Port St. Lucie | Okeechobee
Stuart | Vero Beach
(772) 207-1544

How to Tell if a Process Server is Legitimate

You must use a certified private process server in Port St. Lucie. If you use an uncertified process server, you are risking having your entire case dismissed due to improper service. You can identify illegitimate process servers and avoid future problems by following these tips:

Ask for proof of certification

All private process servers in St. Lucie County must be certified by Florida’s 19th Judicial Circuit or by the local Sheriff’s office. The 19th Judicial Circuit also covers Martin, Okeechobee, and Indian River counties, so process servers certified by the circuit can serve process in all four counties. On the other hand, process servers certified by the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s office can only serve process here in St. Lucie county.

In general, process servers must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be legally competent
  • Have no involvement in the cases which they serve
  • Be a permanent Florida resident
  • Submit a completed application
  • Have a clean background and criminal history
  • Possess a Certificate of Good Conduct filed with the court or sheriff’s office
  • Pass of a training course and exam
  • Post a $5,000 surety bond
  • Submit letters of recommendation (not required in all areas)
  • Pay all required fees

Florida has 20 judicial circuits, with most containing multiple counties. Each circuit and/or county has their own process server laws and being certified to serve process in one circuit or county does not transfer to other circuits or counties.

If you’re researching a potential process server in any of the counties mentioned above and they cannot produce proof of a 19th Judicial Circuit or local sheriff’s certification, move on to the next candidate. You can directly contact the 19th Judicial Circuit or St. Lucie County Sheriff to verify a server’s certification status.

Test their knowledge

Legitimate process servers should know all of the laws and rules related to serving process in St. Lucie County. This is why private process servers are required to complete training and an exam on this information before being certified. Don’t hire a process server if they:

  • Attempt process service on Sunday
  • Wear disguises or lie about who they are
  • Give people legal advice
  • Bully, threaten, or intimidate people to locate targets
  • Commit crimes such as breaking and entering or trespassing to serve process

If you’re interviewing a potential process server and they don’t show a clear understanding of St. Lucie County’s process server laws or seem willing to engage in unethical behavior, you’re better off hiring someone else. After all, the integrity of your case depends on the authenticity and performance of your process server.

Ask for references

When interviewing potential process servers for your case, always ask for professional references from former employers and clients. A process server who claims to be experienced should have no trouble producing these as requested. If they are hesitant to give references, be cautious. It could mean they are just starting out (which they should tell you anyway) or it could mean they have a sketchy reputation. Do your due diligence and check out all references for legitimacy before making contact. 

Accurate Serve® has been serving process in Florida since 2009. All of our St. Lucie County servers are certified to serve process in Florida’s 19th Judicial Circuit, including St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee, and Indian River counties. Check out our reviews to see why we’re considered one of the 19th circuit’s best process service agencies. If you are located outside of St. Lucie County, visit theaccurateservefranchise.com to find your local office.