Things are changing within the prison service, and it seems that process servers being allowed to serve via legal visit in prison is now a ‘thing of the past’.
A.S.H. (UK) Process Servers Ltd heard from a prison officer a few weeks ago that communication was going out to all prisons to refuse legal visits for process servers, following a ‘review’. It seems this has now been rolled out.
Today we have received our first refusal from HMP Birmingham, a prison we have served at many times in the past.
The review now states that the only people who are authorised to attend a legal visit are:
Members of either House or Parliament (with House of Parliament ID required)
Legal Advisors (with identity card issued by firm, introductory photo on headed paper of firm, and photo ID)
Police, Immigration and Customs Officers (with warrant card, & introductory letter on headed paper)
Probation Officers (with probation warrant card)
Staff from other prisons, HQ or Home Office (with Prison service security or Home Office pass)
Consular Officials (with Consular ID card)
So where does this leave process serving? The only options left, it seems, is to arrange for a solicitor to effect service, or to crave leave for an Order of the Court allowing service by post, outlining why personal service is not possible. Where this will leave clients who are desperately trying to serve an Injunction or Non Molestation Order on someone due for imminent release, is yet to be seen ……..
Hopefully in the coming weeks we will have more information.
Blog by Nicola Ashby of A.S.H. (UK) Process Servers Ltd.
For assistance with process serving call 01543 888218.