for service to pay the fees, and is usually done through their attorney.