Process Servers

End Judicial Regulation of Process Servers

In June 2005, after the Texas Legislature refused for the 14th time to regulate private process servers by statute, the Supreme Court implemented by Rule, full occupational regulation of process servers without any enabling legislation and in defiance of clear legislative intent.

TX Govt Code, Sec. 318.001 clearly establishes that all occupational regulation is the jurisdiction of the Legislature; and until the Supreme Court created its

"certification program" administered by a "judicial agency" (The Process Server Review Board), no occupation in Texas had ever been regulated without statute. Thus, the Supreme Court's judicial regulation clearly defies the Texas Constitution's separation of powers clause (Art.II. Sec.A.1) (See attached letter by Chief Justice Jefferson stating the Court imposed regulation because the Legislature refused to do so.).

In TX Govt. Code, Sec. 318.001(4), the law states that the only basis for regulating an occupation in Texas is to provide protection to the safety, health or welfare of the residents of this State; yet there has never been a call from the public for the State to provide protection against the practices of private process servers.

The Supreme Court's certification program was also a violation of Texas Constitution, Art. V, Sec. 31a, that states the Court may promulgate rules of administration (not regulation) that are not inconsistent with the laws of the State. There are only seven laws this State has ever passed that relate to private individuals serving civil process, and all seven laws authorize any disinterested adult to serve the specified forms of civil process (without regard to training, experience, knowledge of the court system or criminal history). Thus, a full-blown regulatory program (which is not administrative at all) that oversees strict requirements and disciplinary government oversight is extraordinarily inconsistent with the laws of this State. (See attached file showing these seven laws, as well as other laws and rules authorizing any disinterested adult to serve court papers.)

The process serving occupation in Texas desperately needed statewide authority to serve civil process instead of having to obtain court orders from every court venue in 254 Counties. The Supreme Court had already announced its intention to implement the "notary public provision" which would have authorized notaries public to serve process, thus immediately enabling statewide authority. The Supreme Court rules attorney even testified under oath before a House committee of the 78th Legislature in 2003, that the Court was simply waiting for a body of rules to amend to release the notary public provision as an amendment to TRCP Rule 103.

The Supreme Court's judicial regulation of private process servers should be eliminated as quickly as possible in order to restore legitimacy to the separation of powers and the rule of law in Texas as it affects the private process serving industry. Statewide authority for process servers should be implemented consistent with Federal Rule 4, which provides authority to any disinterested adult to serve civil process. This would be consistent with the seven laws the Legislature has already passed regarding this matter.

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Idea No. 28