Moral and Ethical Dilemmas Process Servers and Private Investigators Face When Asked to Serve and Investigate Friends, Relatives and Colleagues

Oklahoma Judicial Process Server

Anyone who has ever worked as a process server or private investigator for any length of time knows all too well that eventually the profession hits a bit too close to home.  Perhaps an attorney sends out a serve to the owner of a process serving company without ever mentioning the name of the person the papers are for.  The process server opens up the envelope only to find that – wow – the serve is for a friend, family member, or even a colleague.  Likewise, at times businesses, governmental agencies, or even friends, relatives or colleagues will ask an Oklahoma private detective to investigate someone close to him or her.  These kinds of situations can present moral and ethical dilemmas for both Oklahoma process servers and private investigators.  Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com examines ways to handle these situations.

Obviously, most process servers and Oklahoma private investigators do not want to serve their friends, family and colleagues.  Well, perhaps those who feel wronged or otherwise badly mistreated these individuals might, but generally speaking most people would not.  So, what is a process server or private detective to do?  Several possibilities exist.

The process server or private investigator could ethically decline the serve or private investigation, citing a conflict of interest.  Indeed, the Oklahoma City process server or private eye could also not simply not provide a reason for choosing not to perform the serve or conduct the private investigation.  Under Oklahoma law, no private investigator or process server is ethically or legally obligated to take on any particular case.  However, this begs the question: does declining to perform the serve or conduct the private investigation allow the process server or private investigator free to tell his or her friend, family member, colleague, etc. about the situation?  After all, is justice, at least in theory, not supposed to be blind?

Professionally speaking, it is not advisable to inform someone else that he or she is about to get served with court papers or that he or she is the subject of an investigation.  Process servers and licensed private investigators must remember their duty to their profession and the level of integrity involved.  It goes without saying that in this particular circumstance, this is seldom an easy thing to do.

Of course, professionals on the other side of the fence would contend that because the process server or Oklahoma private detective declined the case, he or she should be able to inform the other parties involved.  Those with this contention would emphasize the ethics of family and friendship over professional obligations.  Surely this is justifiable, right?

Then again, should society permit police officers, judges, district attorneys, etc., to simply toss out any legal charges against their family members and friends, without going through a presumably unbiased legal process?  Should teachers whose own children are in their classes be allowed to give them the highest grades without requiring that their kids put forth any effort?  Should librarians get to waive any late return fees for their friends and family that they would not otherwise waive for other patrons?  These are all legal and ethical issues that many public servants must face.

Of course, what if the client is a governmental agency that wants to investigate a family member for fraud?  If a private investigator or Oklahoma process server tips that person off, could the agency hold the private investigator civilly and criminally responsible?  Could the process server or licensed private investigator’s actions affect his or her professional licenses and certifications?  Does society hold private investigators and process servers to the same legal and ethical standards that it holds police officers, judges, district attorneys, teachers and librarians?  Should it?  After all, society does not consider Oklahoma process servers and private detectives to be public servants, right?  These are indeed complex legal questions for all licensed process servers and private eyes to carefully consider.

Are these types of abuses of power by public servants even in the same category as that of a process server or private investigator who simply tells a family member or friend that he or she is about to get served or investigated?  While the legalities clearly favour process servers and private investigators who have not accepted a case and wish to tell their family, colleagues and friends, the ethical line for process servers and private investigators is indeed a much more complicated, unclear issue.  The ultimate decision is up to each private detective and process server to decide for himself or herself

There is one action that a process server or private investigator could take that would definitely cross both legal and ethical boundaries.  Let us assume that a process server in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Yukon, Norman, Moore, El Reno, Stillwater, Bethany, Midwest City, Mustang, Tulsa, Stillwater, Del City, Piedmont, Guthrie, Lawton, or elsewhere accepted the assignment from the client, knowing that the person who he or she needed to serve or investigate was his or her relative, friend, colleague, etc.  How ethical or legal would it then be for that private process server to then turn around and tell the client that he or she “could not find” the individual?  What if the process server eventually “found” the person, but not before he or she had first had the opportunity to file suit or take other preemptive legal action against the client?  Once again, what if the private investigator investigated the matter, but not without first tipping off the individual who was the subject of the investigation, thus ensuring that any devious or criminal behaviour that person might have been engaging in changed accordingly for the duration of the “investigation”?  This kind of activity on the part of the private process server or Oklahoma private eye would definitely constitute both legal and ethical violations.

Another option that private investigators and Oklahoma process servers have is to refer the case to another professional in the field.  Of course, while doing so may help garner additional return referrals from that process server or private investigator in the future, it might also cause problems right away, too.  That person might know of the relationship that exists between the process server or private eye and his or her friend, relative or colleague.  The Oklahoma process server or private detective who received the referral might let that person know who provided it.  In addition, the same legal and ethical dilemmas as noted earlier would still apply.  Thus, in an attempt to garner additional referrals and dodge the ethical and legal complications, the Oklahoma City private investigator or process server could potentially lose client and still damage his or her standing with the family member, friend, etc.

