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Ways a Process Server Finds a Missing Person that Needs to be Served

Are you having a hard time finding a process recipient? It’s not uncommon for recipients to try to avoid the process server, thinking that this will make their legal troubles go away. Unfortunately for them, that is never the case. Avoiding the process server does cause delays, but in the end, the case will go on.

So how do you find someone that doesn’t want to be found? Trust the expert process servers at Accurate Serve® of Ft. Myers! We put in the work required to locate all intended process recipients within the set deadline with our service of process, skip trace, and diligent search services. Some of our tactics to locate missing process recipients include:


Research is a huge part of any process server’s job. Thorough research of the intended process recipient should be conducted before ever leaving the office. You should comb through all traditional and online information to find as much information as possible, planning your service attempts based on the data you find. Just a few pieces of information you’ll want to search for include:

  • Name
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Emails
  • Aliases/nicknames
  • Vehicle make, model, color, unique bumper stickers, and other identifiers
  • Picture or physical description of the target
  • Best time and place to contact
  • History of evading service
  • History of violence

The information you end up collecting will look different for each and every job and will serve as a great jumping-off point in your search.

Make Some Calls

There’s nothing that will get the grapevine stirring like a few phone calls. Making calls to the missing person’s friends and family members is a great way to shake them out. Sometimes, the missing person will even contact you to avoid you making more contact with their associates and further damage to their reputation. This makes your job extra easy! If calling their friends and family doesn’t work, you can contact their employer in certain situations. If you do decide to contact their employer, be sure to maintain utmost discretion.

Dress for the Part

Someone who looks out of place is a red flag for anyone who is actively trying to dodge the process server. Part of your research and planning will include making a list of addresses for service attempts. Look into the average demographic in these areas and make an effort to dress to fit in. This will make your presence much less suspicious and give you an advantage.

Follow Them Online

You’d be amazed at what many people post online, so online sources have become an increasingly popular resource for locating missing process recipients. There are tons of social media platforms out there where people interact with friends or customers. Search for your missing process recipient on these platforms. If you locate them, keep an eye on their posts (especially if they are geolocation tagged) and you might get lucky and figure out where they are!

It’s important to understand that while silently following a person’s posts is just fine, lying to that person to get them to talk to you is not. Be careful with your ethics when dealing with people online!

If you need ideas of social media platforms to start with, here are a few of our favorites:

  • Facebook (Meta)
  • YouTube
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Snapchat
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • CafeMom
  • NextDoor
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok
  • Twitch
  • Discord
  • WattPad
  • CrunchyRoll
  • SoundCloud
  • Medium
  • Giphy
  • Imgur
  • Influenster
  • WeChat
  • Weibo
  • Telegram
  • Quora
  • Classmates
  • Vimeo
  • MeWe
  • Clubhouse
  • Rumble
  • Truth Socia

Conduct a Stakeout

An old-school stakeout might be just what the doctor ordered if you’re having no luck with other methods. While the idea of hiding in your car, and peeking at a house through binoculars might not seem fun, it can be very effective.

Ask for an Alternative Service

In Florida, process servers can request to serve a recipient by substitution or publication if they have attempted to locate the person to no avail. The server will have to prove that they’ve put forth enough effort to justify the alternative service. Once a recipient is served via alternative means, the court case can proceed whether they show up or not.

Process Servers in Ft. Myers

If you’re having a hard time locating someone you need to serve, let us give it a shot! Call Accurate Serve® of Ft. Myers at (239) 822-7299 or send us a work request online to get started today.