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Legal Process After Filing a Lawsuit

So you’ve filed a small claim or civil lawsuit in St. Lucie County…now what? What are the next steps you need to know in order to be sure you get your day in court? In this post, we’ll discuss the legal process after filing a civil lawsuit here on the Treasure Coast.

Once your small claims or a civil lawsuit is filed with the St. Lucie County Clerk of Court, the following steps must be taken by the plaintiff (the one who filed the lawsuit):

Service of Process

Once a lawsuit is filed, each defendant and witness named in the lawsuit must be properly served with the case summons, complaint, and subpoenas as applicable. To be properly served in St. Lucie County, the plaintiff must hire either the appropriate law enforcement office or a private process server. Private process servers in St. Lucie County must be certified by Florida’s 19th Judicial Circuit to legally serve process here. Once certified, they can also serve process in Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties.

For the best process servers in the 19th circuit, look no further than Accurate Serve® of Port St. Lucie. Our service experts are experienced in delivering all types of case documentation to defendants and witnesses, including summons, complaints, and subpoenas for civil lawsuits. 


Once everyone is properly served with the case documents, it’s time for both sides to gather as much evidence as possible to prove their case. Services like our document retrievals, skip traces, and diligent searches can come in very handy during this phase of the civil lawsuit process.

Pretrial Conference

Both the plaintiff and defendant(s) are required to appear for the pretrial conference. Witnesses and other case stakeholders are not required to attend. Instructions for how to proceed will be given to both sides during this conference, along with a date for mediation. If the plaintiff does not appear at the pretrial conference, the case will be dismissed. If the defendant does not appear, a default judgment will be entered.


During mediation, a third-party mediator will hear both sides and try to help facilitate a reasonable compromise that gives both parties at least part of what they want. Case litigants are strongly encouraged to try to resolve their issues during mediation, as this is the last step before what could end up being a costly trial. If a resolution is not reached, the case will go to trial.


During a trial, a judge with the county small claims or a civil court will hear both sides of the issue, including testimonies from witnesses and other parties. Once each side has presented their case, the judge will decide on the winner and issue a judgment.

Quality Process Servers in Port St. Lucie

When someone has wronged you or owes you money, you deserve to get what is rightfully yours. At Accurate Serve® of Port St. Lucie, we help your case move along by serving the defendants in your case quickly and in full legal compliance. This means improper service will never cause delays, or even worse, dismissal of your case. Call us at (772) 236-7214 or send us your work requests online to get started today!