The only other viable option would be for the process server or private investigator to take the case.  He or she could choose to have an employee work the case, making it possible to still make some money.  While process servers usually do not have to go to court to testify, many private investigators do.  Thus, a company’s name is likely to surface in the judicial process of testifying.  Ergo, even though the owner of the private detective agency might have delegated the serve to another private eye, the friend or relative is still likely to end up knowing the owner’s company name and/or his or her personal identity.

On the other hand, the process server or private detective could also opt to perform the work, whereby the family member or friend would almost definitely know who served or investigated him or her.  This might work well for a process server or private investigator with a vindictive streak and nothing to lose.  This tactic could also give the person an “inside track” to the friend or relative, as that person is probably less likely to suspect that a friend or family member would serve him or her papers or conduct a private investigation.  Of course, this approach will likely burn any existing or future bridges toward positive friendship or family ties.  One never knows when he or she will need to cross that bridge or build a new one in the future.  Thus, all process servers and private detectives should give serious consideration as to whether or not this pathway constitutes the best approach.

All of the options involved in deciding whether or not to serve or investigate a friend, colleague or relative are indeed very complicated.  There is no clear road or path to take that does not mean losing a potential client, money, friendship, or running into ethical or legal issues.  Those who run process serving companies and private detective agencies should give serious thought as to whether or not to serve a friend, family member or colleague, as well as the possible ramifications of their decisions.

Teaching Private Investigation Courses Helps Give Licensed Private Investigators Special Advantages

Private Investigation Courses in Oklahoma OKC

Some licensed private investigators in Oklahoma often stay on top of the game by teaching private investigator certification courses at places like Metro Tech and elsewhere.  It is true that teaching these Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) classes at career technology schools seldom pays as much as an Oklahoma private detective could earn while on a stakeout.  Nevertheless, not everything is about making money. Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com explores the other benefits that a private investigator can receive by taking an active role in helping to educate future private investigators . . .

One of the biggest benefits that a private detective can receive is the knowledge that he or she has helped train others in a wonderful field.  The intangible reward of knowing that one has made a lasting difference in the world is truly incredible.  Private detectives can truly make their mark in the specialised field of private investigations.  Indeed, teaching others is a way to stay current and can help private investigators learn and relearn what the latest and greatest methods are.  After all, is all too easy for experts to become complacent and lose touch with how the field has evolved.

Teaching future Oklahoma private detectives also helps private investigators who are already in the field continue to network.  Those who are students now may provide referrals later down the road.  Teachers can often gauge how a student might perform in the field by how well he or she does while in class.  Unless the school has policies in place that prohibit doing so, teaching these classes can help the instructor recruit new private investigators to work at his or her private detective agency.  Thus, access to the up and coming stars in the field are right at the teacher’s fingertips!

What experienced armed private investigator does not also concurrently work in the field of private security?  Well, perhaps some do not, but many do!  Numerous students who take Phase III, or the private investigation course, and Phase I, the first part of the CLEET security guard certification class, often take Phase II and Phase IV, too.  Phase II involves the remaining part of the security certification portion, while Phase IV entails the use of a firearm.  Students who take all four phases can receive their license to become certified as an armed security guard and armed private investigator.  Once again, many teachers have the chance to make a difference in mentoring students in all phases, while also gaining access to high quality future security officers!  What a bargain!  Hiring can become so much easier.

Since the field of private investigations is often, though not always, more of a competitive field rather than a collaborative one, teachers at these schools sometimes like to size up their potential competition in advance – their students.  Sometimes unscrupulous instructors will try to crush their new competition down before or after they become licensed, but this is a horrible reason to teach those CLEET classes.  Private investigation educators who go into the teaching aspect of the field for this reason have no business being in the classroom.

Licensed private detectives also have the opportunity to help future Oklahoma private investigators and sometimes even others in the community stay safe from harm.  By providing and carefully supervising opportunities for meaningful, practical, hands-on activities that most private investigators perform, new private eyes will not find themselves left wondering what to do.  It is amazing to see just how many people do not know how to sweep for bugs, operate a video camera while conducting surveillance, and much more!  These students have to learn how to do this, and it is often hard to do while in the field with no one to lend a hand.  Sadly, many private investigators have no mentors and often have to struggle to learn the trade on their own.

These are just a few of the many reasons that those who run their own private detective agencies should also teach school.  Blending investigations and educating those who conduct them can yield many rewards for Oklahoma private investigator instructors, their students, clients, and society as a whole.  Private detectives with a proclivity for teaching should definitely consider teaching and mentoring others in the profession as well.

How Oklahoma Private Investigators and Process Servers Can Elicit Greater Police Cooperation and Assistance

Oklahoma PRivate Investigator and the Police

Police officers can sometimes prove to be very helpful to private investigators and process servers.  Indeed, in some cases private investigators, process servers and police officers perform very similar tasks.  All three professions often encompass various aspects of the law, and thus everyone’s job becomes much easier when all sides work collaboratively rather than against one another.  Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com examines some of the ways in which process servers and private investigators can increase the likelihood that police officers will want to assist them, or at the very least not hinder, their investigations and service of process.

The first and most important things all Oklahoma private detectives and process servers should do is to make sure that they always carry the proper identification.  Private investigators should always have their private investigation licenses, a driver’s license, etc., on them at all times.  Likewise, process servers should also have their process server license and their driver’s license on hand whenever they go out to serve papers.  Doing so ensures that each Oklahoma City private investigator and process server has everything he or she needs to both identify themselves and proves that they have a legal right to conduct his or her activities.

