Women have a specific advantage as process servers over men – their gender.
Defendants in actions are often leery about service of documents. They are, naturally, afraid of the consequences of accepting documents. Fears of financial ruin, embarrassment and how they will defend themselves are common.
Many Defendants who expect service of documents anticipate a man who will intimidate them and, maybe, create a scene in front of others. Unfortunately, this is a scenario promoted by the entertainment industry and leaves a lasting impression.
A woman on the doorstep or asking for an individual at a business is, for the most part, deemed less suspicious. Defendants do not usually associate women with process servers, which is a benefit when Defendants hope to evade service.
The presence of a woman process server may be less noted by others. A woman can conduct service in an unobtrusive manner that will go unremarked and save the Defendant embarrassment, especially in a workplace setting.
Defendants may tend to be less argumentative or aggressive with a women due to the absence of a threatening demeanor. People confronted with a physically imposing process server may instinctively become self-defensive and act combative.
Defendants feel more comfortable accepting documents from a woman. Studies have shown women excel at active listening. Many people hold the belief that a women is likely to have greater empathy for their situation. Right or wrong, this belief is advantageous.
A psychology sensitivity studies analysis conducted by a Northeastern University professor demonstrated women generally exceed men at decoding non-verbal messages and body language. Along with this finding, the analysis also established women are better at detecting lies. Both these traits are valuable in a process server.
If the Defendant is reluctant to accept service, a polite explanation from a woman process server about how acceptance will actually benefit them by permitting them to respond to the lawsuit may be seen as helpful.
While women in some circles may be viewed less favorably than men in terms of “toughness”, recent evidence shows that women are as focused, tenacious and achievement-oriented. Many women process servers have enrolled in self-defense and martial arts programs to ensure their safety and competency to handle situations which may become hostile or combative.
The reality is a woman process server can ease the service of documents on both compliant and non-compliant Defendants.