Now that you’ve decided to file a lawsuit here in Florida, you may want to save a few bucks by skipping hiring a process server and doing it yourself. Well, think again! Not only is hiring an experienced, certified process server the best thing for your case, it’s also the law. Only a certified process server approved to work in the 12th Judicial Circuit can serve process in Sarasota, Manatee, and DeSoto counties.
Not using a certified process server to serve process in your cases can have disastrous results. At best, your court date will need to be rescheduled and a new, qualified process server will need to be hired. At worst, the opposing party will use the improper service as grounds to request a dismissal of the entire case. Either way, your reputation, and revenue will suffer. Continue reading
Process servers get assignments that take them all over their local areas. Servers often end up in unfamiliar areas surrounded by nothing but strangers. Add in the frustration that many process recipients express when being served, and it’s easy to see why service of process is considered a risky job. Here are our top six tips for staying safe while working as a process server:
Research the target
When serving process, you need to know more than just a name and address. Be thankful that we live in the 21st century, where tons of information is available about pretty much anyone and everyone online. Use this to your advantage when researching your service targets before attempting service. By investigating the target’s criminal history, pending charges, known hangouts, known associates, and more online, you can develop a full picture of that person and plan your service attempt strategically. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Using a credible process server in Florida isn’t just recommended…it’s the law. Only servers certified and approved by the appropriate judicial circuit may serve legal process in the state. If you use an illegitimate process server, any service provided will be invalid and your case might even get thrown out. Make sure you hire a reputable process server that has all the following qualities:
Certification or Appointment
All private process servers in Florida must be certified and approved by the judicial circuit in which they intend to work or appointed by the county sheriff. Florida has 20 judicial circuits, with most containing multiple counties. Nine counties use sheriff-appointed process servers only. Further complicating matters, 14 Florida counties have no formal process server program in place and servers must be appointed by a judge for each individual service. Regardless of how the process server is approved to serve, the requirements are similar in all counties: Continue reading
It’s a question we get all the time: Why not just use the local sheriff’s department to serve process? While it is true that sheriff deputies are allowed to serve process, it’s not always in your best interest to use them over a private process server. Private process servers are a better choice in many cases because they:
Ensure service of process is legally compliant.
Errors in service of process can have huge ramifications for your case. The defendant may even be able to ask for dismissal if there is no proof of service. In some cases, the defendant may even have grounds for dismissal of the entire case. The delays caused by process service errors are costly and time-consuming for all parties. The process servers here at Accurate Serve in Sarasota are certified by Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit to serve process in Sarasota, Desoto, and Manatee counties. Prospective servers must demonstrate extensive knowledge of Florida’s process server laws to obtain this certification. Annual recertification is also required. Continue reading