What is Skip Tracing and Why Is It Important in Process Serving?

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Without skip tracing, the job of a process server can be significantly complicated. Individuals who deliberately avoid receiving legal documents pose a challenge, making skip tracing an invaluable tool in such situations.

It is the art of locating “difficult-to-find” individuals, often called “skips” because they’ve seemingly “skipped town.”  

In the legal world, timely document delivery is crucial for cases to proceed smoothly. Process servers ensure that legal documents, like subpoenas, summons, or court orders, reach the intended recipient. 

Skip tracers, highly skilled professionals frequently employed by process servers, utilize various techniques to track down these individuals and ensure they are served with legal documents.

Here’s a deeper dive into the skip tracer’s processes and its importance in process serving:

Why People Skip

There are several reasons why a person might try to avoid the service of legal documents. Process server companies with skip-tracing services can help locate them. 

Some may hope to delay a legal proceeding, while others may be afraid to face the consequences outlined in the papers.  

Sometimes, the individual may have genuinely moved and needed to remember to update their contact information, making them unintentionally tricky to find.

Its Importance in Process Serving

Skips play a prime role in ensuring the integrity of the legal process. Here’s how:

  • Successful Service of Documents

The legal case can be significantly delayed when a process server cannot locate the intended recipient. The best skip-tracing process helps overcome this hurdle by finding the individual and ensuring they receive the documents.

  • Fairness in the Legal System

For the court to decide on a legal case fairly, all parties involved must be aware of the proceedings. Skips help guarantee that the defendant receives a lawsuit notice, allowing them to prepare a defense.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

Unsuccessful attempts at serving documents can financially burden the party filing the lawsuit. This process helps minimize these wasted attempts, saving time and money.

  • Maintaining Legal Compliance

Specific legal guidelines govern document service. Process servers must make a genuine effort to locate the recipients. Batch skip tracing demonstrates this effort and ensures compliance with legal requirements, providing a secure and reliable process.

How Skip Tracing Works

Skip tracers employ a multifaceted approach to locate individuals. Here are some standard techniques:

  • Public Records Searches

They often begin by searching public records databases for information such as previous addresses, phone numbers, and property ownership.

  • Social Media Investigation

Social media platforms can be a valuable information source for skip tracers. They may search for profiles that match the individual’s name, location, or associates.

  • Database Research

Subscription-based databases offer a wealth of information, including employment records, utility bills, and vehicle registrations. Skip tracers can leverage these resources to narrow down their search.

  • Interviews

Process servers offering the best skip tracing service may interview the target individual’s friends, family members, or colleagues to gather leads on their whereabouts.

  • Surveillance (with Caution)

In some cases, skip tracers may conduct limited surveillance, but only within the bounds of the law.

Ethical Considerations in Skips 

While skips are a valuable tool, conducting it ethically and legally is crucial. Skip tracers should:

  • Respect Privacy Laws

The information skip tracers can access and how they can use it are limited. Data privacy laws apply, and exceeding these boundaries can make skip tracing illegal.

  • Avoid Harassment

Skip-tracing companies are legal as long as they gather information through lawful means and there’s no trespassing or harassment involved. Public records searches, social media checks, and professional databases are all fair game.

  • Maintain Confidentiality

Any information you get during the skips-related process should remain confidential.

It is an essential step in ensuring the smooth functioning of the legal system. By locating individuals attempting to avoid service, skip tracers help guarantee that legal proceedings are fair, efficient, and compliant.  

Consider employing a process server with a skilled skip-tracing service provider if you require assistance serving legal documents and suspect the recipient may be challenging to find. 

Work Only With the Industry’s Finest

Ensuring proper service of legal documents is critical for a successful case. At Freestate Investigations, our discreet and professional team leverages advanced methods to locate even the most elusive individuals.  

We deliver efficient and compliant processes throughout Maryland, saving you valuable time and resources.  

So, contact Freestate Investigations today for a confidential consultation. Let us navigate the complexities of skip tracing and process service so you can focus on the legal strategy.

At Freestate Investigations, LLC, our skilled team is dedicated to promptly locating individuals and delivering your documents with precision. We excel in handling even the most challenging cases with ease. Reach out to us now!