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As in any legal environment verification and proof is essential at each step of the operation in order to provide protection for all parties involved. In the case of service of process there is a ‘return-of-service’ form that needs to be completed by the serving party in order to provide evidence that the process was in fact served. This form includes such information as:a

  • Date and time of service
  • How it was served
  • The name of the person served
  • The position or title of the person served, if applicable
  • A list of all documents served
  • The signature of the person who actually serves the process

If facts are found to be incorrect on the return-of-service form, or if the signature has been omitted, then the form is considered invalid. It can, however, be amended at a later date to satisfy legal requirements. Once the corrections have been made or the signature has been added, the document will be considered to have the full weight and effect as if it were correct from the outset.

48.21 Return of execution of process.—

(1) Each person who effects service of process shall note on a return-of-service form attached thereto the date and time when it comes to hand, the date and time when it is served, the manner of service, the name of the person on whom it was served, and, if the person is served in a representative capacity, the position occupied by the person. The return-of-service form must list all pleadings and documents served and be signed by the person who effects the service of process. However, a person who is authorized under this chapter to serve process and who effects such service of process may sign the return-of-service form using an electronic signature.

(2) A failure to state the facts or to include the signature required by subsection (1) invalidates the service, but the return is amendable to state the facts or to include the signature at any time on application to the court from which the process issued. On amendment, service is as effective as if the return had originally stated the omitted facts or included the signature. A failure to state all the facts in or to include the signature on the return shall subject the person effecting service to a fine not exceeding $10, in the court’s discretion.

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