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Thursday, January 25 2018

Below is our list of current appointments for 2018 as of posting date

We are still waiting on 1 court (Henry Sup.), so with exception of Henry Superior we are good to go everywhere listed below:

Metro Courts/Counties not listed below require a motion and order (some require affidavit) 

Clayton Superior/State Court (Mag court only after Sheriff has attempted) 

Cobb Superior/State/Mag* Court (*covered in the Superior Order)

Dekalb Superior/State*/Mag* Court (*covered in the Superior Order)

Douglas Superior Court (ltd. availability) (No State)

Forsyth Superior/State/Mag* Court (*covered in the Superior Order)

Fulton Superior/State/Mag* Court (*covered in the Superior Order)

Gwinnett State/Mag Court  (No Superior > motion and order only)

Hall Superior/State Court 

Henry Superior* (*waiting on Superior Order) (No State - motion and order only)

Paulding Superior/Mag* Court (*Covered by the Superior Order)

Authorized for all Federal/USDC Cases

For courts not listed or out of state services, please check with our office for availability through our affiliate network.

Thanks

Posted by: Jayne Rauser AT 11:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, December 08 2017
Diversified Legal Services represented at How I Built This live recording

We were excited to hear Arthur Blank speak at the NPR "How I Built This" live recording the other night, even more excited when they showed our business, Diversified Legal Services, Inc. on the interactive map of small businesses that were represented!

Posted by: AT 08:07 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 30 2017
2017 Holiday Court Closing Schedule

Holiday:  2017 Christmas & New Years Closings - DLS is closed 12/23/17 thru 1/1/18

 

                                                                                                                      

United States District Ct. Bankruptcy

OPEN

CLOSED

OPEN

OPEN

CLOSED

US Postal Service

OPEN

CLOSED

OPEN

OPEN

CLOSED

GA Secretary of State

GA Court of Appeals

Workers Comp

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

Bartow County

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

Cherokee County

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

Clayton County

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

Carroll county

OPEN

CLOSED

OPEN

OPEN

CLOSED

Cobb County

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

DeKalb County

OPEN

CLOSED

OPEN

OPEN

CLOSED

Douglas County

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

Forsyth County

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

Fulton County

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

Gwinnett County

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

OPEN

CLOSED

Henry County

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

Rockdale County

OPEN

CLOSED

CLOSED

OPEN

CLOSED

Posted by: AT 09:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 14 2017

We are your Equifax Service of Process Specialists!

We are located near downtown Atlanta and will serve your Equifax lawsuit within 3 business days of receipt for no additional cost. (Pre-payment required)

Contact us today for our special service rate.

Posted by: Diversified Legal Services AT 07:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, September 26 2017

Civil Process Service in Georgia: How Process Servers Measure Up

  • September 25, 2017                                 
  • by Stephanie Irvine

 There are usually two options for lawyers and paralegals who need to start legal proceedings by having someone served with papers — hire a process server or contract with the sheriff's office. Although some states and counties mandate that the sheriff or constable are the only authority allowed to serve process, the vast majority allows for the choice.

Though utilizing deputies might save a client $10 or $20, studies show a majority of legal professionals think that professional process servers are faster, have a better knowledge of service regulations and a better success rate. Process servers have a vested interest in satisfying a client with their efforts, while law enforcement officers frequently have other tasks and different priorities.

Controversy in the Empire State of the South

But some of the sheriffs in the Peach State aren't giving many people the option.

According to Georgia law, "Process shall be served by the sheriff of the county where the action is brought or where the defendant is found, or by his deputy, or by the marshal or sheriff of the court, or by his deputy, or by any citizen of the United States specially appointed by the court for that purpose or by someone who is not a party and is not younger than 18 years of age and has been appointed as a permanent process server by the court in which the action is brought."

Private process servers were allowed under a 2010 law after becoming certified "provided that the sheriff of the county for which process is to be served allows such servers to serve process in such county”.  According to the Georgia Association of Professional Process Servers (GAPPS) the sheriff's association had the proviso added into the law to effectively prohibit anyone from actually serving. Only two of the state's 159 counties — Cherokee and Union Counties — have allowed certified process service.

According to the sheriffs' association, all candidates who meet the minimum qualifications of Georgia's judicial council will be granted certification, though "each sheriff will exercise his or her discretion to approve the service of process by certified process servers in each county."

Citing concerns with integrity and ethics, the sheriffs' association states all training providers are aware process servers "may not be allowed to serve in certain counties."

"This information is provided in order to ensure that all individuals seeking certification understand that the service of process by certified servers may not be authorized by sheriffs in all counties," the sheriffs' association website states.