By law, police officers have the right to perform certain functions within the scope of their duties.  No other individual may interfere with those job tasks, unless the police officer is doing something wrong (i.e., police brutality).  Likewise, once a law abiding Oklahoma process server or private detective has properly identified himself or herself to a police officer who has asked to see identification, there is nothing that that any law enforcement personnel can legally do to interfere with the performance of those lawful duties.  This is why it is so imperative for Oklahoma City process servers and private investigators to carry their process server and private investigator licenses, as well as their drivers’ licenses, at all times.

An owner of a reputable private detective agency or process serving company in Oklahoma will often take great care to let law enforcement officials know of their presence in advance.  This is especially true if the process server or private investigator plans to stay in one area for an extended period of time.  Calling or physically going to the police station in advance and presenting proper identification can prove to be very beneficial.  By doing so, police officers can verify that a person who claims to be a process server or private detective really is who he or she claims to be.  However, it is imperative that process servers and private investigators remember that they do not have to, and in many cases are forbidden from, releasing specific names and/or the general nature of their service/investigation to the police.

When contacting the police in advance, it is important for process servers and private detectives to help give them other non-sensitive important information.  Providing them a physical description of the process servers or private investigators, the make, model and tag numbers of the cars that will be in the area, and a contact number of the individuals working the case will often put their minds at great ease.  That way if people start calling in to report a “suspicious” vehicle or other unusual activity, the police officers can choose call the Oklahoma private investigator or process server first to see what is going on.

Contacting the police in advance will often, but not always, keep police cars from showing up at a private detective’s or process server’s location with multi-coloured lights on, sirens blaring, etc.  This, of course, could prove to be disastrous for an investigation or serve.  What private detective agency or process serving company wants the entire neighbourhood to know of their employees’ presence?  Having the police show up during surveillance or while on a difficult serve could potentially blow everything and would not help out the client.

Making friends with the police and other law enforcement officials can also help a private detective or process server reap numerous positive rewards.  Whether this takes place in a professional capacity or with people on the force that are already known by or introduced to private investigators and Oklahoma process servers, knowing people in the right places helps!  Of course, it is not only beneficial to be well-known, but also well- liked and well-respected.  Spending a little time to invest in these relationships, which can even be as simple as smiling and saying, “Hello” to police officers as they walk by, not only makes deposits into their emotional bank accounts but is also the nice thing to do.  In addition, massaging a police officer’s ego, if not overdone, can also help.  A little investment in advance can come back to help in the future when it especially counts!

After having had a gun pointed at him by a crazy lady, a process server made it a point one time to get to know the local sheriff’s deputies as he filed the report.  They all talked, laughed, shared stories, and more.  While later having to wait in his car while trying to serve papers in the same town on behalf of a new client, a suspicious neighbour eventually contacted the local police.

The local police showed up first, and they began questioning the process server.  However, when the county sheriff’s deputies soon arrived and the process server got out of his car to greet them, the police officers asked them, “You know this guy?”  When the sheriff’s deputies acknowledged that they did and that everything was good to go, the local police immediately backed off and went to inform the normally paranoid lady that everything was okay and that they could not make the Oklahoma process server leave the area.

This is once again a very good example of how Oklahoma private investigators and process servers who know people within very similar professions can have an easier time.  The greater one’s sphere of influence is, the easier life often becomes.  Those who run the most successful private detective agencies and process serving companies have mastered this invaluable concept.

It is also extremely important for private detectives and process servers in Oklahoma and elsewhere to make sure that they follow all laws.  If a process server or private investigator is doing everything in accordance with all local, state and federal laws, then police officers have no way to complain about or otherwise impede the duties of those working for process serving companies and private investigation firms in Oklahoma City, Norman, Moore, Edmond, Yukon, Mustang, Piedmont, El Reno, and elsewhere.  Unfortunately, following the laws is not always sufficient.

Sometimes police officers do not know what the laws are.  Indeed, police officers are trained in criminal law, not civil law.  Not wanting to appear ignorant, some police officers may just go with whatever they think the laws should be.  Others may call their supervisors or even call for the assistance of the county sheriff or constable, as they are often charged with the responsibility of serving papers, etc.  At other times, since law enforcement officials really may not know what private investigators and process servers can and cannot legally do, they may just let them proceed with their duties unhindered.

It never hurts for process servers to have a copy of the Oklahoma Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on hand.  Private investigators should have any pertinent laws, which are often on www.oscn.net, readily available by phone or on paper.  This way if police officers are ignorant of civil laws pertaining to Oklahoma process servers and private investigators or are intentionally trying to interfere, they can get a quick and easy reminder.

In addition, having copies of local ordinances pertaining to parking on public property, what does and does not constitute trespassing, and the amendments to the United States Constitution on hand can also prove to be quite useful.   Sometimes an Oklahoma process server or private investigator will need to remind police officers about such rights as the freedom of speech and association, what the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution really means, etc.  Always knowing the laws in advance is smart and makes excellent business sense.

