The cost of process serving varies depending on the type of service required, the difficulty of the service, and additional charges. Process serving is the act of delivering legal documents such as complaints and subpoenas to individuals or organizations involved in legal proceedings. It must be undertaken by an individual who is not party to the legal case. The average cost of hiring a process server is determined by the type of service involved, difficulty of the service, and if there is additional work involved such as locating an elusive individual.
Service Rates and Mileage
The cost of the first service attempt varies depending on the type of case and region. Rates for the first service may range between $45 and $75. However, the rates may be higher if it is a rush service that must be served on the same day. Most servers charge a certain rate for each mile traveled. Mileage rates also vary depending on the location and type of case.
Serving legal papers to certain organizations is often done through registered agents. The agents may be individuals or businesses. Process serving for corporate clients is often referred to as drop service because the papers are actually dropped off in the offices of the relevant registered agents. The rates for this type of service are often less than those for routine process serving. Some process servers charge reduced or bulk rates for conducting multiple drop services to the same registered agent.
In some cases, the people being served legal documents use various avoidance tactics such as not answering their doors and having family members or friends claim they do not live at the address. Delivering legal papers to such individuals is often referred to as difficult services because of the additional effort and investigative techniques required to locate those individuals. The rates for difficult services are often higher than those for normal services. The additional rates are often negotiated between the process server and the client.