The Neill Group are New Zealand’s most experienced nationwide document and legal process serving agency. The Neill Group serves district court, family court and high court proceedings along with summonses, demand notices, trespass notices, dissolution of marriage (divorce) and time critical documents. 

The Neill Group serves a diverse range of documents on behalf of debt collection agencies, finance companies, government departments, private individuals and many of New Zealand’s major legal firms.

The widespread nature of our nationwide document and legal process servers allows us to have a detailed knowledge of local geography and recipients who are the subject of legal proceedings, this valuable insight provides a beneficial edge in carrying out our clients instructions with a high degree of success using many years of gathered intelligence.

The serving of legal proceedings can prove challenging when the defendant or recipient is actively avoiding personal service. When this is the case, employing an experienced document and legal process server is the best option to ensure the defendant or recipient is served in accordance with court rules and legal requirements.

At The Neill Group, clients can monitor every step of the document service process with the most advanced online technology available. Our live in the field technology provides accurate reporting on all service activities from service attempts to service reports, providing clients with complete transparency.

Please click the video clip to view an introduction to our legal process serving and document service management software.

What is a Legal Process Server?

A legal process server, commonly referred to as a process server is a person who serves legal proceedings (legal documents) known as ‘legal process’. A large number of legal process servers in New Zealand are also licensed as by the Ministry of Justice as private investigators. The Neill Group’s nationwide legal process servers are recruited exclusively from the law enforcement, military, legal or intelligence sectors.

The courts in New Zealand require legal documents to be served personally on a recipient or defendant named in the court proceedings by an authorised legal process server. The Neill Group ensures that all legal documents are served in accordance within the New Zealand courts or international legal requirements.

In New Zealand, legal process servers are employed by clients to serve district court, employment court, family court and high court proceedings. Legal process servers are authorised by the courts, law enforcement agencies, government departments, legal firms and private clients to serve legal documents on a recipient or entity named in legal proceedings.

According to the rules of serving legal documents in New Zealand, all parties must be notified by personal service when they are named in court or legal proceedings. The role of the legal process server is to positively identify and effectively serve the individual or other parties named within the court documents or legal proceedings.

The notification of legal proceedings is known as the ‘service of process’ and is achieved by a legal process server personally serving the court documents or legal proceedings and other important information relating to a legal matter on a recipient. A recipient is usually a defendant (individual), public organisation, private company or a government department.

The legal process server is required to serve the legal documents in accordance with the relevant legislation, this means, positively identifying the recipient and personally serving the legal proceedings. If personal service is refused by the recipient, the documents can be left at their feet or in clear view of the recipient, the recipient is then legally served in accordance within the requirements of the New Zealand courts.

Orders for substituted service in New Zealand can be granted on application to the court when it’s proven to be impossible to personally serve the defendant or recipient in the usual manner, this typically occurs when the defendant or recipient avoids personal service or is unable to be located.

Once substituted service is granted by the court, service of the documents can then be effected by a legal process server serving a relative, friend, employer or occupants of the address stated in the legal documents and/or by advertising the matter in a newspaper or in some cases, social media.

The High Court of New Zealand in 2009 ruled that substituted service of legal documents can be effectively served on a defendant or recipient via their personal Facebook page. Posting on a defendants or recipients Facebook page is a permissible means of substituted service if evidence establishes the Facebook page is that of the person to be served and that posting on the Facebook page is likely to come to their attention.

(reference: CIV-2008-485-2676, High Court Wellington, 16 March 2009, Gendall AJ).  

Locating Missing People

We have many years of experience successfully tracing missing people for a variety of reasons. We are usually engaged locate birth parents, missing relatives, evasive debtors or individuals named in court proceedings. If you are unable to locate a defendant, witness or a recipient named in your legal documents, please contact us to inquire about our skip tracing services.

Serving of Divorce Proceedings

We have an exceptional working knowledge of the court and legal requirements regarding the service of dissolution of marriage proceedings (commonly referred to as divorce documents or divorce papers.

There are several good reasons why you should use an independent legal process server: we are not personally known to you or the party being served, we know the requirements of the courts and can guide you through the process and we are aware of the rules regarding serving court proceedings and legal documents.

The family court in New Zealand manages the document process to end your marriage or civil union relationship. Divorce proceedings can only commence once both parties have separated and resides apart for a minimum two year period.

If you have children as part of the relationship, the family court must be satisfied that acceptable arrangements have been made for their daily care and welfare.

Find out more about agreeing on the care of children

There are two types of divorce proceedings in New Zealand:

1. If both parties wants to divorce

If you have grounds to do so, both you and your partner request the local family court for a Marriage of Dissolution Order.

Apply for a divorce – when you both agree.

