The lawsuit documents, including the final judgment are available for you on the Library. I am happy to report that the regulation and advantages of obtaining and maintaining Process Server Certification in Georgia HAVE NOT CHANGED.
The law has been upheld as it naturally reads! Initial certification requires only an acknowledgment by the signing Sheriff that the requirements for certification have been met. So, those are only denied if the application is incomplete. This offers Judges a specific criteria to require for permanent orders of appointment.
HOWEVER, the confusion was that Certified process servers may apply with a "Form 4" in any county they want to serve process, in order to receive authorization from the county Sheriff to serve process in any civil case filed in that county. The Sheriff may approve or deny that application. The GA Sheriffs Association is denying these Form 4 applications, as the law clearly allows. This keeps the authority to appoint process servers with the Judges.
Therefore, the certification of process servers in Georgia is very much a part of the law, and gives the advantage to both the Judges and the Servers of a higher standard by which to measure the applications for annual appointments into individual courts! This is an advantage that we have enjoyed since the implementation of 9-11-4.1, because it allows us to serve in a majority of our cases without having to file additional motions and affidavits.
The misinformation implied by the press headlines and others was that certification and authorization from the county sheriffs was REQUIRED to serve process in Georgia, but it NEVER HAS BEEN REQUIRED. It is only a DISTINCT ADVANTAGE, since it allows us to become known as professionals in the field and obtain orders of appointment from Judges for their courts, rather than just individual cases.
And, the better we can represent our professional process servers, as cooperative and supportive professionals working alongside the Sheriff deputies rather than against or instead of them, then more and more courts will begin offering annual/permanent orders of appointment.
Phone: 404-702-4437 404-702-4437
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The Sheriffs keep the list of Certified Process Servers, too...