National Association of Professional Process Servers

Working with COVID-19: Civil Process Serving Industry

As we navigate the uncharted territory that is living and working within the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the civil process industry are looking for guidance and answers. There are still many unknowns, and just as state laws for the civil process service industry vary wildly, so do the rules with respect to “essential” and “non-essential” work. What does this mean for us? Unfortunately, we have yet to see the full effects of the pandemic, and the truth is, we just don’t know some of the answers. However, we’re going to do our best to point you in the direction of resources that can help.

Closed Courts

If courts are closed, you can’t really serve process. Many courts have closed or are only hearing limited cases. Some courts have moved to remote sessions. Because this situation is changing so rapidly, we are going to direct you to Law360, which is compiling updates regarding what courts are closing and which are only conducting limited business.


As everything from office work to schools are turning to online and remote modes of communication, many question whether the courts may turn to e-service for primary service. Although NAPPS monitors legislative activity, some rules are quickly being created and put into immediate effect by governors’ executive orders. While we are doing our best, we won’t know if electronic service is allowed in a given area unless our members tell us, especially due to how quickly things are changing across the United States. Additionally, it is important for NAPPS members to know that as an association, we will fight to protect our livelihood. We have stood by our profession, and will fight against e-service as a primary means of service. Please continue to check with your local and state courts to monitor any changes, and let us know at if there are pertinent updates.

Still Serving? Stay Safe

If you are still out serving, it is important to protect your health. While Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as face masks and gloves, is scarce, please utilize what is available to you. Please do not hoard any resources.

  • Wash Your Hands & Sanitize

    It is important to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and more importantly, to wash them thoroughly. Thoroughly washing your hands means creating a lather and washing for at least 30 seconds. Some recommend singing “Happy Birthday” or “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” in your head to ensure you have washed your hands long enough. The CDC offers instructions of when and how to wash your hands properly. If you have hand sanitizer available, ensure that it is at least 60% alcohol. Even still, hand-washing is preferred to using a sanitizer

  • Gloves: To Use or Not to Use

    Rubber gloves are meant to prevent cross contamination, and due to the national shortage, it is better to leave those resources to health professionals. If you are wearing gloves for your serve, you need to ensure that you use them properly. The WHO offers guidelines on how to use gloves properly. If you are touching everything while wearing rubber gloves, it is no different than going without, and can actually offer a false sense of security and spread germs more readily.

Financial Resources

Thankfully, in the face of this global crisis, there are federal and state programs, and in some cases local programs available as well that can provide financial assistance during the pandemic. President Trump and the US Congress unveiled a 2 trillion dollar stimulus package that is intended to help individuals and businesses just like yours. Many news organizations have covered what is inside the package. Check with your favorite news station, or you can read this article from NPR that explains the plan.

Here are some programs that may help:

  • CARES Act

    The CARES Act is the 2 trillion dollar stimulus package mentioned above. You can read the full text of the Act online. Within the Act, there are a number of provisions for individuals and small business owners. Some of these provisions include: a recovery rebate (up to $1,200 payments to eligible taxpayers and $2,400 for married couples filing joint returns), waiver of the 10% early distribution penalty on early distributions from IRAs and defined contribution plans for distributions made between January 1 and December 31, 2020 by a person who (or whose family) is infected with the Coronavirus or who is economically harmed by the Coronavirus (a qualified individual), charitable deduction liberalizations, and a number of other tax-related programs (for example, the deadline to file taxes has been pushed from April 15 to July 15). You can see those updates online on the web page for coronavirus .

  • Small Business Programs

    There are a number of resources available through the United States Small Business Association. Visit the SBA website to learn more.

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

    Some cities and states are offering their own relief funds in addition to the federal funding. For example, Illinois is offering a number of programs, as is New York, Florida, Washington and California to name a few. Check your state and city websites for updates. Beyond that, there are grants from nonprofits, like Erin’s List, that are hoping to crowdsource relief for process servers and small businesses.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!

Overall, make the right choice for you and your loved ones. The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate, and it is highly contagious. From all of us at NAPPS, we wish you all the best and hope to do what we can to help our members navigate resources through this tough time.