So, some papers we serve, need to be served personally. While others can be substituted, when and why? Your papers were posted – are you asking yourself, “Is this good service?”
Let’s dive into this a tad further, shall we?
Serving documents that originated in FL, see below Statutes that govern when personal service is required.
48.051 Service on state prisoners.—Process against a state prisoner shall be served on the prisoner.
63.088(3) LOCATION AND IDENTITY KNOWN. Before the court may determine that a minor is available for adoption, each person whose consent is required under s.63.062, who has not executed a consent for adoption or an affidavit of nonpaternity, and whose location and identity have been determined by compliance with the procedures in this section must be personally served, pursuant to Chapter 48, at least 20 days before the hearing with a copy of the petition to terminate parental rights pending adoption and with notice in substantially the following form …………….
Serving documents that originated in TX or MI, their Statutes/Laws require personal service only.
When serving MI documents personally, the Server needs to ask the Servee to sign for the paperwork. If the Servee refuses to sign for the paperwork, personal service is still good to go….we just call that signature, the icing on the cake.
If serving TX documents personally proves to be challenging, a non service Affidavit can be submitted to the courts and then an order for substitute service can be filed and if approved, the papers can be served alternatively.
Serving documents that originated in FL, see a few selected Statutes below that explain when substitute service is permitted.
48.031 (1)(a) Service of original process is made by delivering a copy of it to the person to be served with a copy of the complaint, petition, or other initial pleading or paper or by leaving the copies at his or her usual place of abode with any person residing therein who is 15 years of age or older and informing the person of their contents. Minors who are or have been married shall be served as provided in this section. (Please note: if serving an individual away from the abode, personal (or spousal) service is required.)
48.031(2)(a) Substitute service may be made on the spouse of the person to be served at any place in the county, if the cause of action is not an adversary proceeding between the spouse and the person to be served, if the spouse requests such service, and if the spouse and person to be served are residing together in the same dwelling.
48.031(2)(b) Substitute service may be made on an individual doing business as a sole proprietorship at his or her place of business, during regular business hours, by serving the person in charge of the business at the time of service if two attempts to serve the owner have been made at the place of business.
48.031(6)(a) If the only address for a person to be served which is discoverable through public records is a private mailbox, a virtual office, or an executive office or mini suite, substitute service may be made by leaving a copy of the process with the person in charge of the private mailbox, virtual office, or executive office or mini suite, but only if the process server determines that the person to be served maintains a mailbox, a virtual office, or an executive office or mini suite at that location.
Serving documents that originated in CO, see below selected Statute in regards to substitute service.
CO Rule of Civil Procedure 4(e)(1) Upon a natural person whose age is eighteen years or older by delivering a copy thereof to the person, or by leaving a copy thereof at the person’s usual place of abode, with any person whose age is eighteen years or older and who is a member of the person’s family, or at the person’s usual workplace, with the person’s supervisor, secretary, administrative assistant, bookkeeper, human resources representative or managing agent; or by delivering a copy to a person authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.
A few differences between FL and CO for substitute service:
In FL, 15 to sub serve, in CO – 18
In FL, just needs to be a co-resident, in CO – must be a direct family member
In FL, only spouse can accept away from the abode and in CO, you can serve an individual’s boss and that is good service.
Serving documents that originated in FL, see below Statutes in reference to posting documents for service.
48.031(3)(b) A criminal witness subpoena commanding the witness to appear for a court appearance may be posted by a person authorized to serve process at the witness’s residence if three attempts to serve the subpoena, made at different times of the day or night on different dates, have failed. A criminal witness subpoena commanding the witness to appear for a deposition may be posted by a person authorized to serve process at the witness’s residence if one attempt to serve the subpoena has failed. The subpoena must be posted at least 5 days before the date of the witness’s required appearance.
48.183(1) In an action for possession of any residential premises, including those under chapters 83, 723, and 513, or nonresidential premises, if the tenant cannot be found in the county or there is no person 15 years of age or older residing at the tenant’s usual place of abode in the county after at least two attempts to obtain service as provided above in this subsection, summons may be served by attaching a copy to a conspicuous place on the property described in the complaint or summons. The minimum time delay between the two attempts to obtain service shall be 6 hours. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting service of process on a tenant as is otherwise provided on defendants in civil cases.
Other documents that can be generally posted are: Demand Notices, Notices to Terminate Lease, 3 Day Notice to Vacate, etc.
Let’s take a look at how they serve Evictions in GA:
O.C.G.A. 44-7-51 (2010)
44-7-51. Issuance of summons; service; time for answer; defenses and counterclaims
(a) When the affidavit provided for in Code Section 44-7-50 is made, the judge of the superior court, the state court, or any other court with jurisdiction over the subject matter or the judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of the magistrate court shall grant and issue a summons to the sheriff or his deputy or to any lawful constable of the county where the land is located. A copy of the summons and a copy of the affidavit shall be personally served upon the defendant. If the sheriff is unable to serve the defendant personally, service may be had by delivering the summons and the affidavit to any person who is sui juris residing on the premises or, if after reasonable effort no such person is found residing on the premises, by posting a copy of the summons and the affidavit on the door of the premises and, on the same day of such posting, by enclosing, directing, stamping, and mailing by first-class mail a copy of the summons and the affidavit to the defendant at his last known address, if any, and making an entry of this action on the affidavit filed in the case.
This ended up being a long article and for those of you who know me, I am generally short and to the point. But we did cover a lot of material and crossed the border time and time again. If you are still with me, thanks for sticking it out.
We have our Annual Franchise Retreat this weekend, see next month’s article for pictures and details of the event.
Happy October! I just wanted to keep this bit simple and sweet since Halloween is right around the corner. Fall decorations, people dressed up in costumes/makeup and walking door to door trick or treating. I just want to clarify a misconception out there; Ultimately, our job is to deliver court documents, and sometimes it may require us to get creative to reach evasive defendants. Keep in mind that being creative shouldn’t mean being deceptive by attempting service under false pretenses or violating state laws.
If you need an update on a job, please email us. If you do not receive a timely response to your email, please call us. If there are ever any service issues, please let us know.
O C T O B E R
10/11 – Columbus Day
10/16 – National Boss’s Day
10/31 – Happy Halloween!
Office Anniversaries Atlanta Office Detroit Office
September 2021 Job Statistics
September 2021 Job Count – 4,128
Average Number of Days from Receiving Paper to Paper Being Served* -5.57
*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.