The Certified Process Server program established by O.C.G.A.§9-11-4.1 is almost ready for implementation. As the designated training provider, GAPPS has been ready to provide the required training for some time now, but has been unable to commence offering the training because the AOC has not yet set the testing procedure. We are hoping that this procedure will be established shortly, and have decided to tentatively set the dates for the first class as November 12 and 13, 2011. The location will be at one of the Atlanta libraries.
The training is set with the backdrop of all 159 sheriffs taking the position that they will not allow certified process servers to serve process in “their” counties. Therefore, one should seriously consider whether the expenditure of substantial personal funds to obtain certification is in one’s best interests. The fees are set by the Judicial Council. Thus, they are mandatory. Article 12 of the Judicial Council Rules lists the fees. The fees total $435.00 plus the cost of the fingerprint processing fee (set by the sheriffs). Certification is for three (3) years. So the yearly cost comes to about $150.00. This is less than what some courts are charging for a one-year “permanent” appointment. There is presently a bill in the legislature which, if passed, would remove the sheriffs from having any authority over certified process servers. If passed, a certified process server will be authorized to serve process out of any court in the state without further appointments.
One should also take into consideration that some courts have ended their permanent appointment program and other courts have modified the procedure in obtaining permanent appointments. We have been informed by the Fulton County Superior Court’s Office of Administration that Fulton Superior will recommence issuing permanent appointments, but only to certified process servers. We would expect other courts to consider following a similar procedure.
Another factor that is important is the prestige that will come with certification. Clients will take note of those process servers listed on the various court websites (as well as the website of the Sheriffs’ Association), that are certified and have completed the certification process. The letters “CPS” after one’s name will take on serious meaning. Taking these factors into consideration GAPPS needs to know about how many process servers (members and non-members), presently intend to attend the certification course. Initially, the course will be offered in Atlanta. We also hope to offer the course at other locations around the State.
The GAPPS website will eventually have additional pages, including one that deals with certification training, and which will have a downloadable application. In the meantime, it is requested that those who plan to take the course contact vice-president Jayne Rauser at:
Jayne will provide an application and details regarding a required deposit to confirm your reservation.