You are here: Court Programs > Certified Process Servers > FAQs

FAQs

QUESTIONS ARE DIVIDED INTO CATEGORIES FOR CITIZENS, NEW PROCESS SERVERS AND RENEWALS

CITIZENS

What does “service” mean as it relates to process servers?
“Service” is the official delivery of legal papers on parties, witness or other people involved in a case.


Why do legal papers need to be officially served?

Official service of a summons and a copy of your complaint or petition is necessary to start a legal action by giving the other side formal notice there is a lawsuit against them. Otherwise, your case cannot proceed through the court system. After serving the other parties in your civil case, the process server files a return of service form with the Court so that the judge will know service has been performed according to the law. Civil process servers also serve subpoenas (orders to appear in court or produce documents) and other legal notices and may be called upon to testify in Court if there is a question about proper service.


Who do I contact to serve my legal papers?

Contact the Clerk of the Court at the George Edgecomb Courthouse, Room 530 or click on Community Partners for a list of Certified Civil Process Servers approved by the Chief Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida.


Does the Sheriff also serve legal papers?

Yes. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office also has a Civil Process Bureau which serves legal papers at a cost. This program is not intended to compete with the Sheriff’s program, but rather assist with serving legal papers in the high number of civil cases filed in Hillsborough County.


How do I have legal papers served on a person or business outside of Hillsborough County?

You may contact the Sheriff’s Office in the county and state where the person or the business can be served. The Clerk’s Office in that county may also be able to assist you.


What laws govern Certified Process Servers?
Chapter 48, Florida Statutes, in particular, Sections 48.25-48.31, “the Florida Certified Process Servers Act.” See also Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.070 and 1.080; Florida Small Claims Rule 7.070 and Administrative Order S-2012-032
.

NEW PROCESS SERVERS


Where is the course offered in this circuit for certified process servers?
The Certified Process Server course is offered once a year and is announced by Hillsborough County Community College, Ybor Campus. (HCC) Applicants must receive a test score of 75 or higher on an examination administered by HCC, which covers chapter 48 and 83.22 of the Florida Statutes and Rules 1.070 and 1.410 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.


What are the procedures for becoming a Certified Process Server in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit?

Click here to review the procedures and requirements.

ANNUAL RENEWALS

What are the requirements for renewal of a Process Server License?

1.   Payment of the $60.00, non-refundable renewal fee, paid at the Hillsborough Clerk’s Office, Circuit Civil Division, Office 530. Please retain a validated receipt for payment. The Clerk’s Office accepts checks (no counter checks) or money orders payable to Clerk of the Circuit Court. No payments are accepted by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

  
2.    Bring your non-refundable renewal receipt to Room 605G.

3.    Complete an Application Update form and include a current e-mail address.

4.    Complete a criminal Background Check Request form.  (Please note, 10 - 20 minutes processing time).
 
5.    If your insurance has expired at the time of renewal, an original Certificate of Insurance is required as proof of general liability insurance in the amount of $100,000/300,000. The Process Server shall be a named insured under the insurance policy and the Administrative Office of the Courts, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, shall be named as Certificate Holder. The Policy must contain a provision that the Certificate Holder shall be given a thirty (30) day notification of any cancellation, expiration or termination.

Please have your insurance company send an original Certificate of Insurance to:

       Administrative Office of the Courts
      Process Server Program
      Attention: Tonya S. Muhammad
      800 E. Twiggs Street, Room 605G
      Tampa, FL 33602



Due to budget cut backs, Process Server licenses may only be renewed each Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Court Administrator’s Office, Room 605.