What Can’t Process Servers Do?
Process servers in Florida must be careful to follow all laws and regulations related to the service of process. Making mistakes can be detrimental to the plaintiff’s case, resulting in anything from having to reschedule the court date and re-serve all parties, to have the case completely thrown out. Process servers have to know what actions are forbidden while serving process to avoid damaging their client’s case and reputation.
Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit governs private process servers in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto counties. The courts have set strict standards for behavior and actions for all process servers, and do not allow anyone to serve process without first being approved and certified by a judge in the circuit. The certification process includes mandatory training on all laws and rules related to the serving process in Florida and passing an exam to prove the potential server’s knowledge of the content. If a process server is discovered to be violating the rules set forth by the court, their certification may be revoked, and depending on the severity of the violation, they may be permanently banned from serving process anywhere in Florida.
Process servers must be honest about their identities; sneaking around in a disguise is not permitted. At Accurate Serve, our certified process servers will never:
- Represent themselves as police officers, even if that is their full-time job.
- Impersonate any type of emergency personnel.
- Impersonate any mail or package delivery service, including:
- Enter any private building or property without express permission.
- Threaten or abuse a process recipient, including verbal abuse.
- Have a stake in the case’s outcome.
In addition to being honest about their identities and intentions, reputable process servers will only attempt service when and where it is legally permitted. Our process servers know they should never:
- Serve process in a county, judicial district, or state without first registering there as a process server.
- Serve process on Sunday.
- Attempt to serve someone at their workplace without first notifying their employer.
- Attempt to serve someone at their place of business outside of normal business hours.
- Attempt service of process by substitution or publication without first receiving court approval. Even if service by substitution is approved, the process server should not:
- Touch anyone’s mailbox, mail slot, or mail receptacle of any kind.
- Leave process paperwork on someone’s porch or other open, publicly accessible space.
- Leave process paperwork with anyone that cannot reasonably deliver it to the intended party.
- Leave process paperwork with anyone under 15 years old.
Overall, a process server must be able to look at each assignment with respect and common sense. No two services will be the same, and the industry is evolving with new technology, so there’s no way to list every action that is not permitted. This is why you should always go with the experienced team of process servers at Accurate Serve. Our network of knowledgeable servers have been serving process in Florida since 2009, so we know the ins and outs of Florida’s civil and criminal process laws. If your case is in Sarasota or Bradenton, visit our website to find your local office’s phone number, send us new assignments, or even check the status of your assignment 24/7!