Update 1/7/2014: Many process server bonds will renew on February 28, 2014. If you need help obtaining a new bond, do not hesitate to contact our office!
To obtain a process server license in New York, an applicant must obtain a Process Server bond. Process servers have the responsibility to deliver (“serve”) court papers (“process”) to an unknowing party involved in legal action. New York City has a special administrative code governing the role of process servers. (A process server bond is a type of license and permit bond.)
The Process Server bond guarantees the applicant’s compliance with the NYC Administrative Code Sections 20-403 and Rules of the City of New York Sections 2-231. The bond equals $10,000.00 for an individual and $100,000.00 for an agency. If a process server violates the code or rules, he or she must pay the fines or damages, although the surety only guarantees payment up to $10,000.00 for an individual and $100,000.00 for an agency.
Typically, a process server may not be a named party to the litigation he or she is serving. Process servers must deliver papers, in person, to the representative of any business entities, such as corporations, LLCs, or LLP. A party receives process after a Plaintiff files a compliant, which lists the Plaintiff’s allegation, cause of action, and remedy sought, as well as the court’s jurisdiction.
In general, surety underwriters approve Process Server bonds freely. Underwriters will evaluate the applicant’s employer, but law firms and agencies typically hire most process servers and specialize in this line of work. Therefore, if the applicant’s employer is a law firm or agency, the risk of loss is small. (Lawyers admitted to practice in New York and government employees do not need to obtain Process Server licenses.)
Our office can issue these bonds fairly quickly and painlessly. Oftentimes we issue them on two year terms so the applicant does not have to pay the renewal premium every year. When issuing these bonds, it is important to use consistent information – such as the exact same address and exact same name – on the license application as well as the bond in order to file it with the City of New York Department of Consumer Affairs.