What Happens If a Process Server Can’t Serve You?
The majority of process recipients are pretty easy to find, but from time to time, a recipient is incredibly difficult to find. When this happens, process servers turn up the heat and employ all of their resources to track down the process recipient. But what happens if you still cannot locate the process’ intended recipient after you’ve searched everywhere? In this post, we’ll cover how thorough process servers are expected to be and options when a process recipient cannot be found.
Diligence is Key
Process servers are responsible for delivering court documents to the appropriate individuals, so it’s important that they’re diligent in their work. If they can’t serve someone, they must take steps to ensure that the individual is made aware of the documents.
To improve your chances of locating the process recipient and not having to request an alternative, you must put in the time and effort from the beginning. Research should be done before you ever leave your office. Information about the process recipient should be gathered using a standardized checklist so that you do not forget any important information. Utilize notes to track the information you receive throughout the search and keep copies of these in case a judge requests them. Finally, once all the information is collected, exhaust all possible means of locating the recipient by visiting every associated address, calling every associated phone number, and even conducting stakeouts if needed.
You should make a minimum of three service attempts before even thinking about requesting permission for an alternative service, but we suggest even more if time allows.
After you’ve exhausted all of the above methods, if you still can’t find out who receives the process, you may go before a court and petition for another type of service, such as service by publication or service by substitution. If you are granted permission, you may serve the recipient by publishing a notice in the newspaper or by serving another competent individual. These methods of service are as valid as personally visiting and meet the requirements of Florida courts.
For more information, contact us at (772) 236-7214 or visit our blog.