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Process Servers Who Conduct Investigations

There seems to be a big fuss over whether or not process servers conduct investigations to locate people they serve. We all know that often a process server does conduct some sort of locate investigation to complete the service, they can do that for themselves all they want.

I think the area of concern is when a process server wants to sell this information that they derived from their own investigation. Once a process server charges a fee for that information, that is when it appears that process server has crossed the line if he or she is not a licensed private investigator. Said line they crossed being “conducting investigations without a license.”

I'm not trying to give legal advice here. I'm just giving my own opinion as to how I see everything unfolding. There are many PIs out there who are also process servers. Obviously there is no problem with these folks charging for the information. But when someone is a process server and not a private investigator, and they are conducting investigations for a fee whether it be before or after the fact is a violation of the law.
OCC §1702.104. INVESTIGATIONS COMPANY. (a) A person acts as an investigations company for the purposes of this chapter if the person: (1) engages in the business of obtaining or furnishing, or accepts employment to obtain or furnish, information related to: … the identity, habits, business, occupation, knowledge, efficiency, loyalty, movement, location, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation, or character of a person;
I'm not sure why there's any confusion on this issue. There are exceptions listed in the code. The list is quite long but process servers are not an exception.

Remember that not only is the process server violating the law, but the person who hires the process server to obtain the information is also subject to fine. If you ever have a doubt – just make sure you hire a real Texas PI who is licensed.

Whatever you do – stay safe!

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