What to Ask a Process Server Before Hiring Them
So you’ve filed your complaint and received a summons from the Leon County Clerk of Court…now what? It’s time to hire a process server! You want to make sure you are hiring someone who is certified to serve in the area, knows and follows the law, and provides proof of service. When hiring any process server in Tallahassee you should ask:
Are you certified in Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit?
Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit presides over all of Leon County, including Tallahassee. Other counties included in the 2nd Circuit are Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, and Wakulla. Private process servers must be approved by a 2nd Circuit Judge to serve process here. Approval involves:
- A detailed application review
- A surety bond of $5,000 minimum
- Recommendation letters from the Sheriff in all six 2nd Circuit counties
- A background and criminal history check
- Attending a seminar about the serving process
- Passing an exam about process server laws and its best practices
If the process server you are considering cannot verify that they are certified in Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit, don’t risk it! Using an uncertified process server is illegal and can have big ramifications for your case. All of our servers at Accurate Serve Tallahassee are certified in the 2nd Circuit and ready to serve in all six covered counties.
How much experience do you have?
While it’s not essential to have years of experience to be a good process server, it doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to locate an evasive defendant. You may also want to inquire about specific industries where they have served process; Serving process at a Fortune 500 company is different from the serving process at a local mechanic’s shop.
What proof of service do you offer?
In Florida, process servers must complete an affidavit confirming the process was served to the intended person. This proof of service is sent back to the plaintiff, or their attorney, to be presented to the court when needed. Be sure to ask the prospective process server how fast they typically provide proof of service; It should be before the defendant’s deadline to respond to the Complaint served. If service is made by substitution or publication, ask how the process server intends to provide proof of service in these situations.
How often will I receive updates?
Some clients want updates daily, while others only want to know when the job is done. It’s important to let the process server know ahead of time how often you want to be contacted, but it’s even better if the prospective process server lets you know their communication timeline without you having to ask.
What is the fee for service?
Process servers typically charge a base fee to serve process to an easy-to-find defendant or witness. However, if the target is difficult to locate or requires extensive travel to get to, additional fees will occur. Ask the potential process server about all the possible costs and fees ahead of time, so you are not caught off guard when the bill arrives. Keep in mind that targets who are hard to locate cost more, so having as much information as possible about those who require service is crucial to keep costs low.
Hiring a process server can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Contact Accurate Serve in Tallahassee at (850) 519-5494 for all your service of process needs in Leon and surrounding counties. Our team of trained professionals deals with process service daily, ensuring your case’s process is served quickly and in total compliance with all laws. Let us free up your time to help your client win their case with worry-free, on-time, and within budget process service.