Process servers and private investigators should definitely take great care to always act professionally.  Circumstances may arise when police officers do everything wrong or even break multiple laws.  Indeed, the field of law enforcement often attracts people with a strong desire to protect and serve, but it can also draw in people seeking power, authority, and those who do not appreciate having their authority questioned.  Private investigation agencies and process serving companies that encourage diplomacy, tact, patience, kindness, collaborative leadership, respect for the law, and polite assertiveness will often prosper the best. 

Another crucial element of garnering the cooperation of police officers is for Oklahoma private investigators and process servers to never try to intentionally antagonize law enforcement officials.  These people are also fellow human beings with thoughts, feelings, dreams, aspirations, goals, insecurities, and fallibilities.  Many of them have families, and they are as fragile as the next human being or other life form.  Trying to make a police officer irate or otherwise irritated will seldom, if ever, accomplish any noteworthy desired goals.  Since private investigators, process servers, and law enforcement officials often perform at least some of the same duties, it is essential that Oklahoma process servers and private detectives do everything they can to get them on the same team.  Hopefully no one is out to break the law or cause any harm; everyone just wants to do their duties and go home to their families.

Private detective agencies and process server companies in Oklahoma and elsewhere can often find great success when interacting with law enforcement officials.  Knowing how, when, with whom, where, and why interacting with law enforcement officials in a variety of situations is crucial.  Eventually there are times when private investigators and process servers need help from local law enforcement agencies.  By working together instead of against one another, Oklahoma City process servers and private investigation agencies can find much greater success!

Why Oklahoma Private Investigators and Process Servers Should Form Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) Instead of Traditional Corporations

oklahoma-process-server-llc-limited-liability-company

One thing that America is known for is its love of the courts.  For hundreds of years, the judicial system in the United States has played an extremely integral role in helping to settle divorces, small disputes, malpractice claims, business disagreements, immigration matters, and even criminal charges.  Needless to say, many business owners usually find out that they are not immune to lawsuits from unhappy customers.  Oklahoma private investigators and process servers can also find themselves sued, and thus they should equip themselves with the legal protections that forming a limited liability company (LLC) can provide.

Limited liability companies can help give any process server or private investigator the chance to cover himself or herself with a “corporate shield” of sorts.  By forming an LLC, process servers and private investigators alike can make it to where, if ever successfully sued, their business assets are the only thing that a plaintiff can take from them.  This differs greatly from companies that are simply incorporated, and all Oklahoma process servers and private investigators need to know this major difference.

Say, for example, that Mark, a customer, sues Jack, a diligent private investigator in Oklahoma, in court.  Mark somehow convinces the jury that he is right and that PI Jack is not.  Furthermore, in a miscarriage of justice the jury awards Mark $400,000.  Private Investigator Jack appeals, but he loses a few times.  Now Mark turns to Jack’s business assets to see what all PI Jack is worth.  However, Mark quickly gets disappointed.

After a  hearing on Jack’s private investigation company’s assets, the courts determine that Jack’s business only has $3,000 worth of business equipment, assets, and property.  Everything else Jack owns is his own personal money and property.  Because Jack’s private investigation firm does not have the other funds, Private Investigator Jack realizes he can never pay off $400,000 and decides to have his company declare bankruptcy.

After the bankruptcy goes through, Mark, the plaintiff in the case, walks away with his $3,000 and the satisfaction of knowing that the “evil” private investigator’s company is now bankrupt.  Private Investigator Jack, thankful that Mark could not touch his personal assets that amounted to $750,000, puts on his Oklahoma process server hat and forms a new company, which is also a limited liability company.

As a process server, Jack also expands his business to include other fields, making sure to take out protective professional liability insurance.  Process Server Jack knows he cannot declare bankruptcy for many years to come, so he takes great care to sign special agreements with his clients, which serve to further protect him from lawsuits.  Now Jack brings his previous customers on board to his new business, and he enjoys the fruits of his labour.

Having said all of this, courts can still pierce the corporate shields that protect business owners from having all of their personal assets take from them.  For example, if Private Investigator Jack had mixed his personal assets with his business assets, then Mark could have asked the courts to pierce this shield.  This is just one of several ways in which this can happen.

All Oklahoma City process servers and Edmond, Oklahoma private investigators should remember another important thing though.  If their business is especially large, all of those assets are subject to a lawsuit.  Thus, if Private Investigator Jack’s private investigation company had amassed assets of $400,000 or more, then Mark could have successfully taken those away from him.  Mark just could not have touched any of the owner’s personal financial assets.

The corporate shield that limited liability companies have was especially meant to protect small businesses like private detective agencies and Oklahoma process server companies like Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com.  Otherwise, many business owners might not want to take the risk of starting a business and possibly losing both their company and personal assets.  All smart private investigation and process server companies in Oklahoma should definitely form limited liability companies, instead of simply becoming incorporated.

How Oklahoma Process Servers Can Successfully Handle Misguided Blame From Attorneys and Other Clients

It goes without saying that everyone makes mistakes.  This applies no matter whether someone is a doctor, lawyer, process server, teacher, or even the president of a country.  Mistakes are an inherent part of our human nature.  While it is true that Oklahoma process servers can certainly make their fair share of mistakes, sometimes it is the clients (i.e., attorneys, businesses, private individuals, etc.) who place misguided blame onto hardworking process servers.  There are many ways in which a process server can handle the situation, and how an Oklahoma process server does so can make a huge difference for everyone involved.

