Process Servers and Violence
Posted by Writing PIs on November 29, 2012
We’re now a law firm, with one of us still working as a private investigator. The one who’s still working as a PI got tired of dealing with people turning violent when she’s serving legal papers, so she’s been sub-contracting that work to a fantastic process server who runs his own agency. Today we learned he’s sold his process service agency. Why? Because recently he was attacked by a man who didn’t like being served legal papers. A man who’s wealthy and holds an esteemed position in his profession.
The process server ended up spraying this attacker with pepper spray in order to get away to safety.
This episode brought back horrific memories of a local PI who was murdered several years ago in the course of serving legal papers. As our former process server told us, “No job is worth losing your life over.”
This episode echoes other posts we’ve written about the dangers that sometimes occur when serving legal papers. One of us, Shaun, had a person (to whom he’d just served papers) follow him all the way to his car, pounding her fists on his back the entire way. Another time, a guy tried to run Shaun over with his car. Colleen just this past year has had two different women follow her, screaming and threatening violence because they didn’t like being served legal papers.
Below is a post we wrote several years ago titled “Pit Bulls and Process Services.” It wasn’t the first time someone sic’d their dog on us. And by the way, we’re looking for a new process server.
Pit Bulls and Process Services (2009)
We just had another scare this morning while attempting to serve legal papers — the owner sent a massive pit bull to “greet” us. This was after my business partner, standing on the front porch, politely asked if so-and-so was home.
Fortunately, my business partner thought quickly and put his foot against the screen door, blocking the dog’s exit. Mind you, my partner loves dogs. He’s trained German Shepherds as show dogs in the past. We have two Rotweillers (but we never send them to an open door to greet strangers–in fact, we’re well aware their looks alone might scare people, so we put the dogs into a separate room if we’re expecting people who haven’t met the dogs to come to our office).
This wasn’t the first time we’ve attempted to serve legal papers and had people sic dogs on us. The last time, my partner did the same thing as today (he had his foot pressed on the outside door, preventing the dog from exiting).
There was a recent episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter where a person released an aggressive pit bull (dog on “Dog”), and Dog shot some kind of pellet (not ammunition) at the dog to scare it away.
We don’t carry any type of gun, and don’t believe in carrying guns, but after these two episodes we’re considering carrying some type of protection (pepper spray?) although how quickly could we manage that with a charging dog? It’d be ideal to meet people at public places to serve them papers, but that’s rarely an option.
This is a question we’ll broach with other PIs and process servers, get their reactions, and we’ll post their suggestions here.
Stay tuned, Writing PIs
- The Writing PIs ranked #8 in PINow’s Top 75 Investigators on Twitter 2012 (writingpis.wordpress.com)
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