We had been waiting for the Superior Court Uniform Rules Committee to adopt proposed uniform rule 48, the rule that would provide for standing orders issued by the courts that would allow certified process servers to serve process for all courts, without having to seek permission from the sheriffs. However, we have been informed that the Committee was unable to reach a majority vote to adopt the rule. While this is a setback, we are moving forward. Although there will be no rule covering all Georgia courts, some judicial leaders are working to have standing orders issued by the larger judicial circuits and courts that will provide the same remedy. In other words, a judicial circuit (that sometimes is comprised of as many as six or more counties, would issue an order providing that certified process servers may serve process out of all the courts of that circuit.
All process servers can assist in this endeavor. We have been asked to provide a listing of the major circuits or counties in which we have difficulty getting appointments. Please send us your nominees, including any specific problems any of these courts are causing.
In the meantime, the GAPPS Board has concluded that all those who have completed the pre-certification training and passed the exam should now complete the certification process as quickly as possible. We understand that obtaining the fingerprint background investigation is taking up to six weeks. While we will be working to insure that those courts that have issued permanent appointments in the past continue to do so, we must be prepared for these courts to all require certification as a requisite for such appointments, or in lieu of such appointments. We cannot wait until the last minute in December to complete the process.
Future sureties will require the county in which one is certified. Therefore, it is suggested that one delay getting their surety until they are sure the sheriff’s office in the county in which they will seek certification is complying with the law. If one has to go to a different county and already has the surety naming the first county, the surety will have to be rewritten. Should you encounter any problems with sheriffs regarding the application process, please let us know immediately so we can resolve any conflicts.
For additional requirements to obtain certification, please refer to your training manual or visit the AOC website at http://process-server.gaaoc.us/
The amendments to O.C.G.A.§9-11-4 require review by the General Assembly during the 2013 Legislative Session. It is important that we have as many certified process servers as possible to show the legislators we have acted in good faith, spending substantial amounts of time and money to follow the procedure the Legislature established, while the sheriffs have acted in bad faith in refusing to implement the intent of the legislation.
Paul K. Tamaroff, President
August 30, 2012