1. Do you complete service outside of Suffolk County?
Yes. At SCCO, our Constables have additional appointments in many cities and towns. Please call to verify we cover your area and pricing structure.
2. How quick does service usually get completed?
We attempt to complete all service within 24-48 hours of receipt. Some services, that requires in-hand per M.G.L., may take several attempts to complete. If rush service is required our office is equipped to serve same day.
3. Are all servings required to be in-hand to the other party?
No. This depends on what type of service being completed. Most servings can be left at the last and usual place of abode with an additional copy being mailed the same day by USPS, while others, per M.G.L. require an in hand serving (most popular “in hand” servings are Divorce and Guardianship). SCCO makes all efforts to serve the other party in-hand, but unfortunately many people will refuse to come to the door.
4. What’s the quickest easiest way have my serving completed by SCCO?
You can fax, mail, email and submit online most serving requests. Originals are not always required since only copies are served upon the other party.
5. What happens if I don’t know the address for the defendant(s) being served?
SCCO staff is properly trained on how to locate and validate a defendant’s whereabouts through our many databases. Upon request we can complete a Verification of Address form to be filed with your completed service. Once a defendant is served, SCCO will complete a return of service with the date, time and location where the defendant was served.
6. How much does service cost?
That depends on a lot of different variables. To get a quote on the price it will cost to complete your service, contact us at (617) 265-0111 so that we can discuss the variables and address any questions.
7. I may not be able to afford service. Does that mean I cannot have the person served? Is there any recourse?
You may be able to obtain a fee waiver from the Probate Court. On the www.mass.gov website there is a section under “FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES FORMS” that contains forms “Affidavit of Indigency” and “Supplement to Affidavit of Indigency”. These record the financial information necessary to ask the Court to waive fees and costs.
8. I have a Waiver provided by the Court, does your office accept these?
Typically yes we do. You need to contact our office and we can give you an estimate of how long it may take to complete service.
9. What happens if the person needing to be served is evasive?
Many Probate servings do not require In-Hand Service and legally may be left at Last and Usual Place of Abode. SCCO makes every effort to complete In-Hand service by ringing doorbell and/or knocking and does not subscribe to the “post and go” mentality noted of other offices.
For matters that require In-Hand service (IE: Divorce, Guardianship and Custody), we will complete multiple attempts to serve the individual In-Hand. If those continue to fail there could be additional charges of you may be permitted to post in a local publication of defendant (IE: Newspaper) but would strongly advise legal counsel or Court guidance at that time.
10. What happens after service is completed?
SCCO will complete a return of service on the original document and send it back to the plaintiff to file with the court. Included with that original will be your invoice. You can tear off the top and mail back to SCCO with payment.
In cases of waivers the plaintiff will be mailed the completed originals. The original waiver and copies of service complete will also be mailed to the Probate Court department for payment processing.
11. I have a defendant that resides out of Massachusetts. How would I proceed?
In general you would need to contact either a local Constable or Sheriff to seek what is required to have the defendant properly served. You may want to seek legal counsel or Court guidance on matters that have such variables.
12. Does your office provide the Witness Fee for Subpoenas?
Yes. We will provide the required Witness Fee to be served with the Subpoena. After service is complete we mail back our return of service and invoice, including the Witness Fee amount.
13. Can your office Notarize my Subpoena?
Yes. We have multiple notaries in our office that would be able to notarize your subpoena.
14. Can your office draft my Subpoena if I provide you the required information?
No. Generic Subpoenas can be found on the internet and drawn up by the requester, then sent to us to notarize and serve.
15. How is the Witness Fee calculated for Subpoenas?
Base fee for a State Subpoena is $6.00 plus $0.10 per mile round trip. Base fee for a Federal Subpoena is $40.00 per day and a $.56 per mile round trip. This is based on the mileage from where witness is served to where witness needs to appear to testify or be deposed.
16. I have a Summons that needs to be served on a “Registered Agent”. What does that mean?
Companies that conduct business in Massachusetts, but are based out of another state, have to file a Registered Agent with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. This is the entity that will accept service of process on behalf of the company. Some commonly used “Registered Agents” are Corporation Service Company and CT Corporation, as well as many Law Offices. If you are unable to locate the Registered Agent, you may also have the Summons served upon the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Office at One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02133.
17. I have a Summons I need served where I am seeking damages over $7,000. Can SCCO complete this service?
Massachusetts Constables are allowed to serve Summons seeking damages of up to $7,000, which is the Small Claims limit. In order for Constables to serve a Summons seeking more than the Small Claims limit, the Plaintiff or Plaintiff’s attorney must have obtained a 4C Motion, or Special Process Motion approved by the court prior to service of said Summons. A copy of this Motion would be required to be served with the Summons and Complaint upon the defendant(s).
18. Do I need an Attorney for my Small Claims case?
No, but if unfamiliar with the process you may want to consult, or hire an attorney that specializes in that area of law.