Let us assume that a process server has received a set of papers to serve on an individual.  After taking all of the necessary steps, he or she serves the papers on the person.  After filing out the return of service and sending it back to the client with a copy of the papers served, the Oklahoma City process server gets a phone call.  The attorney on the other end asks, “Why did you deliver those documents to the individual?  I never gave you those documents.  Why didn’t you serve the documents I gave you?”  Of course, the attorney says this despite the fact that the papers the process server delivered were the exact same ones he or she received from the law firm, and they even had the person’s name on them.

How else could the process server have acquired those documents?  Which process server goes around searching out other documents in a case to serve on a defendant/respondent that the process server does not need to serve?  Obviously, an Oklahoma process server would have no need to serve unnecessary documents.

What has most likely happened in this situation is quite obvious: the lawyer did not give the process server the right papers and/or changed her mind about having the services performed.  Then the attorney wanted to unnecessarily project the blame onto the process server and thus deflect it from herself.  Perhaps the attorney works for a large firm and is afraid of getting into trouble for her mistake.  Thus, by saying the process server was at fault, she can try to circumvent the blame and minimize the damage done to her career.

There are many ways to successfully and diplomatically handle this matter.   One of them involves having the process server calmly explain to the client that he or she had no access to any other papers, and only served what the attorney provided.  Besides, why would Oklahoma process servers want to serve unnecessary papers?  However, if the attorney is determined to deflect the blame from herself, this is unlikely to yield satisfactory long term results.

Another approach the Oklahoma process server can try involves offering to redo the serve.  This, while it requires extra work on the part of the process server, may help the client save face and thus use the same process server’s services again.  This approach also eliminates any arguments.  Of course, this method also comes with numerous drawbacks.

Doing the serve again for free might also affirm in the client’s mind that she was right to initially make such an assertion.  In addition, it will cost the Oklahoma process server more time and effort.  This time and effort could prove to be especially taxing if the serve took a long time to complete, and the process server may resent having to redo it for free.  Indeed, no process server wants to have to continually redo serves he or she already successfully completed over and over again for the same client.  Depending upon the client, perhaps another approach might prove to be more suitable.

A combination of these two approaches can also prove to be effective.  The process server in Edmond, Oklahoma can diplomatically explain that he or she served the correct papers in a timely fashion.  Then, without allowing the situation to turn into an argument, he or she could simply offer to serve the papers the attorney or other client wants one more time.  Provided the case did not take an exceptionally long time to serve, this allows the attorney to save face, eliminates harmful debates and arguments, and might help the process server keep the client for future business.  However, some process servers will undoubtedly strongly disagree with this approach.

A process server could easily contend that he or she is a licensed professional who deserves to receive pay for the work he or she did.  After all, the attorney made the mistake, so why should the Oklahoma process server have to pay for it by doing extra work for free?  Does the attorney perform services for free?  Additionally, who is to say that the client will even use the same process server again?  These are all excellent contentions, and they deserve serious consideration.

Oklahoma process servers who find themselves in this situation should consider several things, which are noted as follow:

  • How much other work does this client give the process server?
  • Is this client a referral from another big client?
  • Is this lawyer likely to go and tell many others about the “poor service” he or she received?
  • Is it better to receive the pay in the short run and possibly risk isolating the client in the long run?

 

Obviously, process servers have to consider many different things when deciding which approach to take.  Either way, the process server should, at the very least, receive pay for the successful serve he or she already did.  That should be non-negotiable, unless those serving as Oklahoma process servers believe it is better to simply forego the money altogether.

Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com takes great pride in helping clients from around the world.  Our staff has, on very rare occasions, faced situations similar to this one, and the client is not always right.  However, if a process server want to find success in the long term, taking a polite, diplomatic approach is always best.  After all, clients are only humans, and they, too, are just as vulnerable to making mistakes as other human beings who serve as process servers.

How a Notary Public in Oklahoma Can Make the Best Bargain With Loan Signing Companies

Professional notaries public put a great deal of time and effort into their work.  This is especially true for mobile notaries who utilize their cars, gasoline, mileage, printers, paper, etc.  Indeed, an Oklahoma notary public may also carry errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, and may have successfully completed specialised notary public training courses.  When also factoring in the cost of the commission, notary supplies, advertising costs, etc., this can prove to be quite a large investment.  This is precisely why Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com wants other notaries in Oklahoma to know how to ensure that signing agents and title companies pay them fairly for their services.

Once a notary public has gotten himself or herself set up with all of the commissions, training, supplies, etc., phone calls are likely to follow.  While Oklahoma currently has a set maximum price of $5.00 per signature if someone comes to meet a notary at his or her home or office, there is no such limit when the mobile notary travels to the client.  While some signings that require the services of a mobile notary might include individual clients who are seeking car title changes, wills, etc., other more lucrative contracts will come from loan signing agencies such as Banc-Serv.

