48.290 Certification of process servers

48.29 Certification of process servers.—

(1) The circuit court administrator and the clerk of the court in each county in the circuit shall maintain the list of process servers approved by the chief judge of the circuit. Such list may, from time to time, be amended or modified to add or delete a person’s name in accordance with the provisions of this section or s. 48.31.
(2) A person seeking the addition of his or her name to the approved list in any circuit shall submit an application to the chief judge of the circuit or to the chief judge’s designee on a form prescribed by the court. A reasonable fee for processing the application may be charged.
(3) A person applying to become a certified process server shall:
(a) Be at least 18 years of age;
(b) Have no mental or legal disability;
(c) Be a permanent resident of the state;
(d) Submit to a background investigation, which shall include the right to obtain and review the criminal record of the applicant;
(e) Obtain and file with his or her application a certificate of good conduct, which specifies there is no pending criminal case against the applicant and that there is no record of any felony conviction, nor a record of a conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or dishonesty, with respect to the applicant within the past 5 years;
(f) If prescribed by the chief judge of the circuit, submit to an examination testing his or her knowledge of the laws and rules regarding the service of process. The content of the examination and the passing grade thereon, and the frequency and location at which such examination shall be offered shall be prescribed by the chief judge of the circuit. The examination, if any, shall be offered at least once annually;
(g) Execute a bond in the amount of $5,000 with a surety company authorized to do business in this state for the benefit of any person wrongfully injured by any malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, or incompetence of the applicant, in connection with his or her duties as a process server. Such bond shall be renewable annually; and
(h) Take an oath of office that he or she will honestly, diligently, and faithfully exercise the duties of a certified process server.
(4) The chief judge of the circuit may, from time to time by administrative order, prescribe additional rules and requirements regarding the eligibility of a person to become a certified process server or to have his or her name maintained on the list of certified process servers.
(5)(a) An applicant who completes the requirements set forth in this section and whose name the chief judge by order enters on the list of certified process servers shall be designated as a certified process server.
(b) Each certified process server shall be issued an identification card bearing his or her identification number, printed name, signature and photograph, the seal of the circuit court, and an expiration date. Each identification card shall be renewable annually upon proof of good standing and current bond.
(6) A certified process server shall place the information required in s. 48.031(5) on the first page of at least one of the processes served. Return of service shall be made by a certified process server on a form which has been reviewed and approved by the court.
(7)(a) A person may qualify as a certified process server and have his or her name entered on the list in more than one circuit.
(b) A process server whose name is on a list of certified process servers in more than one circuit may serve process on a person found in any such circuits.
(c) A certified process server may serve foreign process in any circuit in which his or her name has been entered on the list of certified process servers for that circuit.
(8) A certified process server may charge a fee for his or her services.

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