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Service of process is the legal procedure for giving an individual notice that she is required to answer in court to a judicial action. In many U.S. states, service of process is done by sheriffs, but other states, including Florida, permit special process servers to deliver subpoenas and summonses (notices to appear in court). The procedure for becoming a process server in Florida requires an application to the county sheriff, rather than at the state level.
Comply with minimum requirements regarding age, mental capacity and residency. To be a process server in Florida, state law (Florida Statutes, Title VI, Chapter 48,i Section 48.021) specifies that you must be at least 18 and have no mental or legal disability. You must also be a permanent Florida resident.
Submit to a criminal background investigation. You must permit the sheriff to check your criminal history and to verify that other information submitted in connection with your application is accurate and true.
Submit a Process Server Application & Certificate of Good Conduct at the sheriff's office in the county where you live. The application asks for name and address, about convictions for misdemeanors in the past five years, pending criminal charges, felony convictions, whether you have a Florida driver's license and whether you are a former law enforcement officer. The application must be notarized.
Pass an examination regarding laws and rules of service of process. The examinations are arranged by the sheriff and are available at least once each year.
Take an oath to honestly, diligently and faithfully exercise the duties of a special process server. The oath is sworn before the sheriff.
Await designation by the sheriff as a process server. The sheriff will issue an identification card bearing an identification number, printed name, photograph, signature and expiration date. The identification is renewable annually on proof of good standing.
Sheriffs may revoke process a server's appointments for not properly or fully discharging his duties. You may only serve process in the Florida county where you are residing. Violation of oath of office shall result in the process server being guilty of a felony in the third degree and being barred permanently from service of process.
- Sheriffs may revoke process a server's appointments for not properly or fully discharging his duties. You may only serve process in the Florida county where you are residing. Violation of oath of office shall result in the process server being guilty of a felony in the third degree and being barred permanently from service of process.
Trudie Longren began writing in 2008 for legal publications, including the "American Journal of Criminal Law." She has served as a classroom teacher and legal writing professor. Longren holds a bachelor's degree in international politics, a Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in human rights. She also speaks Spanish and French.