Process servers have papers served to the sheriffs' association

In 2013, GAPPS sued the sheriffs of six Georgia counties for "acting in concert and conspiracy" with the association and 150 other sheriffs to "implement a blanket prohibition" against process servers operating within their counties.

"The sheriffs of Georgia have agreed to oppose any further expansion of certified process servers. All sheriffs will exercise their authority under the current law and PROHIBIT ALL certified process servers from serving process in every county," was posted on the association's website, according to the lawsuit.

GAPPS vs Sheriffs

Though the sheriff’s association website has a registry of process servers who have been certified, sheriffs who have approved certification still refuse to allow them to work in their county, according to the lawsuit.

GAPPS' suit argues the law requiring process servers be certified means the legislature intended that process servers exist. By blocking process servers, the sheriffs have received "too much authority."

The Legal Process

After several stops and starts during the judicial process, the sides argued the case before the Georgia Supreme Court this past May.

"(Our) position was that they could not refuse to allow certified process servers in the county absent having 'objective criteria' upon which the decision is based. (Our attorney) had initially quoted to the Court the various statements made by each of the sheriffs we had deposed, reflecting that there was no objective criteria," GAPPS President Paul K. Tamaroff told his membership.

The sheriffs' association responded, however, the law as written "intended for sheriffs to make an all-or-nothing policy determination whether they will allow (any) certified process servers to serve in their jurisdictions," not just ones they've approved.

According to court filings, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway said "the service of civil process...has the potential to devolve into violent encounters (and) should generally be performed by law enforcement persons who have been specially trained."

But the process servers countered that the sheriffs have not supported a basis for their ban that was "supported by facts or evidence...beyond their dislike of the statute."

"In order for government action not to be arbitrary and capricious, there must be some rational basis for the action. The only alternative would be elected officials like the Sheriffs wielding nearly unlimited power," attorney A. Lee Park wrote. The Georgia Supreme Court has until next year to decide whether to uphold or overturn the restriction.

Posted by: Jayne AT 05:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 29 2017

Tennessee Court Order Halts Private Process Servers

Citing rogue process servers who harass people in their homes, Knox County judges are moving to exert greater control over civilians who serve civil court papers.

An order signed Tuesday by Knox County General Sessions Court Judge Chuck Cerny halts civilians from performing private process and directs that the work go exclusively to the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Cerny, presiding Sessions Court judge, said he and the four other Sessions Court judges will allow private process servers to do the work. But they'll all have to apply through a procedure to get it. He's also pledging the court will watch them with a much closer eye.

"Terrifying people in the middle of the night because they've got a medical bill is inappropriate and unfortunate and uncalled for," Cerny told 10News. "That's not reasonable."

This week's action is prompted by a recent incident involving an "unscrupulous, unidentifiable private process server who harassed and scared someone in the middle of the night," according to Cerny's order.

"I felt like doing something kind of immediate in response to this one particular incident was justified at this time," Cerny said Thursday.

Problems have cropped up in the past, Cerny said. Someone doing private service goes in, pretends to be law enforcement or even a SWAT team member and confronts someone at their home over something like a small claims lawsuit for property damage.

Knox County Sheriff's Office Chief of Administration Lee Tramel said the order likely will have at least a short-term effect on personnel, shifting more work their way. Some 70 percent of Sessions Court civil process service has been done by civilians, he said.

Thousands of cases

Civil process in Sessions Court typically involves lawsuits of a dollar amount under $25,000. In the 2016-17 fiscal year, there were 20,492 new cases in the county's Civil Sessions Court, figures show.

The court, overseen by Clerk Cathy Shanks, collected over $379,000 for the Sheriff's Office during that year for process service, according to the court.

Cerny said Thursday most private process servers do fine work. In fact, some private process servers work directly for lawyers; they're known by the court and respected by the court.

Others, however, are unethical, he said. They use shakedown and scare tactics.

After some discussion, Sessions Court judges decided it was time to act.

The order filed this week addresses three points.

First, the court clerk is barred from issuing warrants to private process servers "until further notice," and no one will serve process unless they are employed to do so by the Knox County sheriff.

If anyone other than Sheriff's personnel wants to serve process they willl have to apply for it through a court-sanctioned procedure.

The order also directs that "all warrants issued and charged out to all private process servers be returned to the clerk immediately upon the entry of this order, including all civil documents, whether they are served or unserved."

'A really big deal'

After the order was issued, a reputable lawyer promptly presented a process server who met with the court under the new rules and met the court's scrutiny, Cerny said.

Other private process servers are expected to come forward, meet withe court and seek its approval to deliver court papers.

The state Constitution provides for sheriff's officers to deliver process papers. State law also allows anyone who is over 18 years of age and not associated with the case at hand to deliver warrants.

Tramel said the department employs 22 officers who perform process service including service of civil papers.

