Alaska State Troopers served an arrest warrant on an Anchorage process server Tuesday, after she allegedly claimed serving a Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson resident who was out of state at the time.
According to an AST dispatch, the $250 warrant was issued Tuesday for A1 Process owner Donna Curtis, 35, following an investigation initiated Jan. 16 by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation.
“Approximately 18 complaints have been made to AST in regard to Curtis' improperly serving process during the course of her business,” troopers wrote.
Process servers are private couriers hired to deliver, or serve, legal documents to parties in civil cases. Criminal warrants are served by law enforcement officers.
In one case, Curtis claimed to have served a civil process document at a JBER residence on Jan. 3, 2013.
“Curtis signed a notarized return in regard to the service, yet the investigation revealed the person was not even in Alaska during the time the service had been completed,” troopers wrote. “Telephonic contact and military orders confirmed the person's absence from Alaska on (Jan. 3).”
In an email to Channel 2, AST spokesperson Megan Peters says investigators began receiving complaints about Curtis in early 2012, although most were minor.
“Someone she was supposed to serve left Alaska (in) August 2012,” Peters wrote. “(Curtis) claimed she served them five months after they left.”
According to Alaska Court System officials, process servers are paid up-front by the parties hiring them to serve papers, with no guarantee of success. If they’re unsuccessful, then the servers should return them to their source.
Under Alaska law governing process servers, they must be 21 years of age and possess good moral character, including an absence of illegal conduct. Candidates for process-server licenses must pass a state test on serving process, professional conduct, and regulations for handling in-state and out-of-state documents.
A1 appears on a Jan. 14 list of licensed process servers in the state of Alaska, maintained by the state Department of Public Safety. A message left with the DPS licensing office to inquire about the status of Curtis’s license wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday morning.
Peters says Curtis was taken into custody on the warrant at her Anchorage home Tuesday; troopers say the arrest took place without incident, and Curtis was remanded at the Anchorage Jail. Court records show she has been charged with one count of perjury, a class B felony.
Curtis declined comment on the case when called Wednesday at the business number for A1 Process.
Editor's note: Alaska Court System officials have corrected an initial description of how process servers are paid.