Proof of Service
One of the regular challenges faced by Chambers staff in self-represented cases is the inability to determine if the proper parties have been served by the litigant seeking relief. This occurs regularly in both bankruptcy and adversary cases with self-represented debtors and creditors alike. Some chambers have simply required the Court serve the appropriate documents, but this is not always possible, for many reasons. Many times, hearings are continued or relief is denied because of a self-represented party’s failure to provide proper proof of service. These situations make it impossible to evaluate a request on its merits, sometimes cause denial of appropriate relief, and take up valuable court time.
To address this situation, the Court has written, and is in the process of approving and disseminating, easy instructions that can be given to self-represented parties on how properly to serve a pleading. “How to Prepare the Proof of Service” is an instructional booklet that will provide detailed instructions on how to prepare and serve a Proof of Service. It discusses what it is, why it is needed, when it should be used, and, most importantly, who can sign it and how it should be served. We also provide the Court’s website information, in addition to a phone number for free or low cost bankruptcy help in the event that additional assistance is needed. “How to Prepare the Proof of Service” will be made available at the Court’s self-help desks and at the intake areas in each division.
Table of Contents (Download Report)
- What Do We Know About Self-Represented Parties in our Court?
- How Many Self-Represented Parties Are There?
- Measuring Success
- Language Barriers
- Bankruptcy Petition Preparers
- Income Levels
- Literacy Issues
- Self-Represented Creditors
- Court Resources and the Impact of Large Numbers of Self-Represented Litigants
- Debtor ID Program
- Current Programs and Services for the Self-Represented
- The Court’s Website
- Personal Assistance from Court Staff
- Easy to Understand Forms and Instructions
- Assistance from Volunteers and Nonprofit Organizations
- Honor Roll
- Recruitment and Training of Volunteers
- Funding Sources for Non-Court Services
- Current Projects “Under Construction”
- Pathfinder Electronic Filing Project
- Proof of Service
- Video Instruction
- Future Surveys
- Call Center/Internet Live Chat