The Fifth and Sixth amendment in the constitution outline the right to due process and makes it mandatory for parties being summoned to be notified in writing in a reasonable amount of time to prepare for court.
The Process server has become an integral part of the legal process for this reason.
In most cases a judge will want a "personal service", meaning a process server will present the documents to a person directly, vs. substituted service, where a third party might be used to perform the service(ie. the post office, or serving a co-worker, or a family member in the house)
Personal service can be a challenge in some cases however.
We have come across people that have evaded service for years, effectively stalling the process until it can be completed.
In most of these cases, we have found that the reason the person was able to avoid service is simply that each process server had the same plan. They got the assignment, had an address for service and made several attempts at the home. Once defendant knows they are being served its not hard for them to simply stop answering a knock at the door, or take a look outside before leaving the house to make sue no one is around.
We get a lot of these types of service, and have found some better methods for taking care of them.
At this point you can effectively cross off the home address as a place to serve, unless you have some additional bits of information. If you find out when they go to work, or take the kids to school, or when bowling night is, you can wait till the subject leaves or returns from scheduled events to serve them outside.
We have a special package for people like this. We usually begin with the following information:
1. Other addresses - Family nearby, work addresses, other residences they own.
2. Social Media - A great source of info on the habits and regular whereabouts of an individual
3. Job Information - Jobs are some of the best places to serve difficult people
One the information is reviewed we will put together a plan with our process servers and place them in a stakeout location that we believe is the most likely to produce results.
The process server will serve them and video the service(these type of people like to dispute service), so that the service will "stick" and the process can go forward.
If you have someone avoiding service, change up your strategy, they are expecting you. The element of surprise is always in your favor when service of process is needed.