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Another situation that may come up infrequently but is included for the sake of completeness is the condition where a service of process issued by a court other than the state of Florida is to be served.

Service of a foreign process is not much different than a run-of-the-mill service: While service of process is still made by the sheriff’s department, in this case, the sheriff is not permitted to take action against people or property.

One difference between the provisions of this statute and others is that normally if a sheriff is tasked with service of process and they willfully refuse to do so they will be guilty of a misdemeanor in the first degree; if a sheriff refused to service a foreign process that liability does not apply.

As with the service of process under other conditions, the sheriff’s department is allowed to charge normal and reasonable fees for service of foreign process; they may also levy additional charges to cover excess costs incurred with such a service.

48.195 Service of foreign process.—

(1) The service of process issued by a court of a state other than Florida may be made by the sheriffs of this state in the same manner as service of process issued by Florida courts. The provisions of this section shall not be interpreted to permit a sheriff to take any action against personal property, real property, or persons.

(2) An officer serving such a foreign process shall be deemed as acting in the performance of his or her duties for the purposes of ss. 30.01, 30.02, 843.01, and 843.02, but shall not be held liable as provided in s. 839.19 for failure to execute any process delivered to him or her for service.

(3) The sheriffs shall be entitled to charge fees for the service of foreign process, and the fees shall be the same as fees for the service of comparable process for the Florida courts. When the service of the foreign process requires duties to be performed in excess of those required by Florida courts, the sheriff may perform the additional duties and may collect reasonable additional compensation for the additional duties performed.

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