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Understanding Service of Process


There’s a lot to think about when you’re injured in an accident. First, you need medical attention. If possible, you should also gather information about the accident, including the parties involved and the details of what happened. Even these initial steps can be overwhelming, which is why you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

If you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will explain the next steps. One of the first things you’ll need to do is serve your complaint on the responsible party (the defendant). This is called service of process. You’re probably familiar with this term if you’ve ever seen a television show or movie involving a lawsuit.

What Is Service of Process?

Service of process is the procedure used to properly notify the defendant that you’re filing a lawsuit. Florida has specific rules that must be followed when serving process. For example:

  • The process server must be at least 18 years old, a Florida resident, and have no legal disability. Process server applicants must also undergo a criminal background check.
  • The process server will deliver a copy of the complaint at the defendant’s “usual place of abode.” It can be left with anyone living in the home who is at least 15 years old.
  • Employers must permit authorized individuals to serve process in a designated workplace area. But the server must first contact the employer.
  • In some cases the individual can serve process on a substitute person. For example, process can potentially be served on a spouse or on the person in charge of the defendant’s business (if the defendant does business as a sole proprietorship).
  • Process can also be served on witnesses whose testimony is needed at trial.
  • If process is being served against a minor, it must be served on the minor’s parent or legal guardian. If the minor is at least 15 years old and married, then process can be served the same way as on an adult.
  • Process may also be served on incompetents, state prisoners, partnerships and limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations, among other individuals and entities.

Also make sure that the complaint meets Florida’s pleading requirements. In other words, the complaint must include certain information so that the defendant understands the nature of the plaintiff’s claims. The whole point of service of process is so that the defendant knows exactly why he or she is being sued. An experienced attorney can ensure that you meet these and other requirements. Complaints that don’t comply with Florida law may be dismissed.

Contact Us Today

Contact a Miami personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you injured by someone’s negligent behavior. We will help you file a personal injury lawsuit, including properly notifying the defendant of your claims.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.

Read What Others Have To Say About Us

  • “I'm very happy with this firm... Joel is an excellent attorney and Carolyn is an amazing paralegal, After been ditched from another law firm, Pendas took care of me and they won my case. I recommend them 100%...” - Jacksonville -

    Maria Pastor
  • “This law firm is amazing. I love how they always try to stay/keep in contact with you. It shows that they really care and want everything taken care of correctly, Thank You!...” - Orlando -

    Shantelle Blackwell
  • “I'm very thankful for all the attention of all the Pendas staff that took care of my case and helped me through the process, thanks for your patience, collaboration and comprehension!...” - Tampa -

    Carlos Guadalupe
  • “The Pendas Law Firm was amazing! They are very kind, professional, and hard-working! They always kept me informed. Larry Trias was great to work with! I always recommend Pendas to family and friends. Thank you for helping me with my case!” - Fort Myers -

    Heather Pepper
  • “Their attorneys are absolutely someone you want handling your car accident claim. They communicated with us promptly and thoroughly. I was very happy with our recovery. Their staff speaks Spanish and you feel like family.” - Orlando -

    Ian Brito
  • “I would definitely recommend this firm. The staff really helps you and they actually show you that they care, especially Siomara Roldan. She has been a great help for my family and myself, she is always helpful with any questions.” - Tampa -

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  • “5 stars for these guys! Hays Mathis got my case settled without going to court for a sum that dwarfed what the other guys were advising me to take. I highly recommend Hays not only because he does the work to get it done but he cares about the client and outcome as well!” - Jacksonville -

    Mike Reilly
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    Ben Fitzgerald