Certified Process Servers

Program Description

Process Servers in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit are certified by the Chief Judge and the program is administered by the Administrative Office of the Court. Certified Process Servers are permitted to serve initial non-enforceable civil process within the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach County). Civil process provides notice to defendants that a judicial action or proceeding has been initiated. Names of current certified process servers are included in an approved list maintained by the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. Certified Process Servers are required to exercise due diligence while effecting service and to comply with related rules, statutes, and administrative orders. Certified process servers are not employees of the court and the Administrative Office of the Court makes no representations or promises as to their abilities or the success in securing business.

pdf Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Certified Process Servers

Certification Requirements:

Pursuant to Florida Statute 48.29(3), all persons seeking to be added to the 15th Circuit's certified process server list must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have no mental or legal disability
  • Be a permanent resident of the State of Florida
  • File the applicable application/pay applicable fees
  • Submit to a background investigation, which shall include the right to obtain and review the criminal record of the applicant. Applicant will complete this through FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)
  • Obtain and file with the 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
  • After approval, applicant must execute a $5,000 surety bond with a company authorized to do business in Florida with the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit named as the insured and keep the bond current and in good standing
  • Attend required trainings and take and pass a written examination through FAPPS
  • Attend a swearing in ceremony (January).

Application Directions:

See Administrative Order No. 2.704-12/11 (PDF).

  1. New Applicants: New Applications are accepted from October 1 through October 31 of each year each year. New Applicants must:
    • Submit a Completed Application (Download New Application )
    • Pay a $250.00 Application Fee in the form of a cashier's check or money order (paid to the Board of County Commissioners)
    • Pay a $24.00 FDLE Background Check Fee (paid directly by applicant to FDLE), which shall include the right to obtain and review the criminal record of the applicant.
    • Attend 16 hour training course approved by Court Administration and pass the corresponding written examination through FAPPS. The cost of which, is $180 paid directly to FAPPS. Information on the training courses currently approved by Court Administration is outlined in the "Training Courses" section, below.
    • Obtain and file with the 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
    • After approval, applicant must record a $5,000 bond with the Clerk and Comptroller's Office - Recording Department and provide a copy of the recorded bond to the Administrative Office of the Court
    • Attend a swearing in ceremony (January)
  2. Reciprocal Applicants from Dade County: Process Servers who are certified by the Eleventh Judicial circuit will be extended reciprocity by the Fifteenth Judicial circuit upon satisfaction of the below requirements. Applications for reciprocity are accepted from October 1 through October 31 of each year.
    • Submit a Completed Application (Download Reciprocal Application )
    • Pay a $250.00 Application Fee in the form of a cashier's check or money order (paid to the Board of County Commissioners)
    • Pay a $24.00 FDLE Background Check Fee (paid directly by applicant to FDLE), which shall include the right to obtain and review the criminal record of the applicant.
    • Tender a letter or a certificate of good standing from the Administrative Office of the Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
    • Submit proof of completed training through the Eleventh Circuit within the last 2 years.
    • Obtain and file with the 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
    • After approval, applicant must execute and record a $5,000 bond with the Clerk and Comptroller's Office - Recording Department and provide a copy of the recorded bond to the Administrative Office of the Court
    • Attend a swearing in ceremony (January)
  3. Renewal Applicants: Renewals are accepted through the month of October each year. Current Certified Process Servers must renew annually to remain on the list of Certified Process Servers maintained by the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. Failure to complete a renewal form, to maintain a current bond, and to tender the required renewal fee may result in your name being removed from the list. Renewal applicants must:
    1. Submit a completed Renewal Application (Download Renewal Application )
    2. Pay a $200.00 Renewal Fee in the form of a cashier's check or money order (paid to the Board of County Commissioners)
    3. Pay a $24.00 FDLE Background Check Fee (paid directly by applicant to FDLE), which shall include the right to obtain and review the criminal record of the applicant
    4. Obtain and file with the 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
    5. Attend a 4 hour continuing education course approved by Court Administration. Information on the continuing education courses currently approved by Court Administration is outlined in the "Training Courses" section, below. The cost of which, is $75
    6. Provide an original bond/continuation certificate OR a certified recorded copy of continuation bond to Administrative Office of Court

Training Courses:

2020 Court Approved Training Courses:

16 Hour Process Server Training Courses (for new applicants):

Court Administration has approved an online training course provided by the Florida Association of Professional Process Servers. The course runs 16 hours over 2 days and costs $180, to be paid directly to FAPPS. The required written exam will be offered as part of the course.

