Someone told me one time, “This dude came knocking at my door, I opened the door and he said my name and asked if that was me. I told him yes, that me. He pulled the papers out of his jacket and tried to hand them to me. I didn’t know who he was so I didn’t take the papers and shut the door. While I was shutting the door he threw the papers inside the door and all over the floor. Is that legal?”
I can not speak for all states obviously however I can tell you in most states, that is considered a drop serve. Some states have different requirements, such as they have to physically touch you with the papers.
In Oklahoma, a process server does not have to hand you papers, he simply has to beyond a shadow of doubt know that you are the person he is looking for. Once he has obtained this information whether by you’re admitting it, photo or verification by third-party he can serve you without you ever having to touch the papers!
This is usually a last resort serve. Personally I like to take the approach of making sure the person has them in their hands and accepts them, this is usually accomplished by being polite and explaining why I am there trying to give them something. Some process servers try to get the “field sheet” signed by the person being served.
So whether or not you want the papers, whether or not the papers touched you or whether or not you signed for the papers. If a process server tries to hand you papers, it is always in your best interest to take them and contact an attorney as soon as possible if you feel you need one. Other wise you could get a judgement against you and not be sure why because the papers he tried to hand you blew away.