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Does a Process Server Need to be Licensed?

If you need to hire a process server to deliver court process or other important documents, you’ll obviously want to hire someone reputable and reliable. But how can you know which process servers are qualified?

Florida Requires Process Server Certification or Appointment

The state of Florida has enacted laws governing the process server industry which require that all private process servers meet minimum standards, be certified by the judicial circuit where they intend to work or be appointed to serve process in a case by the local Sheriff or a judge. The certification process is similar in all areas of Florida, including here in Orange County. In Orange County, which is governed by the 9th Judicial Circuit, process server applicants must: Continue reading

Will a Lawsuit Be Stalled if a Process Server Fails to Serve Papers?

No one wants to be sued, so when a process server comes knocking on your door, you may be tempted not to answer. If you never get served with the summons, then the case can’t proceed, right?

Wrong. While yes, the failure to serve process can stall the progression of a lawsuit, it does not mean that the case will be dismissed or forgotten. In this post, we’ll go over what exactly happens when the process is not served in a case here in Florida.

Failure to Serve Process Can Cause Big Delays or Even Dismissal of Your Case

Once a civil lawsuit is filed and a summons is issued by the Clerk of Court, the next step is serving the named defendant(s) and any witness(es) with the summons, complaint, and any other court documents related to the case. These documents are collectively known as process. Floridians have two options when it comes to serving process in civil lawsuits – law enforcement or a private process server. No matter which option you go with, the process must be served within a certain number of days from the date the summons was issued. That exact number of days varies depending on the type of civil case and location in Florida. Continue reading

Reasons to Use Process Servers to Serve a Legal Eviction Notice

No landlord ever wants to evict a tenant, but unfortunately, it’s part of the job. If you rent out the property for long enough, you will eventually have to serve an eviction notice on a tenant. While you can legally serve a tenant with an eviction notice under Florida law, we do not recommend it. There are many issues that may arise if you try to handle serving paperwork to the tenant yourself, including:

Arguments

Evictions are emotional situations, even if the tenant knows they are in the wrong. If you show up to serve them with an eviction notice yourself, you’re inviting an argument with the tenant. They may try to argue their case or just make you feel bad, but either way, it’s a situation you can avoid by using a professional process server instead. Continue reading

How Do Process Servers Serve a Business?

Most people only think about process servers serving documents to individuals, but businesses are often the recipients of these documents. Businesses are sued frequently for a variety of civil issues, from injuries that occur on their property to financial disagreements with vendors or customers. In Florida, process servers must follow a special set of rules in order to legally serve process on a business. Specifically, they must follow the 2022 Florida Statutes, Title IV, Chapter 48.

Who May Serve Process

Regardless of whether the process recipient is an individual or a business, the requirements regarding who may serve process remain the same, as outlined in Section 48.021 of the 2022 Florida Statutes. Continue reading

How to Spot Fake or Fraudulent Process Servers

Using a reputable process server to deliver your case process is important. Here in Florida, process servers must meet certain requirements in order for their work to be valid. Improper service of process can cause delays, extra expenses, and possibly even case dismissal. When you’re searching for a process server to handle your case, be sure to go over each item on our list below, so you can weed out the phonies.

Are they certified?

The state of Florida requires that all process servers be certified and approved by the judicial circuit that governs the area where they plan to work. Orange County, which includes Orlando, is governed by Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit. Osceola County is also included in the 9th circuit. Anyone attempting to serve process in these counties that are not listed on the 9th judicial circuit’s approved process server list is acting fraudulently. Continue reading

Paperwork You Should Complete to File a Lawsuit in Orange County, Florida

Does someone in Orange County, Florida owe you money or damages? Then you’ll want to consider filing a civil lawsuit to have a judge determine if the accused is legally responsible. In this post, we’ll discuss how to file a civil lawsuit in Orange County, which includes the city of Orlando.

Where to File Your Lawsuit

In Florida, any individual, partnership, or corporation may file a civil suit against any other person, business, or even government entity. To do so, the person filing the suit, referred to as the plaintiff, must first determine which is the appropriate court to file the suit. This determination is solely based on the dollar amount of the claim, as shown below:
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What Time Can a Process Server Serve Papers

In Florida, process servers have a lot of discretion in terms of when they are allowed to serve process recipients. However, if you’re a new process server, you might be confused about best practices. We’ll go through the service times permitted for people and companies in this article, as well as an important restriction.

Serving an Individual

At Their Residence

There are no definite laws about when a process server can serve a person in their home, but common sense dictates that service should not be attempted before 6 a.m. or after 9 p.m. at a private residence. The time chosen should correspond to that person’s known schedule and when they would be most expected to be at home and awake. Serving someone when you are certain they are asleep has some ethical implications. Continue reading

Can a Process Server Serve Someone Other Than the Named Recipient?

Process servers are an important part of our legal system, delivering court documents to the appropriate person so that legal proceedings can move forward. In Florida, process servers are limited in who they can serve process on – the person or persons named in the paperwork must be served, no one else without prior approval. There are very specific procedures that must be followed in order to serve process on someone other than the named recipient and these procedures must be approved by a judge. If you are seeking to have process served on someone other than the named recipient, you will need to follow the proper procedures for service by substitution. This process can be complicated and it is important to have an experienced process server handle it for you. Continue reading

Tips to Serve Process Effectively

Organization, time management, and attention to detail are pillars of being a great process server. Inefficiency while serving process can cause costly delays. Instead, follow these tips and tricks to serve process as efficiently as possible:

Know the Rules

You can’t be efficient in your job serving process if you don’t know and play by the rules. Florida is one of the strictest states in the nation in terms of laws for process servers, so it is vital that you are familiar with not only state laws, but also laws that apply in the county or judicial circuit where you plan to work.  Continue reading

Why Your Law Firm Should Hire a Document Retrieval Company

If you work for a legal firm, you’ve likely heard of document retrieval services. In this post, we’ll go over the basics of document retrieval, including why your firm should utilize this efficient service to improve time management and profit margins.

What is Document Retrieval?

When you’re handling discovery for a legal case, there can be literally thousands of documents that your team needs to provide sufficient evidence and win your case. Document retrieval services handle requesting, retrieving, and verifying all of those documents, along with storing them for easy access or download. Continue reading