Over the past several years, our state association (FAPPS) has been working our our lobbyist to amend some of the verbiage in the Statutes that pertain to service of process. While some of the changes are minimal, such as changing the wording from may to shall in 48.021, some changes are pretty big.
One of the big changes is that Process Servers are now allowed to electronically sign Returns of Service. The Statutes previously allowed only the Sheriff to utilize an electronic signature, but now the Sheriff and Private Process Servers can electronically sign Returns. At Accurate Serve, we are ahead of the game in technology and with our Servers using their smart phones and App to update jobs, they will soon be able to electronically sign their Returns from the field on their mobile devices. So, our FL Clients should be getting those returns even quicker in the very near future.
See below for a few highlights of the changes and see attached for the complete Bill.
48.031 (5) – The statute now reads you must place the date and hour of service, your initials or signature, and, IF APPLICABLE, your identification number.
Summary: This change was created to address issues in counties where process servers are serving by Motion and Order (or out of state) and do not have an identification number. It also re-affirms that you only have to place the required information on the first page of the process served. This does not change the requirement to follow the Rules of Civil Procedure to also include the date and hour of service on the original process filed with the return of service or affidavit.
48.21 Return of Service – updated to clarify language that all pleadings and documents served must be listed on the return of service. Electronic signatures are now permitted.
Reminder: If your jurisdiction requires a notarized affidavit you will not be able to utilize an electronic signature. This also includes counties where the process server is serving by Motion and Order. Rules of Civil Procedure require that an affidavit is required when serving by Motion and Order.
Franchisee Spotlight: Ocala
Timeless Classics and Summer Serving
Welcome to the Jungle – A day in the life of a process server in central Florida.
Schools Out for the Summer – This means our odds increase in residential serves with co-residents 15+ being home and able to accept service.
Double Trouble – May 31st started 100 days of summer heat. It goes without saying that with the rising temperature comes an increase in not only tourists but also auto accidents and DUIs. Subpoenas to be served upon law enforcement officials through the department liaison must be effected 5 days prior to the court date. This does not include the date of service, court date, weekends and federal holidays in which the courts are closed.
Rock You like a Hurricane – June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season. Even inland in The Sunshine State we are effected by hurricanes. Torrential rain and poor weather conditions means possible delays in service. Let’s not forget FEMA holds on foreclosures.
Don’t Stop Believing – Every service is a journey. Florida is notoriously known for snowbirds. It’s possible that the defendant has migrated back north for the summer. We have a network of servers with which we have established relationships to better handle all of your nationwide needs. Don’t have their summer address? In efforts to locate the defendant or witness we can run a skip trace to produce any other addresses available on record.
Check out our franchise website, http://theaccurateservefranchise.com/, and please utilize the “Find Location” feature. It is a sure fire way to direct you to the correct office for service.
J U N E Dates to Remember
6/1 Miami Office Anniversary
6/15 Mobile, Alabama Office Anniversary
6/16 Happy Father’s Day
6/21 Summer Solstice
“No matter what obstacles may come your way, stay focused, stay positive and you will overcome them.”
May 2019 Job Statistics
May 2019 Job Count – 4,549
Average Number of Days from Receiving Paper to Paper Being Served* – 4.09
*This includes jobs that may be on hold or waiting for new info. There is no way to take those jobs out of the calculation. So, if a job is placed on hold for 2 weeks, that’s 14 days on that job which factors in to this average. So, we’re even better than what the eyes see, LOL. Some papers get served same day, some next day and some take multiple attempts/addresses to effect service. All we do all day and every day is serve papers. We’re good at it and we love what we do. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to continue to serve your papers.