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When Can You Serve Papers in Florida?

If you have a pending court case, you may be wondering if you can serve your own court papers in Florida. The simple answer is that most of the time you have to hire a private process server or pay the sheriff’s department to serve the papers for you. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Here’s what you need to know about when you can serve papers in Florida.

Lawsuits, Divorce, and Child Custody

The vast majority of court cases that require service of process are lawsuits, divorces, and child custody matters. In all of these cases, Florida law requires that a process server, the sheriff, or one of the sheriff’s deputies serves the papers in your case. You cannot serve these papers yourself. The biggest reason is that these cases cannot move forward unless all parties are aware of the proceedings and the courts want to be certain that an uninterested third party can verify that service of process occurred.


One of the few times that you can serve papers yourself involves eviction notices. Eviction notices do not have to be served by a private process server, although there are reasons to do so. Whether you are serving a three-day notice for nonpayment of rent or a seven-day notice for breaking the lease in another way, these notices can be posted to the door, or left with any adult at the residence, and do not have to be handled by a certified process server. You may want to use a process server, however, if you are worried that the tenant will claim they never received the notice when you move forward to file with the courts.

If you are looking for a trustworthy and professional private process server to handle your case, contact us today for more information or to get started.