Common Questions About Process Serving
Process serving is when one person delivers legal documents to another person or entity. This process is often used as notification of a lawsuit. Service of process can be difficult, and there are many things that must be considered in order to ensure that things go smoothly. In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about the process of serving in southern Florida.
What is the service of process?
According to Cornell Law School, a process is a set of documents relevant to a specific court case that is delivered to the defendant. The plaintiff’s complaint and a court summons are usually included in these papers. When the process is for a witness or subject matter expert, it’s generally known as a subpoena.
What is a process server?
A process server is a person authorized by a judge or county sheriff to deliver legal documents to the intended recipient. The recipient is generally a case defendant, witness, subject matter expert, or other stakeholders in the case.
What types of papers do process servers serve?
All sorts of cases, including divorces, child custody, civil claims, property disputes, and more, may be served by process servers.
Can’t I just mail the paperwork?
No. In order to satisfy the Due Process Clause of the Constitution, the process must be personally served (i.e., hand-delivered) to the defendant. This delivery may be made by a delivery service that meets legal requirements in your state. In certain jurisdictions, the process may be mailed if the recipient cannot be found or refuses to accept personal service.
Are process servers required in southern Florida?
Yes, you must use either the Sheriff’s office or a private Certified Process Server to legally serve process in southern Florida, including Plantation, Miami, and Key West.
Who can be a process server?
In Florida, requirements to become a process server can vary from county to county. However, in general, all process servers must meet these minimum requirements:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have no mental or legal disability
- Be a permanent resident of the state of Florida
- Be certified or approved in the county or judicial circuit where they intend to work
- Post a surety bond and have appropriate insurance
- Pass a background check
How do I apply to become a process server in Broward, Dade, or Monroe County?
Contact us for more information about becoming a process server in southern Florida. Be prepared to:
- Complete the application
- Complete an approved process server seminar
- Take and pass an examination about service of process laws
- Submit to a background check, including criminal history
- File a Certificate of Good Conduct (ensures no pending or past serious criminal behavior)
- Take an Oath of Office
- Execute and file a surety bond of at least $5,000
What actions are prohibited for process servers?
Process servers in Florida may NOT:
- Serve process in any case in which they are personally invested
- Serve process on a Sunday
- Serve process anywhere where they are not approved to do so
- Touch the recipient’s mailbox or mail slot
- Wear a disguise or lie about who they are
- Use drugs or alcohol while serving process
- Visit the recipient’s workplace without first notifying the employer
- If the recipient is self-employed, visit the place of business outside of regular business hours
- Make threats
- Use offensive or vulgar language
- Physically contact the recipient
- Accept tips or bribes
- Be behind on their child support payments
- Avoid service of process themselves
- Do anything that a judge deems negligent, malfeasant, or incompetent
Process Servers in Southern Florida
Accurate Serve® has been helping attorneys and their firms with valid process services since 2009. Our local servers know the ins and outs of the serving process in south Florida. Check out our reviews here and see why we’re well-respected nationwide! If you are located outside of our area, visit theaccurateservefranchise.com to find your local office.