The course is being offered either on September 14-15, 2020, October 26-27, 2020, or November 9-10, 2020. The applicant can select which date they prefer to take the course. For more information and to register for a course, please visit the FAPPS Process Server Education website.

4 Hour Continuing Education Courses (for renewals):

Court Administration has approved a 4 hour online continuing education course provided by the Florida Association of Professional Process Servers. The course costs $75 and is being offered on multiple dates in September, October, and November. For more information and to register for a course, please visit the FAPPS Process Server Education website.

How to Obtain a Bond:

We cannot select the bond company for you. Below are the names of insurance companies which have underwritten bonds in the past:

  1. Western Surety Company
  2. Great American Insurance Company
  3. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company
  4. International Fidelity Insurance Company
  5. American Contractors Indemnity Company
  6. RLI Insurance Company

Relevant Orders, Rules and Statutes

Administrative Orders: All Certified Process Servers are required to read and abide by the Administrative Orders which govern process servers (found in Series 2):

pdf 2.701 - Certified Process Servers
pdf 2.702 - Return of Service Form
pdf 2.703 - Recovery of Certified Process Server Costs
pdf 2.704 - Extension of Reciprocity to Certified Process Server of the Eleventh Judicial Court
pdf 2.705 - Renewal of Process Server Certification
pdf 2.706 - Process Server Grievance Review Committee
pdf 2.707 - Procedural Guidelines for Certified Civil Process Server Grievance Review Committee
pdf 2.708 - Procedures for Certified Civil Process Servers with Sanctions or Penalties Imposed in Other Jurisdictions
pdf 2.709 - Process Servers Section 48.49 Guidelines

Related Laws

All Certified Process Servers are responsible for understanding and complying with the statutes and rules of court which pertain to service of process.

Chapter 48, Florida Statutes, in particular Sections 48.25-48.31, the "Florida Certified Process Servers Act"; Florida Rules of Civil Procedures 1.070 and 1.808; and Florida Small Claims Rule 7.070.

Related Forms

pdf Notice of Attempted Service - English
pdf Notice of Attempted Service- Spanish
pdf Notice of Attempted Service - Creole
word Return of Service
word Return of Non Service
pdf Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "service" mean as it relates to process servers?
"Service" is the official delivery of legal papers on parties, witnesses or other people involved in a case pursuant to and in compliance with Florida Statutes.
Why do legal papers need to be officially served?
Official service of a summons and a copy of your complaint or petition are necessary to start a legal action by giving the other side formal notice that there is a lawsuit filed against them. After serving the other parties in your civil case, the process server files a return of service form with the Court so that the judge will know service has been performed according to the law. Civil process servers can also serve subpoenas (orders to appear in court or produce documents) and other legal notices and may be called upon to testify in Court if there is a question about proper service. All parties requesting service of process should be aware of the proper and legal service required in the legal proceeding.
Who do I contact to serve my legal papers?
In the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach County), either a deputy sheriff or a certified process server may serve initial non-enforceable process.
How do I have legal papers served on a person or business outside of Palm Beach County?
Process servers are certified differently by each county. Please check with the Sheriff's Office in the county in which the person is located to inquire about how to effectuate service of process in that county.

The Administrative Office of the Court maintains an approved list of Certified Civil Process Servers approved by the Chief Judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida, Palm Beach County: see link to current Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Certified Process Servers at the top of this page.

The Palm Beach County's Sheriff Office Civil Process Unit carries out the Sheriff's statutory responsibility for the service of process and execution of writs. For more information on the Civil Process Unit, go to www.pbso.org .

Phone
(561) 355-1952
Room
5.2500