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Survey Says Legal Professionals Prefer Process Servers to Sheriffs


Who do legal professionals trust more with documents that need to be served...the sheriff or a private process server? The answer may surprise you.

78% of paralegals, legal secretaries and administrators surveyed said they prefer legal papers be served by a process server instead of a sheriff.

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Photo Credit: Linda M. Bell

According to a survey conducted by Serve-Now, participants find professional process servers to be worth the added expense. Here's how they ranked process servers vs. sheriffs on some key issues:

  • 90% of those surveyed find process servers complete the task faster than sheriffs.
  • On a scale of 0 to 5, process servers scored a 4.28 for customer service while sheriffs scored a 2.55.
  • 58% find that process servers are more knowledgeable about the laws governing service of process.
  • Participants said process servers are likely to succeed in serving papers 92% of the time, while they ranked sheriffs' likelihood of success at 74%.

On the issue of cost, participants said using a process server is an average of $14.41 more than serving through a sheriff. As noted above, 78% of those surveyed felt the benefit of fast reliable service through process servers outweighed the price savings with a sheriff.

"Over my career, I have found private process servers to be much faster in getting process served, as the sheriff's office generally has other things going on," noted survey participant Theresa Prater, a paralegal.

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