When it comes to service of process the Florida statues are pretty all-encompassing, even addressing such specialized circumstances as process service as applied to the Florida International Commercial Arbitration Act. There are different levels of service with the simplest being service on an individual. In that case, service will be:
- On that person
- A duly appointed agent for that person
- Any person who is authorized by law to accept service for that person
If the party being served is not an individual – not a natural person by the definition of the law – process will then be served on:
- A duly appointed agent for that party
- Any person who is authorized by law to accept service for that party
- If the intended recipient of the service is a corporation, then some officer of that company is authorized to accept. Examples of such an officer would be CEO, president, vice president, director, manager, etc.
- Also legally able to receive service of process, in this case, would be a partner, controlling shareholder or joint venturer, regardless of their location
Now that the ‘who’ has been covered we’ll move on to the ‘how’ of the matter in part two of this entry in the series.
(1) Any process in connection with the commencement of an action before the courts of this state under chapter 684, the Florida International Commercial Arbitration Act, shall be served:
(a) In the case of a natural person, by service upon:
1. That person;
2. Any agent for service of process appointed in, or pursuant to, any applicable agreement or by operation of any law of this state; or
3. Any person authorized by the law of the jurisdiction where process is being served to accept service for that person.
(b) In the case of any person other than a natural person, by service upon:
1. Any agent for service of process appointed in, or pursuant to, any applicable agreement or by operation of any law of this state;
2. Any person authorized by the law of the jurisdiction where process is being served to accept service for that person; or
3. Any person, whether natural or otherwise and wherever located, who by operation of law or internal action is an officer, business agent, director, general partner, or managing agent or director of the person being served; or
4. Any partner, joint venturer, member or controlling shareholder, wherever located, of the person being served, if the person being served does not by law or internal action have any officer, business agent, director, general partner, or managing agent or director.
(2) The process served under subsection (1) shall include a copy of the application to the court together with all attachments thereto and shall be served in the following manner:
(a) In any manner agreed upon, whether service occurs within or without this state;
(b) If service is within this state:
1. In the manner provided in ss. 48.021 and 48.031, or
2. If applicable under their terms, in the manner provided in ss. 48.161, 48.183, 48.23, or chapter 49; or
(c) If service is outside this state:
1. By personal service by any person authorized to serve process in the jurisdiction where service is being made or by any person appointed to do so by any competent court in that jurisdiction;
2. In any other manner prescribed by the laws of the jurisdiction where service is being made for service in an action before a local court of competent jurisdiction;
3. In the manner provided in any applicable treaty to which the United States is a party;
4. In the manner prescribed by order of the court;
5. By any form of mail requiring a signed receipt, to be addressed and dispatched by the clerk of the court to the person being served; or
6. If applicable, in the manner provided in chapter 49.
(3) No order of the court is required for the service of process outside this state. The person serving process shall make proof of service to the court by affidavit or as prescribed by the law of the jurisdiction where process is being served or as prescribed in an order of the court. Such proof shall be made prior to the expiration of the time within which the person served must respond. If service is by mail, the proof of service shall state the date and place of mailing and shall include a receipt signed by the addressee or other evidence of delivery satisfactory to the court.