While Skip Traces have more of a broad application, Diligent Searches are more focused. As mentioned before, a Diligent Search should include in a comprehensive report all of the information provided from a Skip Trace. A Diligent Search must be performed by a private investigator or private process server and is more comprehensive.
When are Diligent Searches Required?
The most common situation in which a person finds that he or she must perform a Diligent Search for an individual is when the individual must be located in order to continue or begin legal proceedings. If the defendant or witness is missing from a legal proceeding, then he or she must be accounted for legally. This means making a concerted effort at a search process within the United States of America.
Often, such cases present themselves in family law, as one parent has been missing or absent for many years and it is in the best interest of the child to have the parental rights terminated. Other times, the situation may be a foreclosure where the defendant must be accounted for before proceedings can continue.
What if the Diligent Search is Unsuccessful?
Many times, the Diligent Search is unsuccessful. A person who has been out of contact or is purposely hiding for an extended period of time often cannot be physically located. In such a case, in order to continue with legal proceedings, special arrangements must be made.
Affidavit of Diligent Search – This document must be produced by the private investigator or private process server hired to undertake the Diligent Search, regardless of success or failure in locating the individual, and submitted to the concerned attorneys.
Constructive Service of Process – In the case where the Diligent Search was unsuccessful, the defendant will be represented by the attorney, also known as “serving by publication,” pursuant to Chapter 49 of Florida Statutes. This is most often done by the same attorney posting, in a local legal publication, that the defendant is hereby served.
Bear in mind that the Constructive Service of Process can only be completed once the Affidavit of Diligent Search has been handed in to the attorney. If you are in need of such legal proceedings in the state of Florida or any other state, begin by contacting a private investigator, private process server, or attorney or legal firm that offer similar services.