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What You Need to Know if Court Papers are Served Incorrectly

We all know that being served with court papers means that we’re expected to appear in court at some point in the future, but what happens if you were improperly served those papers? While it’s a hard case to prove, improper service has given some defendants grounds for dismissal of the entire case. If you believe you’ve been served court papers incorrectly, follow these steps to find out what to do next:

Call Accurate Serve®

At Accurate Serve of Tampa Bay, there’s one thing we know – proper service of process. We’ve been serving legally valid process here in Florida since 2009, so there isn’t much we haven’t seen. We can answer your questions about what was and was not illegal when you were served with court papers. Just give us a call at 813-544-6900 to find out more. Continue reading

What Happens With a Lawsuit If The Defendant Wasn’t Served Court Papers?

Let’s say you hear through the grapevine that someone has filed a civil lawsuit against you. You’ll probably be on pins and needles, waiting for a Sheriff’s deputy or process server to show up with the dreaded news. But what if you wait and wait and wait, just for nothing to come? Should you be worried about a lawsuit against you if you were never served with the court papers?

No, if you have not been served with a court summons within 120 days of the summons being issued, then you DO NOT have to go to court and the case will likely be dismissed.

BUT…

There is a catch. If the plaintiff can convince the court that they had “good cause” to miss the 120-day deadline, then a judge may extend the service period to accommodate the plaintiff’s situation. In that case, the plaintiff would have more time to serve you with the process. However, if you are never served with the process, you never have to go to court. Continue reading

Tips to Know if a Process Server is Legitimate

Once your civil case is filed, your next step is to find a legitimate process server to serve the defendants and witnesses in your case. But how can you tell a reputable server from a scammer? Ask yourself the following questions to make sure you’re choosing a credible server who won’t derail your case:

Are They Certified?

Process servers working in Tampa Bay must be certified by Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit. Certification involves training, passing an examination, posting a surety bond, and more. If the process server you are considering cannot prove certification, then no process that they serve will be considered valid by a Florida court. Continue reading

Can Process Servers Wear Body Cameras?

In a world where it seems like violent crime is on the rise, many people have begun protecting themselves by recording video and audio of their surroundings at all times. Law enforcement officers often wear body cameras while on the job to keep an accurate and indisputable record of their actions and the actions of those around them. But can process servers also legally use body cameras while working?

Advantages of Body Cameras

It’s no secret that the serving process can be a dangerous job, so anything a process server can do to make their job safer is great. Wearing a body camera while the serving process has two distinct advantages – it provides indisputable evidence that the process was served to the correct person on the date and time the server indicates, and it can also deter violent or aggressive behavior by a process recipient. This means body cameras can protect a process server’s reputation and prevent physical harm. Continue reading

How to Know if a Process Server is Authentic

Why would someone pretend to be a process server? To scam you out of your hard-earned cash! Scammers have seeped into literally every aspect of our lives these days, and the process serving industry is no exception. We frequently get calls from people who trusted a cut-rate server with their case’s process, only to have them disappear with the money and the paperwork, never serving it as promised. Not that it would matter if they did, because uncertified process servers are not allowed in Hillsborough County at all. Any process an uncertified process server delivers is not valid and can be grounds for dismissal of an entire case.

Wondering how you can tell if a process server is legit? Use our guide below to vet candidates, and if any don’t check all the boxes, make it a hard pass. Continue reading

When Do I Need a Process Server?

A process server is a person who delivers documents to a specific recipient, typically legal documents. If you’ve initiated any type of court filing in Tampa Bay, you may be wondering if you should use a process server to deliver the related documents. In almost all cases, the answer is yes.

Process servers can be helpful in virtually any type of legal case. Process servers ensure there is no question about whether a defendant or witness has been made aware of the upcoming case.

Process servers can also help in non-legal matters, such as helping locate a missing person or retrieving documents.

Here are a few examples of different legal issues that can benefit from using a process server: Continue reading

Everything You Need To Know About Skip Tracing

What is a Skip Trace?

A skip trace is the process of finding a person using various resources, including public records, directories, social media, background information, and more.

Who Can Skip Tracing Find?

A skip trace can be used to locate literally anyone. While skip traces are common in legal situations, they have many other valid uses as well. Continue reading

What is a Process Server Allowed to Do?

Filing a complaint is usually the first step in starting a lawsuit. This complaint outlines your allegations against another party and must be officially served on them so they can answer back with their side of the story. All of this happens before anyone appears in an actual courtroom.

Serving legal documents such as these requires hiring a certified process server who knows the rules about delivering, or serving, crucial case documents.

What is a Process Server?

A process server is a person who delivers legal documents to another person, often through personal delivery or by post. The process server must try to hand the document to the recipient in person, and if they are not available after several attempts, then the process server may request permission to serve the person by alternative means. Continue reading

Is it Legal to Serve Process Through Social Media?

Social media is nothing if not controversial. Privacy concerns, misinformation campaigns, political violence…what happened to the good old days of just sharing what you ate for dinner? As social media becomes more entrenched in our daily lives, how will it affect the industries and jobs that keep our country running?

Process serving has always required in-person delivery for almost all cases. Using digital platforms, such as social media, to serve process has been frowned upon for many reasons: Continue reading

Advantages of Hiring Process Servers in Foreclosure Cases

Foreclosure cases can be very difficult for everyone involved. At the base level, you have an individual or family that is losing their home or business. Law enforcement has the ugly job of making sure the residents leave as directed by a court. The court system must make sure that the foreclosure is being done within the confines of the law in the state of Florida. And finally, banks and financing companies must spend time and money repairing the property so it can be sold to another buyer.

Anything you can do to make the foreclosure process easier is a good idea, and using a reputable process server to handle the delivery of foreclosure paperwork is a great way to do so.  Continue reading