Swan Legal Services LLC recognizes the spread of COVID-19 as a threat to the safety and well-being of our staff, clients, and defendants, we have enacted the following policies and procedures in order to minimize the spread of the disease as much as it is within our power. We will continue to monitor local, state, and federal agencies for guidance on the best ways to stay safe and will update our policies accordingly.
The following policies outline the safety requirements of all office staff. Swan Legal Services LLC offices are closed to the general public. Everything is done via email, video chat (i.e., Skype, Webex, Zoom, etc), phone, fax, text, ServeManager, and Paypal invoicing.
In an effort to minimize person-to-person contact in the office, only essential staff will be permitted to come in. All staff whose presence in the office is not required to do their job will work remotely. A staff member who is feeling sick and experiencing symptoms or has been in contact with someone feeling sick and experiencing symptoms is to stay home.
Those working in the office will:
- Submit to a daily health screening that includes taking their temperature and reporting potential exposure.
- Remain six feet away from other staff at all times.
- Wear a face mask at all times.
- Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer regularly and before touching shared supplies or documents to be served.
All servers in the field will:
- Call ahead and receive permission to visit the office.
- Remain six feet away from the office staff as much as possible.
- Wear a face mask at all times.
- Submit to a health screening that includes taking their temperature and reporting potential exposure.
Field process servers are responsible for printing documents to be served.
Before being sent out for service, all documents must be properly sanitized in order to reduce risk to the recipient. All staff must ensure that they are masked and that their hands are clean or gloved before handling the documents. After the documents are printed, they must be sealed in plastic coverings and left for a minimum of 24 hours.
Policies for Fieldwork
The following policies outline the safety requirements of all process servers in the field.
Before the Serve
Prior to serving, process servers will assess their own health by taking their temperature and monitoring potential recent exposure. If a server is experiencing symptoms or feeling sick, they are not permitted to serve. Servers must also ensure that their cars, documents, and hands are properly sanitized.
Making the Serve
Here are the steps a process server must follow when conducting a serve:
- Put on a mask and ensure hands are sanitized and gloved.
- Knock on the door and retreat a minimum of six feet or as far as possible.
- Once the door opens, the server will request confirmation of residency and identity as normal except at a distance.
- If confirmed, the server will place the documents on the ground and identify them as legal documents.
- The process server will then retreat and observe the receipt of the documents from a distance of six feet or more.
When it is an option, servers or our office staff will call the defendant ahead of time to make sure the recipient is comfortable with the procedure. Document recipients or defendants may also contact our office to discuss alternative ways for delivery that allows them to stay comfortable and safe.
If a recipient refuses to come to the door, the server must confirm identity through the door, window or other agreed upon means. Once identified, the server will leave the documents with a designated resident, family member at residence, or by the door and retreat.
Since these times are unprecedented and complicated, it is important to document what is being done differently in case someone challenges a serve later on. Therefore, our process servers will also carefully document their serves to avoid doubt about the validity of the serve if it is brought to court.
All office staff and process servers must agree to the following protocol. Those who do not agree cannot be utilized until social distancing guidelines are lifted