Here at ServeManager, our team's primary goal has always been to give process servers the tools they need to grow their business, work more efficiently, and stay relevant in the industry.
ServeManager's digital service of process solution (also known as eService, electronic service, and electronic service of process) was built for process servers to provide an electronic paper trail that email cannot. ServeManager's electronic service of process features allows you to send notification of service documents, see when the notification is viewed, when physical service is waived, and when service documents are downloaded from within ServeManager.
With the recent issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we've seen an increase in utilization of electronic means to transfer documents from one party to the other. Government entities, records facilities, businesses, and even private party defendants want to avoid in-person contact and are opting to have their documents delivered electronically.
Our Digital Service feature maintains the process server as an independent third party to perfect service of process. We are living in unprecedented times; and as the pandemic continues, rules and legislation will change. Rather than these rules being imposed on our industry, we want to deliver the solution that supports business continuity for the legal system and legal support providers.
With this tool at the disposal of our users, we feel that process servers stand to gain more work and expand their services by being able to offer a "better than email" alternative for Digital Service.
Before we developed this feature, parties of a court case would agree to email documents. From here, the document(s) would be attached to the email and sent off into cyberspace. The main problem with this method is the lack of an audit trail. Typically, you have no idea when or if they opened the email, if they downloaded the attachment, no guarantee that it’s the actual recipient receiving the papers, and basically no accountability except the trust that their email provider won’t send it to their spam folder. This process, if left unchecked, could lead to more servers being cut out of the workflow. It can also lead to cases being stuck in limbo if the recipient can claim they have no proof of receiving the documents to their email. With ServeManager’s Digital Service features, you can guarantee to your clients that you have an electronic document transfer solution that is secure, trustworthy, and significantly more transparent and reliable than email.
Here’s how it works:
After creating a job, you will see a new section in between Service Attempts and Notes called Digital Service. Press the New Digital Service button and you will be brought to a new screen.
The new Digital Service page allows you to send a private tokenized link to the recipient’s email address along with a custom message. This secure email will prompt them to click the link which will bring them to a ServeManager portal where they can download the documents to be served. The recipient will have to digitally sign their name and waive their right to physical service before they can download the documents.
Before sending the Digital Service email, confirm the recipient’s name and email address (if you added the recipient’s email address when creating the job it will appear in the address field) as well as the custom message you would like for them to see.
After sending Digital Service you will now see a three-step sequence to the recipient downloading the documents.
Back on the job screen, you will see an entry for the Digital Service with a displayed status of the serve.
From here, we now wait for the recipient to receive an email that looks like this:
Once they click the secure link they will be brought to the ServeManager download portal.
1. Email Receipt Status
Upon clicking that link, the Digital Service page will internally update it’s status and display a set of information including the date and time the link was clicked, the IP address of the Recipient’s computer, as well as the computer’s browser type and operating system.
You will also see that the status has changed on the main job screen.
2. Waiver Status
After clicking that link and being transported to the ServeManager Portal, the recipient will see a breakdown on the left-hand side of the screen with the job’s case information and the process serving company (you) that is facilitating this Digital Service. Before they can download the documents, the recipient must type out their name to digitally sign to waive their right to physical service. Once signed, the job will again update to show the recipient’s signed full name and the date/time of signing, along with an updated status on the job screen.
3. Documents Downloaded Status
After signing and accepting Digital Service, the recipient can now download the documents to be served. The screen will display the document title along with the file name and size. Upon downloading, the Digital Service page will once again update showing a successful download of the files along with a date/time of when the documents were downloaded. Once downloaded, the system will send a receipt email to the recipient as well as the process server that initiated the Digital Service. The recipient’s receipt email will contain a link back to the secure portal if they need to re-download the files. The system will send a receipt email each time the recipient downloads the documents. The job activity will keep a detailed log of each update made in accordance to the serve.
Once all of these steps have been completed, the process server can then generate a special Digital Service Affidavit that is modified to include the audit trail information of the email receipt status, the waiver status, and the document download status. As with other affidavits generated in the system, you will be able to print, save as a pdf file, or email to the client contact(s) through ServeManager.
Recipients do not need an account with ServeManager to open the portal link to download their documents.
The secure private link is random, unique, and unguessable per-Digital Service. It is only provided via email to the recipient. The sender of the email will never have knowledge of the link. This prevents a recipient from claiming that the sender or someone else completed the Digital Service download.
No. Once an Digital Service is initiated, all details of the Digital Service are locked. This is a critical part of having an accurate audit trail. If an Digital Service was sent in error it can be deleted, which disables the secure private link.
If you need to deliver multiple documents with an Digital Service they need to be zipped into a single file. Having only one file to download per Digital Service is easier for the recipient, allows better tracking of a completed Digital Service, and prevents a situation where the recipient, either intentionally or by mistake, does not download all available files.
As we continue to expand on this feature please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any comments, questions, or concerns regarding this feature.