Evictions.. Landlords.. Knowing Your Rights and Hiring a Process Server.
As a Process Server... I get a request many times for a person to be present when papers are served.. I understand the impulse.. many times people are frustrated..sometimes it's just out of spite.. ESPECIALLY IN EVICTIONS.. Maybe a Tennant is late with rent.. Maybe they're tearing up your property.. in any case a Landlord just wants them gone.. By the time a Landlord has reached this point.. I have literally had a Realtor friend say.. " If I have gotten to the point I have to hire a Process Server.. I dislike the tennant so much hate enters the picture. " I ALWAYS decline requests for Landlords to be present when an Eviction is served because if the littigating parties are in eachothers presence.. things can get volatile very fast.. and being as that I want to get home in one piece.. It's a safety issue.. it can also be a legal one that can get you in trouble.
It's always upsetting when an officer dies in the line of duty... but even more so when it appears they were trying to do what I do.. the troubling events that happened Sunday in Diamond Head cost 2 officers their lives and caused 11 million in damages and endangered countless lives.... AND IT COULD HAVE ALL BEEN AVOIDED.. A PROCESS SERVER HAD ACTUALLY SERVED THE EVICTION FRIDAY.. NO INCIDENT.. THAT IS UNTIL THE LANDLORD SHOWED UP ON SUNDAY.. JUST BECAUSE A PAPER IS SERVED.. DOESN'T MEAN IT'S ALL OVER WITH.. EVEN EVICTIONS HAVE TO TAKE THEIR DUE COURSE THROUGH THE COURT.. HAD THE LANDLORD OBSERVED THAT BY KNOWING THE LAW.. ALL OF THIS MAY HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.. THE TENNANT absolutely was mentally unwell and now we will never know whether this whole tragedy could have been avoided.. but had the landlord let the case play out in court its a possibility two officers would be alive and others wouldn't have lost their homes ... and in Tennessee if you evict someone and then harrass or bother them in anyway before Court it could be ruled an improper eviction costing you money and time because the Judge could decide to make you start all over again and even impose monetary charges on you. In the Diamond Head case it cost lives of 2 valiant Police Officers ( our condolences to their families) and mass destruction... AS A LANDLORD KNOW YOUR RIGHTS... BUT ALSO KNOW THE LAW.
1) Let a Process Server who deals with these cases all the time serve your Eviction and follow the law... We will serve your Eviction properly and file it with the Court. As we deal with this all the time, many times we can also diffuse hard feelings and get the Tennant out. This can also save potential destruction to your property.
2) STAY AWAY UNTIL THE COURT HAS RULED.. Most of the time, a person fighting an Eviction will go on ahead and leave once the Judge has told them they have no choice. Even the thought of going to Court is enough and a Tennant will hold out but leave before the Court date. Failure to do so can cost you time, money, and even your life. We have all now seen sadly how a landlord's interference not just cost them their life but millions in property damage and put the public at great risk.
Evictions are ugly business and never fun but the hiring of a good Process Server can hopefully make the whole experience go a lot smoother and more safely.
Chris Wilkinson is a Knox County General Sessions Court Approved Process Server and owner of Smoky Mountain Process and Legal Services in Knoxville, Tennessee. Wilkinson lives with her fiancee Candice and their 2 dogs. If you have Legal Documents that need to be served or just a question about Process Service in East Tennessee.. Call Smoky Mountain Process and Legal 865-347-7967.