Diligent Search services are most often provided when an individual must be found in order to continue with legal proceedings. For example, Diligent Searches are often undergone when searching for defendants and witnesses. In the state of Florida, many Diligent Searches are commissioned for family law cases where one parent has been absent for many years and parental rights must be terminated, or in foreclosure cases where the property owner is not actively occupying the property.
What Happens if the Individual cannot be Located?
Whether or not the individual is located, a private investigator must create an Affidavit of Diligent Search, which is submitted to the attorneys. As per Chapter 49 Florida Statutes, if the defendant cannot be found and served, the attorney will serve by publication. This is known as Constructive Service of Process, which can only be undergone once the Affidavit of Diligent Search has been completed. While the attorney is responsible for filing the Constructive Service of Process, which often requires posting in a local legal publication that the defendant is hereby served, the private investigator is solely responsible for the Affidavit of Diligent Search.