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Process Service Blog

A blog about private service of process and other service of process issues written by Middle Tennessee- Nashville private process server Brad Holton of Holton Services.  Call (615)499-6522 to set up service.

Filtering by Tag: private process server

Why does it cost different amounts to serve in different counties

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Client's who are not attorneys are not used to private process and have a lot of questions.  One of the most common questions we get about private process service here at Holton Services is why does it cost different amounts to serve in different counties?  

One of the biggest reasons it costs different amounts to serve in different counties is because some counties are more rural than others.  If you need private process service in Nashville, Tennessee for example, Nashville is very urban.  There is a good chance that not only is the service location within thirty minutes of the courthouse, but also we are probably serving someone within thirty minutes as well.  It is easier to get multiple attempts done in one evening or day, faster, and much easier to hide out and wait for someone to get home.

If Mr. Holton is serving someone with private process outside of Davidson County but somewhere else in Middle Tennessee, it is going to be a more rural location.  It is very noticeable if the private process server is sitting on a rural road with only two or three houses that something is out of the ordinary, whereas a private process server a door or two down in Nashville Davidson County wouldn't garner much attention at all. This means that the process server must be very sneaky and can't stick around long in counties like Sumner or Wilson, and sometimes even Williamson, which means it is more likely to take multiple attempts to serve.  This means more trips, more time, and more gas for the private process server, which in turn means greater cost.  

Need a skilled private process server in Middle Tennessee?  Holton Services is here to help!  We have experience working for several law offices, including personal injury attorneys, employment attorneys, family law attorneys, and more!  We have served businesses and hard-to-find service avoiders!  Let our experience work for you and call us to make sure your service goes smoothly and efficiently.  (615)499-6522.  We can run, and they can't hide!

Using a Private Process Server - Any extra perks?

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Using a private process server has extra perks.  I still remember the first time I got called to testify in Court.  I had served a person in Davidson County on a petition, and the attorney who had hired me had asked me to keep my eyes open because it was a very contested matter regarding support and the lawyer thought that the person was lying about their income earning abilities.  I went out and served the legal papers at the person's work and I looked around.  The person was working hard with a lot of employees, and even chatted with me a bit.  By showing interest, I found out a lot of information that they had been hiding from the other attorney and possibly even their own attorney.  I put all of this in a document for the attorney and she was very pleased.  

When it came to have a trial, I got a call from the attorney asking to testify.  I got to testify in Court about all the information I had witnessed with regards to the person working and what they had said about income.  There is no way any of that information would have been discovered had that attorney served the documents with the sheriff.  The attorney to this day five years later still uses Holton Services to serve private process in Davidson County and other surrounding counties in Tennessee, and is a regular client.  The client was also pleased, as I was told that my testimony about what I witnessed while serving was the turning point in the case. The small amount for the private process, and the trial time and testimony fee, helped make sure that client got a judgment exceeding five figures and was an excellent perk of using a private process server to serve process for them in Middle Tennessee.

Help - Juvenile Court told me I need to hire a private process server?

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Many of our clients are individual, regular people who the court sticks with getting someone served.  Frequently, we are contacted by people involved in child support or custody matters in the juvenile court who just get told vaguely by the judge that they need to hire a private process server with no other information.  We can help you obtain service of process.

In juvenile court, when you file (or child support services files) your petition, the court clerk will send out your legal documents to the other side via the sheriffs office.  Sometimes, the sheriff will obtain service and everything goes on from there, but many times the sheriff doesn't obtain service and the document comes back vaguely noted that the person can't be found and so the magistrate tells you to find a private process server.  So what do you do now?

Your first step is to find a private process server in your area.  If you are in Middle Tennessee, you can call Holton Services if you need to serve someone who is located in Davidson County, Cheatham County, Robertson County, Sumner County, Rutherford County, Wilson County, or Williamson County.  An employee from Holton Services will talk with you and arrange for payment and pickup or mailing of the legal documents.  Holton Services is a private process service company, so they will then take the documents and attempt to obtain proper service of process on the person.   Unlike the sheriff, you can let Holton Services know important things to help make sure the service of process is completed.  Examples of these things that a private process server can accommodate are people who work odd hours, people who may be avoiding service on purpose.  You can give them work addresses, work schedules, names of other people living in the home they can serve the documents on, pictures in case they are lying about who they are, daycare locations, pickup locations for other children, even if you happen to know they will be hanging out somewhere at a specific time.  A private process server in Middle Tennessee will also be able to arrange for filing of the service return if necessary, as some individuals do not know how to do that on their own.

Private process service does not need to be scary.  If you have been told by the Court in Nashville or other surrounding counties to hire a private process server, call Holton Services and they will help walk you through it and make sure your private process is done properly and in accordance to the laws of Tennessee regarding service of process.


Holton Services provides private process service for individuals as well as attorneys in Cheatham, Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties in Middle Tennessee.  Other counties available upon request.  Call for our flat fee schedule at (615)499-6522.  Let Holton Services work for you!   

