CERTIFIED PROCESS SERVERS IN GEORGIA

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As stated in the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) Section 9-11-4(c)(5), “A certified process server (can serve summons) as provided in Code Section 9-11-4.1”.  While 9-11-4.1 explains who can be a certified process server and certification procedures, subsection (a) provides “that the sheriff of the county for which process is to be served allows such servers to serve process in such county”.  Being said, local sheriffs have banded to disallow such process to take place.  While a handful of persons have met the criteria to become certified process servers, it has been ruled that members of the Georgia Sheriffs Association are within their rights to deny certified process servers the ability to serve in their county, under this provision.

O.C.G.A. Section 9-11-4(c)(4) allows a (private) process server,”a person who is not a party, not younger than 18 years of age, and has been appointed by the court to serve process or as a permanent process server” to serve summons.

In summary, “certified” process servers can not serve summons at this time, but “appointed” and“permanent” process servers can.  Some courts in Georgia are using the certification criteria, as governed in Section 9-11-4.1(b), as the basis to allow persons to serve as an “appointed” or “permanent” process server.

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February 12, 2015

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