Loan signing and title companies often require services for home loans, sellers’ packages, refinancing loans, and more.  It is important to keep in mind that the banks, title companies, and the loan signing agencies all stand to make a profit from the transaction, and mobile notaries should as well.  This is why it is imperative for notaries in Oklahoma to try to find out how much their corporate client stands to make off of the deal.

Mobile notaries will seldom, if ever, make more than their clients do, as this takes away the financial benefits and incentives for their business.  However, if the loan signing company stands to make $200, it might be willing to pay $150 for a new home loan.  Of course, since loan signing companies are also out to make a profit, they are going to try to find the best notaries around for the cheapest possible price.  This is where the cost benefit analysis for this field becomes especially important.

Finding the right balance between how much a notary public can get for his or her services and what the client is willing to pay becomes crucial.  If an Oklahoma City notary public is always setting the price very high, others mobile notaries may receive more calls than those with lower prices.  Of course, those who prostitute themselves out for next to nothing will get more phone calls, but they will also make less money for their time.

It is also important to note that a signing agency’s first offer to a notary public is generally not as high as it can really go.  Thus, if a signing agency offers $75 for a relatively small signing, it can usually increase that amount.  It seldom benefits notaries to settle for the first offer they receive from new customers.  Responding politely with a fair counteroffer can often help net the best possible fees.

Aside from the aforementioned, Oklahoma notaries should really consider the following additional factors when setting their mobile notary fees, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • How soon the service needs to be done
  • Whether or not bilingual services are needed
  • The time of day the signing needs to take place
  • The distance to and from the signing (i.e., mileage and gas)
  • The number of pages the notary will need to print out
  • Whether the signing will take place on a weekend and/or holiday
  • Postage costs and whether special trips to FedEx Office or the United States Post Office will be necessary
  • Whether or not the client wants everything or even certain pages faxed back or sent via e-mail
  • Other individual/personal factors and considerations for the notary

The more of the aforementioned that the signing agency or title company requires, the higher the Oklahoma City notary public should set the price.  Time is money, and supplies also cost money.

It is imperative that notaries public not set their standards too low and work for too little.  This pushes down the price for professional notaries so much that it makes it harder for all other mobile notaries to thrive.  Mobile notaries who have a clear understanding of the signing agent’s needs, how much company is getting, and how much time and supplies are required from the Oklahoma notary public, can often negotiate the best possible price.

How an Oklahoma Notary Public Can Change a Life

One might think that a notary public merely puts his or her stamp on a piece of paper.  But mobile notaries do so much more than just that: they change lives.  Yes, they, too, leave their stamp on society just like teachers, police officers, and other officials.  Oklahoma notaries, such as the professionals at Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com, who have been in the profession for any length of time know this all too well.

 

Oftentimes people can inadvertently put off very important matters until the last minute.  Sometimes they call upon a notary, because a loved one is dying quickly and the person has not made a will.  Whether it is in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman, Yukon, Mustang, Tulsa, Stillwater, or elsewhere in Oklahoma, death eventually comes to everyone.  Clients who call to get assistance so that the post-death time of mourning can be easier and more settled, benefit greatly from the emergency signing services a notary public in Oklahoma can help provide.

 

At other times a car deal needs to take place, but the buyer plans to leave the very next day for another state.  In this situation, an Oklahoma City notary public can help seal the deal and get the car title transferred to the new owner.  Otherwise, the buyer may change his or her mind and get something else.  Time can sometimes give people the opportunity to change their minds, and this can be bad for someone trying to sell something!  Once again, an Oklahoma notary public can save the day – or night!

 

Sometimes people call because there is a beauty pageant the next day.  Unfortunately, no one noticed that a notary public had to notarize the parental permission form for the audition.  Now it is midnight, and there is no one available to do it.  Without assistance, participation in this important competition will be almost impossible for the young beauty queen.  Never fear!  Day or night, an Edmond, Oklahoma notary public can help ensure that the show still goes on.

 

Those who consider utilizing the services of a notary public should remember to thank him or her.  A skilled notary with errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is not always readily available.  Those notaries that that are willing to travel or help clients late at night are sometimes in short supply.  The Oklahoma notaries at Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers stand ready to help others day and night.  Indeed, notaries everywhere who travel far and wide or work at all hours of the night have truly changed many lives – even if they themselves do not realize it.

How Oklahoma Private Investigators Can Effectively Evaluate Clients’ Claims of Distress and Harm

Any Oklahoma private investigator who has served in the field for very long can attest to the fact that he or she has likely received what seem like very odd phone calls.  Perhaps the calls themselves from certain people in Oklahoma are not so strange, as are some of the stories they tell the private investigators with whom they speak.  However, as eccentric as some of these stories might sound, they could very well be true.  Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com suggests that all private investigators carefully listen to each client in a nonjudgmental way, so as to discern the truth of each matter.

Of course, Oklahoma private investigators sometimes do not know whether the case is real or simply imagined in the client’s head.  This can make for a difficult job for an Oklahoma City private investigator who is trying to find out if his Oklahoma client might be delusional, paranoid, just bored and playing a prank, under the influence of drugs, or actually telling the truth.  Let us examine a recent example that an experienced private investigator encountered while on the phone with an individual who had called several times.

