Those who attack court-appointed process servers in the line of duty will be socked with a larger penalty starting in 2012. State Sen. Mike Jacobs (D-East Moline) sponsored legislation to increase the penalty for those who attack process servers while on duty to aggravated assault or battery. It was previously a misdemeanor. Jacobs says this is a classic example of “don’t shoot the messenger.”
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“They act inappropriately toward the messenger,” he says. “And sometimes, rather than facing what they’re supposed to face, they create violence against the person bringing the message to them.”
Jacobs says similar laws don’t exist, for example, for mailmen or meter readers, because those workers aren’t usually the bearer of bad news, like process servers. Jacobs suggests citizens can avoid the new penalties by not attacking process servers, and going to court to address the summons.