What You Need to Know About Service of Process When Self-Representing in Court
There are some instances in which you might have a legal matter that you decide to handle yourself without an attorney. Small claims lawsuits, simple divorce proceedings, and other small matters do not necessarily require the services of an attorney. However, when you self-represent in court, you still have to follow the same rules, laws, and procedures as the attorneys in larger cases. Here is what you need to know.
Service of Process
The Constitution gives every citizen the right to due process in the legal system, and service of process is part of that obligation. If you file a case against another party or parties, you have to notify them individually of the filing so that they can respond accordingly. Serving legal papers to the other parties in the case fulfills due process because it notifies them of the case so that they can take action to defend themselves.
Who Can Serve Papers?
In the state of Florida, only the local sheriff, their deputies, or a registered private process server can serve legal papers. This is done to ensure that a third uninterested party is able to verify that service of process actually took place.
What Happens Without Service?
If you do not provide service of process to the other parties in your legal case, your case will not be able to move forward. If you try to have the papers served and the person you hired was not registered with the local courts as a process server, your case could be delayed or dismissed entirely. In some cases, alternative service such as a newspaper publication can be arranged, but only if regular methods of service have failed.
If you have a small case that you are handling without an attorney, don’t make the mistake of delaying or forgoing service of process. Contact us today for more information or to get started.