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January Update

Message from the Founder

Duval & Palm Beach Counties 

So, there are  3 ways Private Process Servers can serve civil process in FL:

  • Certified by courts in circuit they serve in
  • Appointed by Sheriff in the county they serve in
  • Approved by Motion & Order from the Judge presiding over case

Duval is located in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida, along with Clay and Nassau. Duval is a Sheriff appointed county. Nassau and Clay are Motion & Order, which means they do not have a private process server program in place either with the Courts or Sheriff.

For many years, the Duval Sheriff would outsource their civil process to a private process serving company. In 2016, the Duval Sheriff changed their policies in regards to private process servers.  They stopped sending their papers to private process servers to serve and started serving everything in house with their own Process Servers or Deputies.

No worries there, it is my understanding that this was the only county where that was the procedure. Where the worry does come in is that also at that time, the Sheriff stopped appointing NEW process servers. They have renewed process server licenses but have not appointed any new servers.

You can surmise that the total number of private process servers has steadily decreased in Duval County over the years. Servers retire, move away and attrition is natural everywhere, so unless the Duval Sheriff changes their policies again, as the years go on, the total number of servers will decline.

While our Jacksonville office has several servers, feel free to file a Motion & Order when filing your case. A benefit of filing a M&O for Duval, although it is not needed, is it will increase the number of servers we have available but are not appointed by Sheriff. Another benefit of filing a M&O when serving in Duval is let’s say we have a Defendant who works in Jacksonville but lives in Fernandina Beach, Nassau County. Subject could evade at POE and to serve at residence, we would need the M&O, so we would be ahead of the game at this point. We will attach a copy of our M&O at the bottom of this Newsletter as well as a list of counties that are M&O, so you know before filing your case.

Moving from Duval to Palm Beach County, which is located in the 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Palm Beach County is a certified circuit and very recently they stopped certifying new process servers. Similar to Duval, they will renew licenses of current process servers but will not certify new ones at the moment.

Luckily for us and our clients, Owner/Operator of our Plantation, West Palm Beach, Miami and Key West offices, Josh Wright, has his Palm Beach certification and will continue to renew it over the years and he also has several servers with current licenses as well.

While the Palm Beach development is rather new, the Duval issue has been going on for a few years. It is our hopes that these matters will work out and we know that our state association, FAPPS, and it’s membership will work with lawmakers, sheriffs, court systems, etc. to ensure that private process servers will be available and able to serve all non-enforceable civil process.

Warmest regards,
Beau Charlet

Franchisee: Sarasota

Skip Tracing for Process Serving

While preparing for trial, or deposition, or just finding a new address to facilitate service of process, one of the most handy and cost effective tools can be the skip trace. The better information we have about a subject the better service we can provide.

One time I was serving a summons on a woman at her home. Before I got up to the door I pulled up her Facebook page to remind myself what she looked like. As she answered the door I knew it was her, I said ” Good afternoon Jane, I have a summons and complaint here for you and you have 20 days to respond, have a great day”. As I was handing the docs to her she backed away and said “I’m not Jane, I don’t know what you are talking about”. I then pulled out my phone and showed her pics of herself and her friends having margaritas…. “Jane, I think this is you, here is your summons”. I was about to drop the summons at her feet when she sheepishly reached out and took it from me. Then her mumbles under her breath turned into unmistakable curse-words as I walked back to my vehicle.

The information that exists about people freely on the internet is vast, and valuable even if it was a free search I did on Facebook.

When we have exhausted the known addresses while attempting to affect service we can turn to using a skip trace to try and determine new possible addresses, and what the facts are in our investigation. From time to time we go to the correct address, and we make a note of the vehicles, and ask the people who answer the door what their names are, and people are quite possibly lying about who they are and what they know.

When you run a skip trace you can cut through all that and get right to the point by dealing with facts.

When we take down tag #’s during the service attempts we can run the plates for a small fee to see whose car is parked outside. This can be helpful when the person at the door is claiming no knowledge of the subject, even though their car is parked outside.

When we need more information on a person, we run a skip trace. With this we can see every address our subject has ever lived, and or had a bill sent to. Every phone number, landline or mobile phone number that might be associated with the individual. A skip trace reports also contains Voter registrations, professional licences, real estate holdings, liens, judgments, bankruptcies, alias’, known relatives and associates, current and past vehicle information, UCC filings, hunting permits, weapons permits, and more….

The criminal records may not be the most accurate part, but it will list every time our subject has been arrested, and what happened after that is in the docket.

My clients have used these skip traces in preparation for depositions. In one case the woman being deposed had a history of committing a certain type of fraud. My client was able to use the skip trace information in the deposition to get her on the record regarding facts of the case.

If you would like to look into a skip trace for one of your open jobs, or an upcoming job with Accurate Serve reach out to one of our many offices around the state.
Best Regards,

– Brennan Fogarty

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December 2019 Job Statistics

December 2019 Job Count – 4, 189

Average Number of Days from Receiving Paper to Paper Being Served* – 5.18

*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.

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