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Common Process Server Terminology

If you have never had to deal with legal cases and process servers in the past, you may be confused about the terminology used by private process servers. In order to better understand the process and the updates that your process server is giving you, it is important to know the terminology that process servers use. Here are some of the most common terminology that you will encounter during this process.

Service of Process

Service of process is the job of the private process server. When you sue someone or file a legal action against them, you have to notify them of the action and give them a chance to respond or appear in court. These legal documents are sometimes referred to as process, and the delivery of these documents to the defendant or respondent is called service of process. Service of process is required for almost all civil legal actions that you file with the courts.

Skip Trace

A skip trace is the process of gathering information about an individual in order to find them and complete service of process. A private process server might use any number of tools to find information and get a location, including tax records, bills, background checks, credit reports, job applications, and other public records.

Registered Process Server

In the state of Florida, only the sheriff’s department or a registered process server can legally complete service of process. A registered process server is one that has been registered and certified by the courts. Any private process server not registered with the Florida courts cannot legally complete service of process, and improper service can delay or dismiss your case.


A stakeout is when a private process server watches a person or place in an attempt to locate an individual to be served. Many people try to avoid being served legal papers, but a private process server can serve papers almost anywhere that the person is located at the time. A stakeout can help a process server determine what times someone can be found at a certain place.

If you are needing quality service of process from an experienced private process server that can answer your questions and explain the process well, contact us today for more information or to get started.