A woman from Edmond, Oklahoma had called the private investigators at Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers several times asking for assistance.  On this most recent occasion, she wanted to set up an appointment and meet with a private investigator.  She stated that her problem had to do with the fact that someone had stolen money from her bank accounts and had unlawfully used her credit cards.  On the surface, this sounds reasonable and worth investigating.

At this point the Oklahoma private investigator asked the woman who she thought was trying to steal her money and why.  Many clients might have said, “I don’t know” or might have replied with, “Well, I think it was my ex-husband, etc.”  However, the lady responded with, “Well, I think it is an inside job by those working at the bank.”  Really?  This was a conspiracy by those at the bank to steal her money and use her credit cards?  Well, that did not sound quite right, but the Oklahoma private investigator decided to dig a bit further.

The Oklahoma City private investigator then asked the woman, “Have you reported this to the bank?”  The lady initially said, “No.”  Then when the private investigator asked why she had not done so, the lady changed her mind and gave a delayed, uncertain response of, “Yes, I did contact the bank.”  This conflicting answer, combined with the hesitation and her mixed responses, indicated deception.  Unfortunately, the woman did not stop her story there.

This situation, the woman claimed, was one she had reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  The Oklahoma private investigator reported that the story just got even wilder and had even more responses that just did not add up.  At this point, the private investigator decided that this case had probably not really happened and was not worth spending the time and effort pursuing.  However, she had to do so with a great deal of tact.

While a client may very well be making up a story or may lean a bit toward the paranoid end of the spectrum, it is vital that all private investigators in Oklahoma and elsewhere remember to remain polite and professional.  Thus, in this situation the Oklahoma private investigator simply said, “Madam, this is a matter in which you might find the best results by contacting the Federal Trade Commission again.  I am sure they will work with you on this.”  Before the woman could begin to protest or attempt any additional convincing, the private investigator made her other phone ring and politely informed the other woman on the line that she needed to take the other call.

While it might have been tempting for the private investigator to have referred the matter out to another Oklahoma City private investigator that she did not like very much, that would not have been very nice to do.  There are quite a few private detectives in the field of private investigation throughout Oklahoma who might do this very thing.  Some lawyers and other professionals do it on a regular basis.  Nevertheless, it is an inappropriate practice for any professional to engage in, and it only wastes everyone else’s time.

Another unprofessional response to this situation would be to take the woman’s money, assuming she had any, and to proceed with the case.  Some clients may throw a lot of money at a case, and it may make them feel better.  However, if they could suffer from paranoia or could have some other unknown difficulty, doing so would only prove exploitive.  According to the Oklahoma Private Investigator Association’s (OPIA’s) Code of Ethics, this would not be a best practice for Oklahoma private investigators.

In addition, it was imperative that the Oklahoma private investigator did not accuse the woman of lying, being paranoid, or anything else.  While the private investigator was about 99% sure that the woman’s story was not reality, there was always that 1% chance that it could have been true.  Besides, what could the Oklahoma City private investigator have hoped to have accomplished by saying the woman might be paranoid or was simply making the story up for fun?  The clear was answer: nothing.

Anyone who stays in the field of private investigation for any length of time will undoubtedly find himself or herself listening to what could very well be a wild tale.  On the other hand, it could also be the truth, at least insofar as the individual on the other end of the phone is concerned.  It is always imperative that all Oklahoma private investigator remain diplomatic, tactful, polite, and professional when encountering these situations.  Private investigators who treat others as they would want to be treated often fare well throughout their professional careers.

How Oklahoma Private Investigators Can Write Effective Surveillance Reports

Oklahoma private investigators often perform surveillance in a variety of situations.  From investigating cheating spouses to custody cases and more, private investigators often need to write up reports for their clients.  This is particularly important, as Oklahoma private investigators’ reports often end up before judges and elsewhere in courtrooms.  Private detectives need to know the best practices for writing reports.  By doing so, it will help their clients, too.  Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com examines some tactics which can help with writing these special reports.

First and foremost, it is vital that private investigation companies that are writing reports include the facts and exclude opinions.  Commentaries have no place in formal written reports, and they can often do more harm than good in the courtroom.  It is indeed as  they used to say in the television show Dragnet, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

The formal presentation of the written investigative report is also just as important.  The following is an outline which is often helpful to private detectives in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman, Moore, Yukon, Tulsa and elsewhere.  While there is no set format per se, the following can be helpful for a private investigator to use:

Summary Report – Surveillance Performed for [Insert Name Here]

It is often helpful to include the name of the person for whom the private investigator has prepared the investigative report.  The word “for” can be changed to “on” and the name that follows thereafter may also be different.

Location:

This is an important place for an Oklahoma private detective to note the location(s) where the surveillance took place.  The areas may include several places, and the private investigation company should also note the times that the surveillance took place.  All reports should accurately reflect the date and time stamps of any video recording devices the private investigator used.

Purpose:

This is the place where an Oklahoma City private investigator should note the purpose of the investigation.  Was the purpose to find out if a married husband was visiting a special lover?  Perhaps there is a court order that specifically prohibits a husband or wife from cohabitating with anyone else while divorce proceedings are in progress.  Whatever the reason for the private investigation, the person conducting it should carefully but succinctly note the purpose(s) of conducting the investigation itself.

