Sometimes, we’re the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Snohomish County Process Servers provides professional process services in matters that require service to be effected upon persons who are likely to become violent at the time of service, or are otherwise considered dangerous for various reasons.

We specialize in difficult and high risk process serving, and have years of professional experience in de-escalating tense and volatile situations. We’re prepared to face individuals that pose a clear and present danger or who we believe possesses the potential to become violent at the time of service.

Family law matters in particular, are naturally more potent with regard to emotions, and the unpredictability of persons who are parties to such actions. Matters such as divorce (dissolution), spousal support, child custody, child support, are especially sensitive, and many people involved in these types of actions, are dealing with significant stress, depression, feelings of hopelessness, and frustration.

Matters where a protective order is in place, or requires service, are often due to actions that were threatened, or did occur, due to a persons inability to deal with stressful situations, and when the subject of such an order has a history of violence, the likelihood of danger increases substantially.

A serve is likely to be considered high risk, if service is required upon a person who is known to have violated the law by taking violent actions, or where there have been allegations that they have committed acts of violence against others. Additional factors, such as if the person is involved in regular criminal activity, sells or consumes illegal substances, or has a history of mental illness, when joined with the aforementioned, increases the likelihood that a person may become violent at the time of service.

Time since the last process server was killed while serving a courts process:

Date of Incident: April 13th, 2012 | State: California | Case Type: Civil | Action Type: Eviction (Unlawful Detainer) | Total Victim Count: Two (2)

Why is it important to disclose a history of violence, mental illness, and similar information?

Its critical that you notify us if the person you are requesting we serve has been known to be violent, may be psychologically unstable at the time of service, or is involved in criminal activity. The safety of our process servers is of the utmost importance and we do not want to place ourselves in unanticipated danger unnecessarily.

We understand that sometimes people may feel that this type of information is confidential, and that they have a natural and justified preference for privacy. However, please be mindful that we will be attempting to serve process at your request, and that while it may be court documents that we’re serving, nobody knows the relevant risks involved in your case better than you and your client, or you and your attorney, whichever is applicable.

Understanding the risks involved in a case where service may be considered high risk, provides us the opportunity to consider alternative and non-traditional means of effecting service.

For instance, rather than entering upon a persons property, we may attempt service at their place of employment, or in another public setting where we can reasonably anticipate their presence, and where their actions in such settings, will be more predictable, and less likely to result in an act of violence against our servers.

Additionally, if a person does engage in an act of violence against our servers, its reasonable to presume that they are also likely to contest service at a later time. Our servers will call 9-1-1 if they are assaulted, ensure that a police report is filed and that a record of service is substantiated by the responding officer(s), and law enforcement may press charges with or without our servers personally pressing charges. Its always better for all parties involved, that your legal proceedings move forward without incidents of this nature, and that all parties begin to move on with their lives.

We do not assess any additional fees for service when service is required upon a hostile subject, unless additional service levels are required, or additional personnel are required to be present at the time of service.*

How We Mitigate Risk and Danger

A great amount of information gathering takes place in the preparation stage and is a key element in our planning process. The information gathering process includes the examination of the information provided to us by our client, civil and criminal public records, and the geographical topography of their residence and place of employment.

We also briefly analyze the demographics of the area in which they live and identify whether their residence is located in an urban area, suburban area, or the urban-interface. Once all relevant information has been gathered and examined, a strategic plan is developed and carried out. Contingency plans are established to account for situational variables.

In situations where we are charged with the duty of serving a subject that is known to be violent, hostile, or has verbalized or implied threats, our primary objective is to identify the best place and time to serve them. That means serving them at the safest place and at the safest time. Every effort is made to avoid situations that would place our process server and the defendant/respondent alone and in a remote area. Additionally, effecting service in a tactically nonchalant and unanticipated manner, greatly diminishes the window of opportunity for the subject to evade or take aggressive action.

Generally speaking, public places are ideal. In most cases, people who are potentially violent or hostile demonstrate restraint in public places. This is because they don’t want others to bear witness to them exhibiting hostile behavior or acts. After having conducted reconnaissance (familiarization of the intended location of service), we establish multiple entry and exit strategies and prepare ourselves for situational variables. Once the plan has been reviewed and finalized, the service of process is performed.

High Risk Serve Assessment

Ten Common Factors of High Risk Serves

We’re able to effect service in most cases without incident. However, below is a list of factors that we find to be common in high risk serves. We ask that you notify us if any of the following factors apply to your case:

  1. The subject is chemically dependent or has a history of chemical dependency.

  2. The subject has a history of mental illness or personality disorders.

  3. The subject has been convicted of selling illegal substances, goods, or services.

  4. The subject is known or thought to be selling illegal substances, goods, or services.

  5. The subject has been convicted of a violent crime.

  6. The subject has a history of violence, aggressive behavior, without having been convicted.

  7. The subject has made written, verbalized, or implied threats of retaliation, or violence.

  8. The subject possesses or has been known to possess weapons.

  9. The subject has received formal training in weapons, hand to hand, and/or lethal combat.

  10. The subject currently has active warrants for their arrest, or has absconded (jumped bail).

Are legal actions related to domestic violence considered high risk serves?

Family court matters that include a history of domestic violence are likely to be considered a high risk serve. Though, this is not always the case. We evaluate the severity of the DV charge and weigh it against other factors. Such as the ones listed above. If the domestic violence charge stemmed from moderate pushing or the destruction of the person’s own personal property, your case may not be considered a high risk serve.

However, if the person to be served has been charged with a more severe act of violence (such as, striking, kicking, using a weapon against another person) or has been known to have committed such acts, your case could be considered a high risk serve. Additionally, if an accusation of domestic violence or any form of violence exists in conjunction with one or more of the risk assessment factors listed above, than your case is likely be considered a high risk serve.

Domestic Violence is a tragic and life altering situation. Many women find themselves more afraid of what will happen if they leave, than what they will experience if they stay. If you have been the victim of domestic violence and have found this page while conducting research relevant to your situation, please click here to view a list of local, state, and nationwide resources that are available to you.

Help keep us safe! Let us know of any dangers that may exist.