Different Types of Process Service

Different Types of Process Service

One of the most overlooked areas of the legal field is process service.  Many people don’t realize what is required to serve certain companies or people.  There are many different rules and parameters one must follow when serving an individual.  For instance, you can either personally serve or sub-serve, depending on the situation at the time you are serving the documents.

Let’s Get Down to the Basics of Process Service

When serving an individual, you must attempt to serve the papers for that individual to them personally.  Let’s say the individual is not available and you’re attempting to serve them at their home.  Another option is that you can sub-serve the individual through whomever with you speak at the residence, as long as they are 15 years of age and reside with the individual which you are serving.  When sub-serving, it is very important to remember that you note the description of the person you served and record the information on your affidavit, or return of service, just in case the service is ever questioned as to whether or not the person served truly is whomever they said they were.

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Corporate Process Service

When serving a business at the actual business location, the service is referred to as a corporate service.  Unless the subpoena/summons indicates a particular person to be served, you can serve anyone authorized to accept service on behalf of the company.  Most businesses will have assigned a Registered Agent, also known as an RA.  Part of being a Registered Agent is accepting legal papers when a business is being served.

A Registered Agent should be at the place of business Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to accept papers.  When a server is attempting to serve a Registered Agent, he or she must make the first attempt between these hours.  However, if the RA is not available, he or she can serve someone authorized to accept on their behalf.  It is also very important to note that if you are serving a Registered Agent and you attempt service outside of those hours, your service can be thrown out, as it is not per Florida statute.

There are some situations which require a server to serve a Registered Agent at his or her house rather than at the business.  In a situation like this, service must be completed personally or by sub-service. If it’s sub-service, it can only be served to the Registered Agent’s spouse. If serving an RA at his or her house, you would be using personal or sub-service as the type of service, rather than using corporate service.

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Written By: Brandi Thrailkill, Orange Legal Process Service Assistant Manager