April 30, 2020
As HSPS prepares to accept new work from clients who have previously shut down due to Covid-19, HSPS wants to provide recommendations for how services should be performed to protect the general population who we are serving and guidance needed to try to protect the independent contractors we work with.
HSPS has been and will continue to monitor local, state, and federal agencies for regulations, recommendations and advice on how to stay safe and perform our services to the legal community. We follow and monitor the following agencies in addition to others:
Per our research and client requests, the following requirements are being implemented to safeguard defendants and the independent contractors that HSPS works with. All contractors must sign an attestation and return to HSPS stating they agree to abide by the following requests. Those contractors who do not agree to follow the following can not be utilized by HSPS until the virus pandemic is over.
1) Wear a cloth mask as described by the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html) at all times when outside your personal vehicle serving papers for HSPS and its clients.
2) Avoid ALL physical contact with the person you are serving!
- After you knock on the door, step at least 6 feet away from the door. If you have to knock more, do the same thing. Knock on the door then step back at least 6 feet.
- Once you have determined you can serve the paper, explain to the person you are talking to where you are leaving the papers and to get the papers once you walk away.
- All efforts to maintain social distancing should be maintained when serving. All contractors should be following CDC recommendations of wearing proper PPE gear, such as face mask, disposable gloves and disinfecting surfaces touched once back in personal vehicle.
- Use of CDC recommended hand sanitizer is necessary. Disposable gloves as described by the CDC is urged when in contact with the public in addition to the hand sanitizer. Select client have required the use of disposable gloves and those clients wishes will be communicated to the contracted servers to be followed.
- All local and state laws relating to Covid-19 are to be followed such as any requiring the wearing of masks, etc.…
3) Do NOT ask anyone to sign for papers.
4) If they won’t open the door, talk to them through the door and affirm their identity and confirm you have the correct person (or a valid person to substitute serve). Ask them if they can go to the window so you can get a visual confirmation (for description purposes). Then, lay the papers by the door and leave.
5) If you are serving in Missouri, remember you may serve by refusal (per MO code) and so long as the legal requirements of such code are met, this is 100% acceptable in the courts. This allows you to serve the defendant through the closed door without laying eyes on the defendant and coming in contact with each other.
The courts would require that process servers MUST document exactly what they did and didn’t do on their Affidavit. If they confirmed their identity, how the server served the paper (saw them pick up the papers after you walked away, they confirmed they would get them, etc.)
After you get back in the car, clean your hands and any part of your car that you might have touched.
These are extra ordinary times and require extra ordinary measures.
Do NOT come into face-to-face (without barriers) with defendants, and protect yourself and the people you are serving with proper PPE. (Personal Protective Equipment)
All employees and contractors will agree to self quarantine in the event of a positive test, symptoms or exposure as described in HSPS Process Server Attestation. http://hspslegal.com/covid-19-process-server-attestation/
The safety of us all, including the defendant is of the upmost importance right now.
Stay positive, we will get through this!
Last edited 7/09/2020