City police officers in Oklahoma can often prove to be helpful to process servers when a person they are trying to serve gets unruly or violent. Indeed, it is important to continually build up these vital relationships with police officers, as process servers sometimes really need them in sticky situations. However, there are also times when city police officers, none of whom perform the civil serves in Oklahoma, can really hinder your case. There are a few very helpful tips that can help things go smoother when interacting with them.
Firstly, it is always important to try your very best to be polite and mutually respectful. The old adage that says, “You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” is generally true. Police officers who know you and with whom you have built a trusting relationship with are more likely to help you than those who have an aversion to the mere sight of you.
It is also a good idea to let police officers know where you are going to be and for how long during stakeouts. If you tell the dispatcher where you are and how long you plan to be there, they are likely to pass the word on to the police officers so that they do not inadvertently give away your location, identity, etc, by driving up to question you. This open and honest dialogue will help you keep your lines of communication with them intact, and it will help improve your chances of serving the individual for your client.
Oklahoma process servers will also always want to carry their licenses with them. If process servers have their licenses on them and are on official business, it makes it a lot more difficult for police officers to tell them to leave, arrest them, etc. It is really essential for process servers in Oklahoma to always carry their license on them, and it is also required by law.
Sometimes police officers do not have a clue about what process servers do and what their rights and responsibilities are. Thus,many of them know few if any of the laws pertaining to process servers’ work. In cases such as this, it is extremely helpful to have a copy of the process server laws and rights on hand. In the eyes of the law, process servers pretty much have the same rights as a sheriff’s deputy when serving papers, with a few minor exceptions.
A copy of some of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure can be found here . . . http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/rule_4. Oklahoma process servers will also want to familiarise themselves with the Oklahoma Rules of Civil Procedure, which they can find here . . . http://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2010/Title12/Title12.html. Knowledge is power and protection! Gently informing the police officers of your rights and responsibilities can help you get the serve done right!
When process servers are performing a stakeout or are otherwise on official business, sometimes police officers might ask to see the papers they are serving. Under Oklahoma law, the papers process servers are serving are confidential, and the police officer is not entitled to see the legal nature of the papers or the parties involved. Police officers have their own jobs to do while process servers have theirs. Neither one should encroach upon the other’s official duties, and sometimes process servers must stand their legal ground.
It is possible to show the police officer the very top of the page which only shows the court of jurisdiction. This way the officer knows you are really serving papers and are on official business. The choice as to whether or not you show them that portion still ultimately rests with each Oklahoma process server.
Making contacts with police lieutenants, captains and chiefs can also come in very handy. Many police officers know nothing about the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Oklahoma Rules of Civil Procedure. Indeed, some will interfere with process servers’ duties – even if they have a copy of the rules in front of them. If a process server in Oklahoma has worked hard to build up positive working relationships with police lieutenants, captains and chiefs, then a quick phone call to one of them might quickly settle the entire matter and let officer of the court proceed unhindered with his or her business.
It is important to remember that most police officers can be a valuable resourceto process servers, though they are seldom legally able to provide helpful information. Part of serving as a professional process server includes working together with law enforcement officials and establishing clear lines of communication. Sometimes the education part of it comes into play with regard to the differentiation of roles, but diplomacy, tact, and a little patience can often pay off big time!