A long time ago in England a thirty two year old King enjoyed his coronation. His name was King John. The king could have moments of benevolence, and be completely callous at other times. The actions of the king were taxing to say the least. He taxed people for getting married to the equivalency of millions in modern U.S. currency. He imprisoned people and starved them. King John wore on peoples nerves. The king eventually faced opposition during his reign. This opposition would lead to the first group of process servers in the history of the world. The document they served defined due process in much the same way as it is defined today. The full medieval Latin name of the document is Magna Carta Libertatum, which translates to "The Great Charter of the Liberties." In modern American times we refer to it as The Magna Carta.
The birth of due process occurred on the plain at Runnymede which is located beside the Thames river. On June 15, 1215 an unspecified number of men gathered here. History tells us there were two groups of men present for the signing of the Magna Carta. There was a group that sided with the king, and a group siding with the faction which opposed the king's unreasonable rule. The plain at Runnymede was agreed upon through diplomatic communications between the king and the barons's faction. It was a piece of process serving land, viewed as neutral ground, and afforded either side a marked military advantage.
King John showed up smiling and signed the Magna Carta. He was accepting service of process from a group of wealthy English Barons. The king would break the agreement soon afterwards. His actions following acceptance of service for the Magna Carta were of little consequence to the unstoppable momentum which is due process. He died of dysentery at the age of 49. Necessity is the mother of invention. The King was the mother catalyst, the invention conceived by the English barons and the church. Every process server should absolutely be familiar with this momentous birth day over 800 years ago.
Historians can tell us that laws existed in Mesopotamia. The Magna Carta was not a new concept in terms of writing laws. Legal documents existed long before the Magna Carta. It is approximately 4000 words in length and contains around 60 clauses, all written in medieval Latin. The reason the document stands out is for it's operational definition of due process. It is specifically defined in clauses 39 and 40 which read as follows: No free man is to be arrested, or imprisioned, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any other way ruined, nor will we go against him, or send against him, exept by the lawful judgement of his peers, or by the law of the land. We will not sell or deny or delay right or justice to anyone.
The Magna Carta exists today as four separate originals. The originals are not identical to each other. The British library holds two, and the other two originals are under the tutelage of the cathedrals at Salsbury and Lincoln. They are the fab four original first service of process documents. One of the originals was lent to the United States for safe keeping during World War II as a brotherly gesture by Winston Churchill, and stored at Fort Knox Kentucky. The US returned the original document following the war, and process servers across America are forever humbled by the gesture.
There were subsequent copies of the Magna Carta printed in the decades which followed the birth of due process at Runnymede. In 2007, a 1297 copy sold at auction for $21.3 million. This sum was the most ever paid for a single page of text. The Magna Carta is literally the most valuable legal document in the world. It is the grand daddy of all one hit wonders to come from our family across the pond. The process servers at Hoosier Process Service, LLC give our undying gratitude to first process servers who served the unscrupulous king. These men stood as the vanguard for 800 years of contiguous due process and counting.
This is the best video about the Magna Carta
We begin our next chapter on the history of process servers in the new world. When Christopher Columbus first set foot in the new world, our first definition of due process was over a quarter of a millennium old. The seed had been planted long before the United States came up with it's own unique way of defining how to balance the power of the law of the land. Our founding fathers began their quest to define due process, in the U.S. constitution, during the Philadelphia Convention, also known as the the Constitutional Convention, in 1787.
The Constitutional convention was held from May 25 through September 17. It was a hot summer, and the discussions inside the building also got heated. The framers of the United States Constitution worked very hard. The United states had to wait years after the constitutional convention of 1787 to have it's own definition of due process. Subsequent amendments were added to clearly define due process. Those amendments would be known as the fifth and fourteenth amendments. These two key amendments put the American process server on the map.
This is a fun animation about the history of due process in america
NAPPS is an abbreviation for National Association of Professional Process Servers. It is the largest organization of process servers in the world today. The first meeting of NAPPS occurred in 1982. The President of Hoosier Process Service is currently a member.