 

Integrity:

Some Oklahoma private investigators prefer to make note of integrity footage they took while on surveillance.  This time and date stamped video footage can show which times that the private investigator was still out there.  This way if a private investigator is ever asked how he or she knew if someone was at a particular place all night long, then the integrity shots can help prove the private detective’s continued presence in the area.

 

Observations:

This is the perfect area for the Oklahoma private detective to denote what he or she saw.  Who was there?  What happened?  When did these events take place?  Where did everything happen?  Once again, it is important for the private detective to be thorough, but also clear and concise.  Commentaries and opinions are not necessary.

 

Identification of the Subjects:

This is the perfect spot for an Oklahoma private investigator to list how he or she identified the subjects in the video.  Did he or she have photographs of the individuals in the video footage beforehand?  Perhaps the client provided photographs or at least a physical description of the person beforehand.  It is important for surveillance purposes for the licensed private investigator to be able to properly identify the person or individuals he or she is conducting surveillance on.  Of course, sometimes this is not always possible, especially if the subjects are not known.

What if there are people in the video that the private detective could identify but others that he or she could not?  Sometimes other people who are not known to the client or the private investigator unexpectedly appear.  If there are unidentifiable people in the video footage, a private investigator definitely needs to note this in the written report.

All Oklahoma private investigators should be sure to include their names, private investigator license numbers, and private investigation agency license number(s).  This is extremely vital, if others are to view the report with any credibility.  A report, which should include the date it is signed, is not official unless signed by all private detectives involved in the case.  Private investigators should take great care to do so in front of an Oklahoma notary public.  The signature area can look something like the following:

_________________________         _________________________

[Insert Private Investigator’s Name Here],         Date:

         Licensed Private Investigator

         PI License #: [Insert # Here]

         Agency License #: [Insert # Here]

 

All private detectives should ensure that a notary public has authenticated the signature of their investigative reports.  This makes a formal written report more credible, and it helps the judge know that the client or some unknown party did not unlawfully forge the private investigator’s signature.  A sample notary statement that reports can include is as follows:

 

Signed and affirmed before me, _______________________, a notary public for the State of Oklahoma, by [Insert the private investigator’s name here], on this _______ day of _______, 2013. 

 

Each investigative report should also include page numbers (i.e., Page 1 of 3) and places on each page for the private investigator or private detectives to initial.  This helps to ensure the integrity of the report, and it makes it harder for someone to change out pages for unethical purposes.

 

Private investigation reports can really help to present the findings in the best possible, accurate, organized light.  They can greatly complement video footage, photographs, and courtroom testimony, if applicable.  All Oklahoma private investigation agencies should ensure that their private detectives prepare and write professional reports for their clients.  Doing so not only benefits the people they serve, but it also adds to the professionalism of those working in the field.

New Oklahoma Private Investigators Need Mentors and Internships

Many professionals enter their fields for the first time without much real practical experience.  Whether these individuals have attended a university and are becoming medical doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc., everyone usually starts with only a minimum amount of work experience.  The same thing also holds true for private investigators, process servers, notary public officials, and others in the legal field.  Oklahoma Judicial Process Servers www.OklahomaJudicialProcessServers.com knows all too well how this fact underscores the importance for new private investigators to have internships and mentors who will help them along in the field.

Unless a private investigator has previously served in a special investigative law enforcement capacity within the military and/or civilian world, he or she is likely ill prepared for the rigors that come with serving as an Oklahoma private investigator.  Indeed, Oklahoma City private investigators who go to a vocational school to train often find that they are prepared for the rather easy test the basic Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) requires.  Unfortunately, these vocational schools seldom offer hands-on training that is beneficial for when Oklahoma private investigators actually go out into the field in Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon, Norman, Midwest City, Tulsa, Lawton, Piedmont, Guthrie, Del City, Bethany, and elsewhere.

Oklahoma’s career technology-oriented schools need to offer real life experiences for students enrolled in private investigators training programs.  Instructors need to show new Oklahoma private investigators how to actually conduct surveillance, set up and use the private security cameras, how to properly testify in a courtroom as a witness, and how to start and run a private investigator business.  While the list of training necessities could indeed prove to be quite extensive, the instructional programs these schools provide often prove to be grossly inadequate for those trying to enter the field and start a new career.

Much like with newly certified teachers, private investigators could also benefit from having some sort of mentor.  Vocational or career-oriented schools that offer private investigator training programs could take the lead in connecting new private investigators with more experienced professionals in the field.  Having someone to whom the new private investigator can ask for advice and help from could prove to be very beneficial.  The field of private investigation is a very serious one.  The consequences of a private investigator who does not conduct surveillance or perform other related services properly can be very detrimental to clients and society as a whole.

Oklahoma needs to develop new programs which will adequately train and provide continuing support to new private investigators.  Society would not generally tolerate poorly trained teachers in its classrooms any more than it would allow a beginning brain surgeon to operate without assistance.  The same holds true for licensed private investigators.  By requiring advanced training and ongoing support for new Oklahoma private investigators, Oklahoma will see increased professionalism, better Oklahoma City private investigators, fewer mistakes, and a more satisfied clientele.