2. If only one of the parties wants a divorce

You will need to ask your local family court to make a decision. This process is known as applying for an order. If you are applying for an order, you or your legal representative are responsible for ensuring that your application documents are correctly served on the other party. You cannot serve them yourself.

Apply for a divorce – on your own

If you need the court’s help dividing your relationship property, you need to make a separate application within 12 months of your divorce. The court may extend this time frame.

Find out more about dividing relationship property

Serving Trespass Notices

You might want someone to leave your home or place of work for a number of reasons. They may be committing offences on your property, such as shoplifting, being disorderly or simply have no right to be there.

There is no legal requirement to give a trespass notice in writing. However, a written document reinforces the situation for the person given the trespass notice; they cannot say they did not know of the notice and requirement to leave and not return.

We have extensive experience serving trespass notices for companies and individuals. We are not known to the recipient so this elevates any issues of a personal connection. The serving of any legal document including trespass notices can be very stressful. Our process servers are trained to mitigate and manage any risk associated with serving documents including hostile recipients.

1. Verbal trespass

We can visit the recipient and verbally deliver instructions in accordance with a trespass notice, we record all the service details including a description of the recipient, service address and the date and time of service.

2. Written trespass

If you wish to serve a trespass notice, you must complete and correctly serve three copies of the current version of a New Zealand trespass notice. Visit the Legislation New Zealand website to read the Trespass Act 1980 (link is external).

Use this trespass notice form

  • one copy must be served on the recipient

  • one copy to be delivered to the closest police station

  • one copy for your records

To serve a trespass notice you need to personally hand the trespass notice to the recipient. If the recipient refuses to accept the trespass notice then the court rules of serving legal process will apply, the legal position is that the documents are legally served once the recipient is positively identified and the document has been brought to their attention.

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Service of Court Documents & Legal Proceedings 

The Neill Group can serve your legal proceedings and dissolution of marriage documents (divorce proceedings) in Wellington or anywhere in New Zealand. The Neill Group are authorised to serve criminal documents pursuant to the Summary Proceedings Act 1957. The Neill Group serves New Zealand and international legal process, including, but not limited to:

  • District Court Proceedings
  • Witness Summonses
  • High Court Proceedings
  • Trespass Notices
  • Employment Court Proceedings
  • Pre-Possession Notices
  • Court Summonses
  • Demand Notices
  • Repossession Warrants
  • Divorce Proceedings
  • Family Court Proceedings
  • Witness Summonses
  • Appeal Court Proceedings
  • Protection Orders
  • Insolvency Documents
  • Court Subpoenas
  • Discovery Warrants
  • Property Law Act Notices
  • Court Enforced Judgments
  • Orders for Examination
  • 289 Demand Notices
  • Parental Orders
  • Bankruptcy Notices
  • Personal Documents
  • Employment Documents
  • Infringement Notices
  • Tenancy Orders
  • Eviction Notices
  • International Legal Process
  • Sensitive Commercial Documents
  • Charging Documents for Law Enforcement and Government Agencies

New Zealand & International Service 

The Neill Group are based in Wellington with a strategic nationwide network of contracted licensed private investigators, security specialists, field agents, repossession agents and legal process servers (document servers) in every district and region of New Zealand, including: Northland, Whangarei, Auckland, Wellsford, Warkworth, Orewa, Albany, Takapuna, Mangere, Manurewa, Pukekohe, Coromandel Peninsular, Thames, Waihi, Whangamata, Whitianga, Waikato, Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Huntly, Morrinsville, Matamata, Putaruru, Tokoroa, Otorohanga, King Country, Taumarunui, Te Kuiti, Waitomo, Bay of Plenty, Tauranga, Te Puke, Whakatane, Kawerau, Opotiki, Rotorua, Taupo, Turangi, Murupara, East Cape, Gisborne, Tolaga Bay, Tokomaru Bay, Ruatoria, Te Kaha, Taranaki, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Stratford, Hawera, Waitara, Inglewood, Manawatu, National Park, Waiouru, Taihape, Palmerston North, Marton, Bulls, Feilding, Ashhurst, Foxton, Horowhenua, Levin, Otaki, Kapiti, Waikanae, Paraparaumu, Paekakariki, Wellington, Plimmerton, Porirua, Tawa, Johnsonville, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Wainuiomata, Hawkes Bay, Wairoa, Napier, Hastings, Havelock, Waipukurau, Dannevirke, Wairarapa: Featherston, Pahiatua, Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Tasman, Nelson, Blenheim, Picton, Motueka, West Coast, Westport, Greymouth, Hokitika, Wanaka, Queenstown, Twizel, Alexander, Te Anau, Canterbury, Christchurch, Kaikoura, Ashburton, Southland, Timaru, Oamaru, Dunedin, Invercargill, Balclutha, Mossburn, Gore.