Process Servers are Subject to Strict Regulation
"The Legislature, recognizing the importance of [their] function, has subjected process servers to regulation in the Business and Professions Code section 22350 et seq." Kappel, 200 Cal. App.3d at 1464. Process servers are required to file a registration certificate in order to regularly serve process. Bus. & Prof. Code 22350. That "certificate of registration may be revoked or suspended whenever it has been determined that the registrant has made a service of process, including service completed by an employee or independent contractor of the registrant which does not comply with the provisions of law governing the service of process in this state or constitutes an improper service of process not amounting to a violation of law." Bus. & Prof. Code 22358.
Punitive Damages Are Also Available
Civil Code Section 3294 allows the recovery of punitive damages upon any obligation not arising from contract where it is "proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice." California Civil Code Section 1427 explains that "An obligation is a legal duty, by which a person is bound to do or not do a certain thing." Under Section 1428, such an obligation can arise from a contract or by operation of law. "An obligation arising from operation of law may be enforced in a manner provided by law, or by civil action or proceeding." Id. The process server's duty to act carefully is thus created both by common law and by the above-referenced provisions of the Business & Professions Code.