Statewide Services Group -
Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need a process server?

Dade County requires a process server to be licensed. If the service is not done in accordance with the rules of Civil procedure, this can delay the case from going forward or result in a dismissal.

What is Service Of Process?
Procedure employed to give legal notice to a person (such as a defendant) of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal. Usually, notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (called "process") to the person to be served.

Types Of Service:

Personal Service: Personal service is service of process directly to the (or a) party named on the summons, complaint or petition. In most lawsuits in the United States, personal service is required to prove service. Most states allow Substituted service in almost all lawsuits unless you are serving a corporation, LLC, LLP, or other business entity; in those cases, personal service must be achieved by serving (in hand) the documents to the "Registered Agent" of a business entity. Some states (Florida) do not require that the documents actually be handed to the individual. In California and most other states, the documents must be visible to the person being served, i.e., not in a sealed envelope. If the individual refuses to accept service, flees, closes the door, etc., and the individual has been positively identified as the person to be served, documents may be "drop" served, and it is considered a valid service.

Substitute Service: When an individual party to be served is unavailable for personal service, many jurisdictions allow for substituted service. Substituted service allows the process server to leave service documents with another responsible individual such as cohabiting adults. Under the Federal Rules, substituted service may only be made at the abode or dwelling of the defendant. FRCP 4. California, Illinois, and many other U.S. jurisdictions require that in addition to substituted service, the documents be mailed to the recipient. Substituted service often requires a serving party show that ordinary service is impracticable and that substituted service will reach the party and effect notice. In addition, substituted service may be affected through public notice followed by sending the documents by Certified Mail.

Service On a Corporations:

In some instances, delivery to an agent for acceptance of service or "Registered Agent" can substitute for personal service on the principal party to be served. The Registered Agent is a person or company authorized in advance to accept service on behalf of the served party. For example, most corporations are required by local law to have an agent for acceptance of service in each jurisdiction where they are active. The identity of the agent for service can usually be ascertained from company filings with appropriate state agencies
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