Florida Association of Professional Process Servers

The Florida Association of Professional Process Servers

Legislative Monitoring and Legislation History

Since the early 80’s, FAPPS has been committed to constantly monitoring all legislation that may have an impact on service of process in the state of Florida. FAPPS dedicated members have worked to block legislation that may be harmful to litigants as well as introduce and support legislation that has streamlined the way service of process is executed.

There has been a lot of activity within the legislature as it pertains to service of process that will greatly affect the entire industry. With the support and assistance of our lobbyist, FAPPS continues to work with legislatures on both sides of the aisle to insure that the statutes are updated, corrected, amended, or removed. This insures due process is maintained and litigation can move forward without unnecessary delays and/or inflated costs, due to liberal interpretation of the current statutory authority and failure by parties to adhere to case law that mandates the statutes must be strictly construed. FAPPS also continues to help protect the process service professionals and the industry, both member and non-members, from being denied the ability to handle this critical part of our judicial system.

In this most recent legislative session (2018), FAPPS continues to monitor the legislative process closely and pursue our currently filed bill.

SB904: FAPPS has introduced legislation that has been added to the Lis Pendens bill that continues to clean up and update language in Chapter 48.

SB1104: This bill was filed on behalf of the Florida Bankers Association and restructures how service of process on financial institutions (Banks & Credit Unions) shall be made while removing the provisions that instruct service in accordance with FS 48, 49, 605 & 607.

HB 651 & SB992: This bill was filed on behalf of the Florida Chief Financial Officer’s office and will create a new avenue on how the CFO is served, when being served as the agent on behalf of Insurance Companies and will open the door to electronic service of process in the near future.

HB1231 & SB1432: This is FAPPS bill where we are seeking to expand on the ability to effect substitute service when the only address discoverable is a Virtual office or Executive Suite. The official definition of a virtual office as defined by the statute is the following.

The term "virtual office" means an office that provides communications services, such as telephone or facsimile services, and address services without providing dedicated office space, and where all communications are routed through a common receptionist. The term "executive office or mini suite" means an office that provides communications services, such as telephone and facsimile services, a dedicated office space, and other supportive services, and where all communications are routed through a common receptionist.

Here is the full text of the most recent bills that have passed over the past few years.

Legislative Initiatives accomplished by FAPPS

Florida HB627: Effective July 1, 2014

Civil penalty for noncompliance with 48.031 1(b) – service upon an individual at a place of employment, substitute service upon an individual doings business as a sole proprietor, revision to a provision related to service on a corporation.

Service on a Limited Liability Company: Effective January 1, 2014 We proposed and passed an amendment to Chapter 48 to provide methods of service upon an LLC.

Florida House Bill 59: Effective July 1, 2011

FAPPS proposed and passed a bill that grants authorized process servers unannounced access to gated communities, condominiums, etc.; authorized person attempting to serve process on registered agent of corporation to serve process, in specified circumstances, on any employee of registered agent during first attempt at service even if the registered agent is temporarily absent from his or her office; directs process server to place required information on first page of at least one of processes served; requires process server to list all initial pleadings delivered & served along with process on return-of-service form; requires person issuing process to file return-of-service form with court; revises the number of copies of process that must be served on statutory agents for certain persons; authorizes sheriff to charge fee for processing writ of execution; authorizes person to provide sheriff with electronic copy of service of process;

Florida Senate Bill 412: July 1, 2009

FAPPS proposed and worked with the Florida Sheriff’s Association to pass a bill that increased the fee the sheriff charges to $40. Exempts the state and its agencies from increased fees or additional fees required for alias and pluries. Provides that criminal witness subpoenas and criminal summons may be served by a special process server appointed by the local sheriff or by a certified process server.

Senate Bill 222: Effective July 1, 2004

FAPPS proposed and passed a bill that allowed posting of a criminal witness subpoena under specified conditions; permitted service upon a Private Mailbox, provides alternative methods of service on a corporation; requires servers of process to provide certain information on the return of service; revises the requirement that certified process servers provide certain information on the face of the process served.

Senate Bill 484: Effective October 1, 1988

FACPS (the predecessor of FAPPS) Proposed and passed an amendment to Chapter 48 that defined private process servers under two criteria. The ability to be licensed through appointment by the sheriff of your county, or certified by the Chief Judge of your Judicial Circuit without a Motion and Order.

In addition, FAPPS has:

  • - Worked to ensure Process Servers and Private Investigators retained the ability to access motor vehicle information.
  • - Worked in counties around the state to encourage institution of court appointed process server programs where none existed.
  • - Worked to assist with the creation of the Court Order Governing Certified Process Servers – 9th Judicial Circuit