How do I find a private process server in Middle Tennessee

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How do I find a private process server to serve my process in Nashville?  If you are reading this post, you are already heading the right direction!  You are going to want to look for someone who has experience in private process and is a reputable business.  Look for someone who has an address and is located downtown for the best Nashville Process Server.  Ok, so how do you actually do that after you have googled Nashville private process server or subpoena?

First, find a process server that stands out to you as being smart and competent.  Do they have an address?  Do they have a website?  Do they advertise for process service or is it just a small line item on another website such as that for a private investigator or a notary?  If service of process is a big focus of their website, you will know that the private process server is focused on serving process properly in your area.

Second, call about prices.  A good private process server will offer a variety of options based on your needs.  For example, if you need service of process in Nashville but it is not an emergency, that will be a very different price than service of process in Sumner County on an emergency basis.  Ask them about this.  If the price is the same everywhere, be very wary as they may be outsourcing the service of process to someone else, they may not be experienced, or they may not have any plan to actually serve your emergency petition swiftly.  In Nashville, service of process typically begins at $40 for regular (non-emergency) service.  Be wary of anyone charging less, or offering unlimited attempts.

Third, call the process server.  Get a feel for them and see if they do a good job explaining things to you or if they can accommodate any special needs.  For example, Holton Services can provide an affidavit describing the person served in Nashville and the location if you think the person might lie about the service, or if you come from an out-of-state jurisdiction which requires an affidavit to be on file.  If the process server gets hostile or argumentative when you say you need something done like that, they are probably not who you want serving your process in Nashville.

Lastly, if you are still not sure, ask for a recommendation.  If they cannot give you a person, be very wary.  A good private process server will have worked with attorneys or law offices who they can direct you to for a recommendation.  Lawyers are required not to mislead or lie or risk problems with their board.  You can give that attorney a quick call and confirm that the process server is who they say they are, and that they have served process before that has withheld scrutiny from the Court.  Pro-tip - ask if they have ever served process for domestic, family law, or criminal attorneys.  Those attorneys frequently deal with people lying about service and obtaining defaults, and I can guarantee that process server will have served process in some crazy situations! Nashville is a huge city with many unique neighborhoods go with experience when choosing your Nashville process subpoena server.


Looking for a trusted and experienced process server in Nashville Davidson County or Middle Tennessee?  Call Holton Services at (615)499-6522 and ask us these questions, we are here to help with your private process serving needs!  Located in the heart of Middle Tennessee in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee at the Historic Pilcher Building.  

Private Process Service

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Private process service is the means by which a private individual with experience in serving process in Middle Tennessee will formally give important documents, especially legal documents, to a person or party.  In a lawsuit, notice of the lawsuit is very important.  This is why there are rules about service of process.  Many times, people will use the sheriff to serve the documents on the other party or corporation because they are cheaper especially in Nashville.  However, what do you do when the sheriff cannot find them to give them the papers?

A private process server will make multiple attempts at serving and will likely try to focus their attempts on times the person will actually be home, unlike the sheriff.  A private process server will also be more likely to get someone to answer the door.  Many people are scared to open the door if it is a police officer or sheriff, especially if they are avoiding the law and see that person holding papers.  The sheriff is also overworked and will not wait long or try too hard, they will simply post a notice to call them about papers.  This can have the adverse side effect of notifying the person that you are trying to serve them with the papers and tipping them off so that they can avoid it.

A private process server is also important and useful in emergency situations.  The sheriff's office will sometimes take almost thirty days to serve someone with the legal papers.  A private process server can offer a variety of time tables.  For example, Holton Services has emergency 24 hour private process service for Middle Tennessee, 72 hour private process service, or the standard service which sees at minimum one attempt at service within a 7 day window.  This is true for not only Nashville, but also surrounding counties such as Sumner, Wilson, Williamson, Rutherford, Cheatham, Robertson where many times the local Davidson County sheriff cannot even serve.

Private process is also advised any time you need to serve someone in a different county.  This is because there is a huge delay if you need to use the out of county sheriff to serve your process out of Nashville, for example.  Say you filed a lawsuit in Davidson County Circuit Court for a child support modification, and your ex has moved to Sumner County.  You would need a private process server who can pick up in Nashville and serve in Middle Tennessee, such as Holton Services.  If you tried to use the sheriff's office to serve process on your ex, you would have to pay at minimum $22 in a check or money order to the out of country sheriff.  You would then need to arrange for the clerk (if you are lucky for people representing yourself) to send the service packet out to the sheriff in Sumner County who would then finally attempt to serve process on your Nashville legal papers in Sumner County.  This can easily take more than thirty days, at which point your Show Cause Order for the hearing to modify the support will have lapsed and you will have to reset everything because it took so long to get served.  That entire situation would have been avoided if you had paid just $40 more for the private process server.  

Private process service is a very important tool used by lawyers to make sure their litigation moves quickly and expediently and that service is done right.  It is not an area of legal practice that lawyers skimp on for a reason, and this is why lawyers use private process to serve their complaints.


Do you need excellent private process service in Middle Tennessee?  Call us at (615)499-6522 and ask us about our experienced private process servers and options.  We service Nashville Davidson County and Middle Tennessee.  Let our relationships with the clerks and local law offices help serve you with your private process needs.