Cerny said there have been no complaints about how KCSO officers do their work. For one thing, they're trained, said Tramel.

Tramel said they also are mindful about when they serve process - not before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m., for example.

But the bulk of civil process has been handled by private servers, Tramel said.

"It's a great number. About 70 percent of the process served through these courts that we're speaking of come through private process.  So a 70 percent increase in our workload will absolutely affect us," he said.

"We're taking steps now to address that. We feel by next week we'll be feeling some of those numbers coming into play. But at the same time Judge Cerny has an avenue for these folks to get back on the service roles, so to speak, so they'll be able to do their jobs if he allows them and if he agrees with the way that they're doing their job.

"But I will tell you, Judge Cerny does not put up with any nonsense. He takes this very seriously, and it is."

Cerny said the state's requirements to serve private process are a bit too free for him.

He'd like private process servers to be acquainted with Sessions Court judges so that the court knows who it's dealing with and who's out in the public serving court papers. He'd like to see people do it who have "a little bit of background and world experience and maybe a little education."

Cerny said he doesn't think this week's order will impose any hardship on "the true professionals."

"It has to be done in a very ethical and upright manner," he said. "People's credit scores are implicated here. It's a really big deal."

Posted by: AT 01:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 23 2017
Just back from NAPPS 35th Annual Conference and Continuing Education

Betsy Kidd and I attended NAPPS 35th Annual Conference and Continuing Education Seminar this past weekend in New Orleans, LA.

We enjoyed hearing/learning about the current state of process serving across the country and where our profession is headed. 

We look forward to sharing our new/fresh ideas with our staff and clients. 

Posted by: Jayne Rauser AT 04:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 03 2017

Effective this Friday 5/5/17, CT Corporation at 1201 Peachtree Street will be closing for good - they are consolidating offices and have already moved to:

C T Corporation System

289 S Culver Street 

Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046

404-888-6488

They also own the following entities: Corporation Process Co., National Registered Agents, CorpDirect Agents and Business Filings Inc

Everything for these agents will also be served at the new Lawrenceville address.  

**This change will now affect venue and where you file your actions **

No worries for you though, we are already authorized/appointed to serve in both Gwinnett Magistrate and State Courts, and have plenty of staff to handle CT services at their new address.

Our updated Service of Process Request Form for 2017 is now available on our website.

Posted by: Jayne AT 06:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 16 2017

President’s Day          February 20, 2017 -Monday                                                                        

        County/Court/Ofc                       Phone                  Open    Closed  

         

United States Bankruptcy United States District

404-215-1000

404-215-1635

    X

US Post Office

    X

Secretary of State

GA Ct of Appeals

Worker’s Comp

404-656-2817

404-656-3450

404-656-3875

X* 

*Observed 12/26/17

  

Carroll County

770-830-5830

    X

Cherokee County

678-493-6501

(Superior)

X

Clayton County

770-477-3405

(Superior)

X

Cobb County

770-528-1300

(Superior)

X* *Observed

12/26/17

Dekalb County

404-371-2228

(Superior)

    X

Douglas County

770-920-7252

(Superior)

    X

Fayette County

770-716-4290 (Superior)

X

Forsyth County

770-781-2120

(Superior)

X

Fulton County

404-730-4518

(Superior)

X

Gwinnett County

770-822-8100

(Superior

     X

Henry County

770-288-8022

(Superior)

     X

Rockdale County

770-929-4021

(Superior)

X

CSC

X

CT CORP

     X

 

Posted by: AT 03:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 14 2017

As of Friday 2/10/2017 - we are good/authorized to serve in the following courts and/or types of services:

Cherokee Superior, State and Magistrate – by way of our certified process server authorization

Clayton Superior, State and Magistrate* (* Sheriff has to try twice before we can serve Magistrate cases)

Cobb Superior, State and Magistrate

Dekalb Superior, State and Magistrate

Forsyth Superior, State and Magistrate (this is a new addition to our list this year, finally!)

Fulton Superior, State and Magistrate

Gwinnett State and Magistrate

         Henry Superior

Paulding Superior and Magistrate

USDC

Subpoenas from any court

Carroll Superior/Douglas Superior – (when/if needed >we have limited staff that are                  appointed in these 2 courts)

 We still waiting on:

 Hall State Court 

 UDPATE as of 2/15/2017

  Cherokee Courts - Sheriff has suspended service by certified process servers -       motions and orders will now have to be submitted with each case. 

If this status changes, we'll let you know 

Check back often as we'll upate this blog post as changes  occur

Posted by: Jayne AT 06:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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Diversified Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a MLQ Attorney Services
2000 Riveredge Pkwy.
Ste. 885
Atlanta, GA 30328
(770) 984-7007
Mlqordersonline@mlqas.com
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