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).
Follow through on all leads that you discover as a result of your search.
If during your search for the other party, you locate his/her address, and then you must have him/her served by personal service as provided for in Chapter 48 of the Florida Statutes. It will then be unnecessary to file the Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry.
Court's Minimum Requirements
You must inquire about the whereabouts of the Respondent from the following sources and attach proof of your findings to your "Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry" form.
United States Post Office
- Go to www.usps.com
- Fill out the form "Process Server or Boxholder Requests"
- Mail the form to the following address:
USPS FOIA Requester Service Center-Field
St. Louis General Law Service Center
1720 Market Street, Room 2400
St. Louis, MO 63155-9948
Phone: (314) 345-5894 | Fax: 650-578-4956
- Go to www.switchboard.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.
Department of Motor Vehicles
- Go to www.flhsmv.gov
- Fill out the form Driver License Record Request (90511 pdf)
- Submit to DMV to receive information. Fees are required at time of request.
Department of Corrections Inmate Search Databases
- Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Inmate Search
- Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Search
- Florida Department of Corrections Inmate Search
- Print out search results from each website
Letters to the Armed Forces of the U.S.
Certificate of Military Service & Military Verification of Service
- Part I - Certificate of Military Service
- Go to FloridaCourts.org
- Fill out the forms 12.912(a) or (b) as applicable
- Print and follow instructions on the form
- Part II - Military Verification of Service
- Go to Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Website
- Click on Single Record Request
- Enter Respondent information
- Print status report on active duty status
IMPORTANT: 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 met the above requirements. Failure to complete the form properly or attach proof of documentation for minimum requirements may result in delays, denial of your affidavit of diligent search, republishing or denial of your case.
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.
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 or from an attorney of your choosing.