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In new or re-opened Family cases, the Petitioner must comply with Family Law Rule 12.070 by serving initial process on the Respondent, including a summons, a Process Service Memorandum, and a copy of the Petition.
If the Petitioner does not know the Respondent’s address in order to serve process as detailed above, the Petitioner may constructively serve the Respondent in the following manner.
Complete an "Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry" form and file it with the Clerk of Court in Palm Beach County. The Affidavit must substantially follow the form of Florida Family Law Form 12.913 (b) or (c). You must inquire about the whereabouts of the Respondent from all sources and attach proof of your findings from all searches to your "Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry" form. Please see minimum requirements list attached.
If during your search you find an address, then you must serve the Respondent by personal service at that address as provided for in Chapter 48 of the Florida Statutes. It will then be unnecessary to file the Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry.
You are required to attach to your “Affidavit of Diligent Search Form” proof of your search efforts such as payment receipts, printed search results, letters from companies/organizations/businesses and/or other proof of your attempts to locate information on the other party.
Do NOT submit “Notice of Action” for Publication if you have not attached proof of search from the minimum required sources. Failure to complete the form properly or attach proof of search from the minimum required sources may result in delays, denial of your affidavit of diligent search, republishing or denial of your case.
Once you have met minimum requirements of Affidavit of Diligent Search, Complete a “Notice of Action” and file it with the Clerk of Court in Palm Beach County. The Notice of Action should follow the form of either Florida Family Law Form 12.913(a)(1) or Florida Family Law Form 12.913(a)(2), whichever is appropriate.
The Notice of Action must be published in some newspaper that is published in Palm Beach County, in accordance with § 49.10, Florida Statutes.
You must inquire about the whereabouts of the Respondent from all of the below sources. From each Agency you will receive the results of your inquiry. When completing the various searches online, you must print the results of each search. A copy of the findings from each Agency and from the online searches must be attached to your “Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry” form. The Court is unable to proceed with this action if you do not provide the court with the results from each of the below searches.
United States Post Office
- Go to USPS.com
- Fill out the form “Process Server or Boxholder Requests” found at (USPS FOIA Reading Room)
- Mail the form to the following address:
USPS FOIA REQUESTER SERVICE CENTER-FIELD
ST. LOUIS GENERAL LAW SERVICE CENTER
1720 MARKET STREET RM 2400 ST LOUIS, MO 63155-9948
Phone: (314) 345-5894 Fax: 650-578-4956
- Once you have received the results from the Post Office, attach the stamped letter to your “Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry” form.
- Go to Whitepages.com
- Type in the name and the last known city, state and zip of the person you are looking for.
- A list will appear and you can select from it.
- Once you select a name, the most recent information will be provided to you.
- Fees are required at time of request.
- Attach the printed results to your “Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry” form.
Department of Motor Vehicle
- Go to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- Fill out the form Driver License Record Request (90511 pdf)
- Submit to DMV to receive information. Fees are required at time of request.
- Once you have received the results from the DMV, attach the stamped letter to your “Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry” form.
Department of Corrections Inmate Search Databases
- Go to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Search
- Go to Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Search
- Go to Florida Department of Corrections Inmate Search
- Print out search results from each website and attach to your “Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry” form.
Letters to the Armed Forces of the U.S.
Part I - Certificate of Military Service
- Go to FLCourts.org
- Fill out the forms 12.912(a) or (b) as applicable
- Print and follow instructions on the form
- Attach the completed form to your “Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry” form.
Part II - Military Verification of Service
- Go to SCRA website
- Click on Single Record Request
- Enter Respondent information
- Print status report on active duty status
Please be advised that the Court and the Clerk’s Offices do not prepare legal forms and/or give legal advice. It is the responsibility of the parties to prepare all of the required documents and file with the Clerk of Court. Assistance for this process may be obtained at the Self-Help Centers, located at each County Courthouse, by referencing the appropriate Self-Service Packet available at the Clerk’s office.