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A Guide to Process Serving in Florida

Navigating the legal waters of Florida can be complex, especially when it comes to ensuring that all parties involved in a case are adequately informed. This is where process serving comes into play. If you’re unfamiliar with the term or the intricacies involved, this guide will shed light on process serving in the Sunshine State.

What is Process Serving?

Process serving is the act of delivering legal documents to a specific party involved in a lawsuit. This ensures that they are informed of the legal actions being taken against them, allowing them the opportunity to respond.

Florida’s Process Serving Laws

Florida has specific laws and regulations concerning process serving:

  1. Who Can Serve: In Florida, process servers must be appointed by a sheriff or judge or be certified by the judicial circuit where they intend to work. This ensures that the individual serving the documents is knowledgeable about the laws and regulations.
  2. Timing: Legal documents must be served within a specific timeframe to ensure that the defendant has ample time to respond. In Florida, most documents must be served within 120 days of filing.
  3. Methods of Service: There are various methods to serve documents, including personal service, substituted service, and service by publication. The method used often depends on the nature of the case and the whereabouts of the party being served.

Common Documents Served

    • Summons and Complaint: These civil documents inform the defendant that they are being sued and provide details about the lawsuit
    • Subpoenas: A subpoena is a command for an individual to appear in court or produce evidence for a case
    • Eviction Notices: Evictions are on the rise again, and smart landlords always use a process server to deliver their eviction notices
    • Foreclosure Notices: Foreclosure notices inform property owners of an upcoming foreclosure proceeding and give them the next steps to take to keep their property from being auctioned
    • Family Court Orders: From divorce papers to child custody and support, process servers deliver all sorts of family law-related paperwork

Challenges in Process Serving

While the act might seem straightforward, several challenges can arise:

Evasive Defendants

Some individuals might be aware of impending legal action and take steps to avoid being served.

Incorrect Addresses

Outdated or incorrect addresses can lead to delays.

Understanding Jurisdictional Rules

Different areas might have specific rules and regulations, making it essential to be well-versed in local laws. As mentioned before, process servers in Florida must be certified or appointed properly in order for the process they serve to be valid. In Orlando, which is part of Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit, most process servers are certified through the circuit’s certification program.

Why Hiring a Professional is Crucial

Given the complexities and potential pitfalls, it’s advisable to hire a professional process server. They bring:

  • Expertise: A deep understanding of state laws and regulations
  • Efficiency: They can ensure timely and accurate service  
  • Documentation: They provide proof of service, which is a crucial document confirming that the party was served appropriately

Accurate Serve of Orlando is Your Go-To for Central Florida Process Service

Process serving is a foundational element of the legal system in Florida, ensuring that the principles of justice and fairness are upheld. Whether you’re an attorney, a business, or an individual, understanding the nuances of process serving can be crucial to the success of your legal endeavors. If you’re in need of dependable process service or document retrieval services in the Orlando, Florida area, including Kissimmee and Lake Mary, Accurate Serve is your premier choice. For impeccable service tailored to your unique needs, call (407) 868-5992 or send us a work request online today.