Are you in need of a professional and reliable process server to handle your legal document delivery? Look no further than Southwest Louisiana Process Service! Our experienced team of process servers is committed to following the best practices and strategies outlined in this article to ensure a smooth and effective service experience for our clients. Don't leave your important legal matters to chance – trust the experts at Southwest Louisiana Process Service to deliver your papers with accuracy, efficiency, and professionalism. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and let us help you navigate the complex world of process serving with ease and confidence!
In the rural areas of Southwest Louisiana, where owning firearms is as common as owning a toothbrush , serving legal documents can be a risky at times. This is especially true when the person being served is uncooperative and unwilling to make contact. As a former Probation & Parole Officer for the State of Louisiana, I learned a valuable trick that has proven to be effective for process servers. In this article, I will share my experience and explain how you can use this simple trick to successfully serve papers to even the most elusive individuals.
A Trick from the Field: Use Your Horn!
During my time as a Probation & Parole Officer, I managed a caseload of offenders who needed to be visited at their homes once every month. However, many offenders simply did not answer the door when their officers knocked. A 20+ year veteran officer taught me a trick that made home visits more efficient: "Blow your vehicle horn after you pull into their driveway," he said, "just give a couple of friendly honks right before you step out of your vehicle."
The idea is simple and easy to understand. When someone hears a car horn, they usually become curious and try to see who's outside, either by looking through a window or opening the door. They might wonder if it's a friend or family member with a new car, making them more likely to come out and take a look. Basically, the car horn serves as a non-threatening way to get someone's attention, making them curious about the visitor. As a process server, I continue to use this technique to determine if someone is home. If the person looks through a window, I give them a friendly wave from inside my car, which prompts them to come outside about 90% of the time.
A Safer Approach: Serve Papers in the Driveway
Serving papers in the driveway is a safer alternative to knocking on doors. Most of my serves as a process server occur in the driveway, where the person being served feels less threatened by a stranger at their doorstep. This approach also allows me to see their hands for any potential weapons and seek cover from my vehicle if necessary. On the other hand, approaching a person's home and knocking is a little more riskier. Police officers and Probation officers are taught to avoid the "fatal funnel" by standing off to the side of the door before knocking. Upon approaching a residence, it's essential to be cautious, checking for cameras, listening for movement in and around the residence, scanning windows, and having an "exit plan" are always good techniques before knocking.
Benefits of Using the Horn Trick:
Safer for both parties: Serving legal documents in an open area, such as a driveway or front yard, is safer for both the process server and the person being served. It allows you to clearly see their hands for any potential weapons, and it keeps servers out of the potentially dangerous "fatal funnel" of a doorway.
Lowered guard: When a process server is not standing directly at the threshold of a subject's residence, the subject's guard tends to be lowered, making them more willing to accept the legal documents.
Increased success rate: Using the horn trick can significantly increase your success rate as a process server by making it easier to establish contact with the person you're trying to serve, by using their curiosity against them.
By incorporating this simple, yet effective trick into your process serving strategy, you can increase your success rate and ensure a safer experience for both you and the person you're serving.
Brandon LaVan, Process Server
Southwest Louisiana Process Service, LLC