Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Arizona Process Server Charged With Criminal Trespass

My name is Jeff Showen. I am a process server in the State of Arizona in the County of Maricopa. I have been serving process for about 9 years. The City of Scottsdale Arizona would like to make me a convicted process server and use me as an example that could impact the way all of us do business.

In the course of doing my job as process server, I was charged with Criminal Trespass and Criminal Harassment by The City of Scottsdale in April 2004 (CR2004-06256 - filed with the City of Scottsdale Municipal Court).

Let me give you a brief explanation about what this case is about. I received a Civil Summons and Complaint to serve upon [defendants in] Scottsdale, Arizona. I spoke with a female through the front door and she immediately said that she will be contacting the Scottsdale Police and to wait at the bottom of the stair. I waited for the Police. I showed them the documents and my Arizona Process Server license. They took some information down and said that I was free to go. About six months later, I received a notice from the City of Scottsdale saying there are going to press charges upon me for Criminal Trespass and Criminal Harassment.

Process Servers have fought some very impressive battles in court regarding process serving and what we can and can not do to serve process. One of the most well known of is
State of Arizona vs. Douglas B. Star (Case LC1987-00135).
This is a case where a process server went onto a person's property to serve process and was charged with Criminal Trespass in the town of Paradise Valley. The Prosecutor in the City of Scottsdale is ignoring this Case law that was heard and ruled in the Appeals Court. The ruling in this case that was in the favor of the Process Server.

Even though we have this case law on the books, the City of Scottsdale apparently does not honor the judge's verdict. To this day process servers are still fighting this argument in Court since June 6, 1987. We are calling out to all servers to help in my battle and our livelihood. We need to put a STOP to unjustified prosecution of process servers. If we do not this will allows defendants to abuse of the Court system and further avoid service. We need the Police and the Sheriff to support us and back us up. We need a stronger State association to protect and back us when serious charges arise when the process server was not at fault.

Since I am a member, I contacted the Arizona Process Server Association and even attended the Board Member meeting in Prescott on June 26, 2004. My plea to the Association for their assistance was turned down and I was told "we will be very interested in your case when you lose" - Thomas McDonald (Hawkins and Campbell-Phoenix). The feeling was unanimous throughout the entire Board of Directors. We need to band together to protect ourselves since APSA is unwilling to support it own members.

The City of Scottsdale does not see my position and is continuing with prosecution. The Arizona Process Servers Association was not willing to come to my aid in any way, politically or financially. I am sure you can imagine the time and expense that I have invested in defending myself. If this case is lost, and it should become known to all defendants that this is a means of avoiding service, this will affect all of our businesses. You may find yourselves in the same situation. I am not asking for money. I only ask for two favors from you that will cost you nothing but a few minutes.

Email this letter to all of your colleagues that you know in the field of serving process in the State of Arizona. If you send out 5 emails and the next person sends out 5 emails there would be a lot more support for this case. If you feel that emailing private investigators, attorneys, and others in related industries could benefit our cause please feel free to pass this message on. This may be my case today, but could be yours tomorrow.

Email me and let me know your opinion. Let me know if you know of any other case law or other entity that could be helpful to my case. Preferably in Arizona but also cases in the 9th District which is basically the western part of the United States. Please drop me a line at: jm_process@yahoo.com or call 623-204-1150.


At 11:50 PM, Blogger John said...

What ended up happening on this one??


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