On March 17, 2015 an Article was published titled, “Sheriffs Can Ignore Private Process Servers, Judge Rules,” and it was determined that the article was both informative and accurate, but not without concern. Said concern was expressed by attorneys that the article may suggest that the Private Process Servers in Georgia may no longer by able and authorized to duly serve process. Naturally, this is a valid concern since service of process and perfection of the same whether it be by the Sheriff, a Private Process Server, or a Certified Process Server is the door that opens a case for litigation, and without proper service a case may be delayed for days, weeks, months, and in some rare cases years, or it may be dismissed and not pursued at all. It is, therefore, imperative in litigation that the process of service is perfected properly in order for the case to proceed.
The decision that was written by the Honorable Judge McBurney was meant to be applicable only to certified process servers and was cast in the light that in order for service to be perfected by a private process server that the private process server must have been duly certified by the requirements set forth in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) Section 9-11.4.1 . Since the Honorable Judge McBurney’s decision does not have an effect on the service of process by private process servers who have been duly appointed under O.C.G.A. Section 9-11-4(c), therefore, it may be concluded during this lengthy period of time being from the enactment of O.C.G.A. Section 9-11-4.1, although said article refers to private process servers, the real fact is that the Honorable Judge McBurney’s ultimate decision has no real effect on the service of process by private process servers who have been duly appointed by the courts pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 9-11-4(c).
While the article refers to private process servers, the fact is that Honorable Judge McBurney’s decision applies exclusively to certified process servers—private process servers who have been certified pursuant to the requirements laid out in O.C.G.A. §9-11-4.1. As such, the Honorable Judge McBurney’s decision has no effect on service of process by private process servers who have been appointed by courts pursuant to O.C.G.A. §9-11-4(c). Therefore, the result would be that during this lengthly period of time that began with the enactment of O.C.G.A. Section 9-11-4.1 to date the reality now holds that certified process servers, unless duly appointed as certified process servers pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 9-11-4.1 have not been properly serving process in their capacity as certified process servers.