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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR CERTIFIED CIVIL PROCESS SERVERS
What does "service" mean as it relates to process servers?

Why do legal papers need to be officially served?

Who do I contact to serve my legal papers?

Does the Sheriff also do this?

I am filing a lawsuit for $5,000 or less. Can legal papers be served by certified mail, return receipt requested?

How do I have legal papers served on a person or business outside of Miami-Dade County?

How do I become a Certified Civil Process Server with the Court?

What laws govern Certified Civil Process Servers?

Who do I contact for further information?


What does "service" mean as it relates to process servers?
"Service" is the official delivery of legal papers on parties, witnesses or other people involved in a case.

Why do legal papers need to be officially served?
Official service of a summons and a copy of your complaint or petition is necessary to start a legal action by giving the other side formal notice there is a lawsuit filed against them. Otherwise, your case cannot proceed through the court system. After serving the other parties in your civil case, the process server files a return of service with the Court so that the judge will know this has been done according to the law. Civil process servers also serve subpoenas (orders to appear in court or produce documents) and other legal notices and may be called upon to testify in Court if there is a question about proper service.

Who do I contact to serve my legal papers?
If you haven't hired an attorney who can handle this for you, click here for a list of Certified Civil Process Servers on the Chief Judge's approved list for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida,

Does the Sheriff also do this?
Yes. Miami-Dade County Sheriff's Office has a Civil Process Bureau which can serve legal papers at similar costs. The Court's program is not intended to compete with the Sheriff's program, but rather to assist with serving legal papers in the high number of civil cases filed in Miami-Dade County.

I am filing a lawsuit for $5,000 or less. Can the legal papers be served by certified mail, return receipt requested?
Yes, but only on Florida residents. Lawsuits up to $5,000 (excluding court costs, interest and attorneys fees) are called small claims cases and Miami-Dade County's Clerk's Office can assist you in serving papers by certified mail at no charge except the actual cost of mailing.

How do I have legal papers served on a person or business outside of Miami-Dade County? You may contact the Sheriff's Office in the county and state where the person or the business can be served. The Clerk's Office in that county may also be able to assist you.

How do I become a Certified Civil Process Server with the Court?
Qualifications - You must: Be at least 18 years of age. Have no mental or legal disability. Be a permanent resident of the state of Florida. Have no felony convictions. Have no misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude or dishonesty within the last 5 years. Pass a background investigation including a review of your criminal record, should one exist. Pass the Certified Civil Process Servers examination. Fee for the exam is $300. Take the Oath of Office administered by a sitting judge. Purchase and renew a $5,000 performance bond each year. Click here to download application materials in pdf format. Applications will be available from Septembert 3, 2012 through October 31, 2012.
You may also pick up an application from Walter Cordle, Jr., Program Coordinator, Room 911, Dade County Courthouse, 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM.

What laws govern Certified Civil Process Servers?

Chapter 48, Florida Statutes, in particular Sections 48.25 - 48.31, the "Florida Certified Process Servers Act." See also, Administrative Order 09-12; Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.070 and 1.080; and, Florida Small Claims Rule 7.070.

Whom do I contact for further information?

Walter D. Cordle, Jr., Coordinator
Certified Civil Process Servers Program
Dade County Courthouse, Room 911
73 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130
(305) 349-7707
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding court holidays
 
 

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