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Service of Process: A Bulldog’s approach

June 6, 2011

The assignment narrative that follows is true.

The names of involved parties and minor details have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved in the related legal matter.

Personal Service requested on:

John Steven Doe 341 Mercer Ave, Bluefield WV

Urgency Status: EXTREME RUSH


Approximately 11:00AM,  JVP receives a phone call requesting same day, emergency rush service in Bluefield WV.  As JVP is working on an unrelated private investigation matter, the client is informed that the service would be performed that evening.  The importance of the client providing a valid residential address for the recipient was also stressed.  There is little time for skiptracing on a short notice  rush service.

Approximately 7:30PM process server JVP visits 341 Mercer Ave, Bluefield WV:  the client-provided  recipient’s address.  The location proves incorrect, the recipient having moved within the last two weeks.   After JVP makes some inquiries, he obtains possibly helpful information.
A neighbor confides that Mr. Doe has recently relocated to the Pocahontas Virginia area.

7:30PM to 8:00PM

Fortunately, JVP is familiar with the Pocahontas and has a couple of contacts there. On the flipside we’re talking about  rough terrain, and an impoverished community of stranger wary residents. This area is not typically a great place to  serve legal documents .

JVP looks outside the window of his process serving vehicle.  Another day has come to a close, and time is
not on his side. JVP contacts the client and notifies him of the situation.  Performing a skip-trace on someone and then paying a after dark visit out in coal country presents a whole different scenario then initially discussed.

The client responds that due to validity ofservice timeframe constraints, the document needed served that day.  Procrastination has put the young attorney in a rough spot.   “Can you help me?”

“I’ll try.”

After the conversation, JVP manages to obtain a wireless Internet link and  performs some searches for John Stevens Doe on specialized databases.  Two providers come up with nothing, but a third reveals a possible address:  755   Casey Street, Wolfe WV.

Google maps show Wolfe WV is in very close proximity to Pocohantas VA, but the exact location of  Casey street
proves unavailable.  A check of  other mapping resources also comes up empty handed.  Meanwhile, precious minutes are
ticking by.

Time to get moving.

Process Server JVP decides to proceed and locate the  recipient through on inquiries on location.   Sometimes the old fashioned approach is your only option:   asking the locals.

8:23PM  While hurrying on  route to Wolfe WV, JVP’s process serving vehicle (4×4 Jeep), slips off the road due to bad conditions: heavy rain, poor visibility,  and a treacherous road).  Te Jeep comes to a stop stuck in a drainage ditch, inside the vehicle various pieces of equipment lay scattered about the floor.  For almost any other process server this would prove a
“game over” moment.

This is not however your typical process server:  This is the Bulldog.

Nicknamed for his refusal to give up without a fight, Bulldog  gets out of the jeep, inspects the situation, and looks for assistance.

8:48PM After visiting a nearby house along the road, James “Bulldog” Pollock hires a farmer to pull the jeep out of the ditch with a tractor. The jeep passes a  cursory safety inspection and JVP decides to proceed.

9:02PM Directions from a  Wolfe, VA  resident reveal the whereabouts of Casey street.  On arrival JVP realizes it’s little more then a long gravel driveway, muddy and flooded from rain. For most the journey would end here, but the Bulldog presses on.

9:22PM, JVP arrives at the Doe residence. He’s promptly greeted at the door by John Doe senior, pistol in hand. The firearm is not pointed directly at the visitor, but remains at the ready.   The situation is not altogther unexpected.  Pocahontas is a
rough place, and it’s well after dark now. Not a good time for process servers to stop by.  Fortunately, things improve once once JVP explains the  reason for the late night visit.

9:27 PM Mrs. Doe, spouse of John Steven Doe (the recipient) is present. She offers to lead JVP from the residence to John Steven Doe’s place of employment.
Personal service is always perferred over substitute (a member of the same household over the age of 16) and JVP graciously accepts.

9:38 PM Mr. Doe is personally served at his place of employment (the Pocahontas Correctional facility). He apparently is a corrections  officer.  John Steven Doe is cordial at the time of service; as “the Bulldog” brings welcome news. This is a legal proceeding that Mr. Doe wants to take place.


9:06 AM The affidavit of service is signed by JVP in the presence of a Virginia notary. This document, a copy of the summons, and covertly taken images from the time of service are then mailed to the client.

****End of Narrative****

From → process serving

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