The What-ifs of Process Service

Why Process Service is Necessary

Nobody wants to go to court. This has been a truth among humanity for as long as courts have existed. There has always been a legal system as long as people have been alive to fight about things. Until the last human passes away and there no longer needs to be adjudication, courts will exist, and so will service of process, which is the legal arm that calls a person into a court’s jurisdiction.

Sometimes, however, you get that odd person who just refuses to abide by the rule of law. He won’t submit to the court’s authority and doesn’t want to stand before the judge’s lectern. And then he makes it difficult for everyone.

What Do You Do if the Person Who’s Being Served Doesn’t Want to be Served or Can’t Be Found?

Generally, if a defendant cannot be located after a diligent search by a professional process server or a sheriff (a plaintiff cannot serve the papers himself), then the court will allow publication of service in a local newspaper.

For this to work, the server will have to prove that he or she made efforts to find the person to be served. This can mean working with a professional process server, using online search engines, libraries, data archives, newspapers, past addresses, employment history, public information, and more.

Florida also has some strange rules, like you can’t serve someone on their way to or from a court, and you can’t serve papers to them in their home on a Sunday. So for something like this, you would want to hire a professional who knows what they’re doing — like the people at Orange Legal.

Substitute service of process can be made on a person close to the defendant, like a spouse or business partner. This can only be done when other options have been exhausted, however, and the server must illustrate to the court that he or she has already tried all other avenues.

What if the Defendant Doesn’t Accept the Service of Process?

Ah, here’s the fun part. Sometimes the defendant literally doesn’t want to accept the papers. He might admit his identity but not take the papers from you, or he might even try to run away. The plaintiff’s server can leave the papers at his feet and walk away, and the court will still consider this effective in the state of Florida.

Orange Legal has a comprehensive network across the globe, not just in Florida. No matter what the assignment is — locating an individual, sending important documents, attending a foreclosure sale, or serving process — we can get it done for you.