There are some myths about serving legal papers that travel among most circles where real knowledge of the industry is lacking. The truth of the matter is that all of the rules and regulations surrounding service of process is very complex and easy to misunderstand. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about serving legal papers in Florida.
Myth: Legal papers must be put directly into the target’s hand.
This is very untrue, especially right now. A lot of people are doing no-contact service, where the legal papers are left in an easily accessible place after verifying identity of the intended party. That also means that if someone refuses to open their screen door to take the papers, you can leave them in a prominent place rather than waiting. It is still considered valid service.
Myth: Your case can’t move forward without legal service of process.
While this is fundamentally basic, it isn’t technically true. Due process requires every US citizen the opportunity to learn of legal action taken against them and given the opportunity to defend themselves. This is the purpose of serving legal papers in the first place. But there are alternatives. The judge can allow you to leave it easily found at their residence, serve by certified mail to residence or business, or by publication to newspapers.
Myth: No one can be sued if they can’t be found
This is completely untrue. Regardless of the type of civil case, it can definitely be decided with or without your participation. If you have someone served and they run or avoid service, it is their choice to allow the legal action to proceed by default.
If you are having difficulty getting someone served in your case, contact us today for assistance.
There are many legal requirements that process servers must meet before they are able to serve papers in that Florida court. You should be aware of these qualifications so that you can make sure the private process server you hire in Florida will be able to legally deliver your papers instead of jeopardizing your case. Here is what you need to look for.
Registered with the courts
You cannot use any private process server to deliver legal documents in your case if they are not registered with the appropriate court. Just because a process server is trained and available in Florida doesn’t mean they can be used in every jurisdiction. You need to check with the court you are filing with to make sure your process server is on the list. Continue reading
If you don’t know how to find the person you want to sue, you could run into a big problem. You can’t file a lawsuit in Florida unless you have an address for all parties to the case. If the address you file with turns out to be inaccurate, the process server will have to track down that individual so they can be served.
Do you have a last known address?
As long as you have a last known address based on your dealings with the individual or business, it is a great starting point. You can check with the post office to see if they left a forwarding address and go from there. A private process server can take that information and track people down. Continue reading
The rules about what constitutes legal proof of service and who can execute it do not change in Florida often, but there are many other ways that your process server needs to stay up to date on the latest trends in process service. Especially in light of the constantly changing dynamic of the legal and business world due to the pandemic, it is more important than ever for process servers to know the law and their responsibilities.
The pandemic is changing the way we do things across the board, and that includes our legal system. Courts are having to come up with new ways to effectively replace old processes that don’t allow for social distancing or mask wearing and meet the challenges of keeping cases moving through the courts with everyone staying at home. Continue reading