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  • Writer's pictureSteve Navarrete

CHANGES THAT ARE EXPECTED IN PROCESS SERVICE

I believe the process service industry may undergo various changes in the coming years due to technological advancements and evolving legal requirements.


The law is often slow to change, but it does change over time in response to various factors such as social, economic, and technological developments, and changes in public attitudes and values, to name a few. As society evolves, so do the laws that govern them. The legal requirements for serving process may change over time, and it could affect how process servers operate or if they will even be necessary. As the law and trends in the legal world catch up to modern society, there will no doubt be changes in process service as well. As society evolves and adopts more technology, I wouldn't be surprised if we begin seeing laws permitting electronic service of process in certain instances. Electronic service of process will likely streamline and expedite process service, and it should make it more cost-effective for those in need of the service and those entities who are frequently served. However, if process servers are cut out of the equation in the name of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and if petitioners can serve their own process electronically, it will have a devastating effect on the process service industry.


Changes in privacy laws may impact how process servers collect and handle personal information related to the parties being served. Florida Chapter 119 already protects how certain information is maintained by state agencies and what is exempt from public disclosure and is deemed confidential, such as social security numbers, and medical and financial information. I don't foresee changes in privacy laws having a significant impact on process service but it is definitely something to keep an eye on.


I certainly feel there should be a greater emphasis on professionalism in the future. There are many states and several counties within the state of Florida that do not have a court-certified process server program. It is my personal belief that counties that do not have such programs, should at least have reciprocity with neighboring counties that do have certified process server programs and should at least require process service with their county to only be served by their local sheriff's office or by certified process servers from other counties. Hopefully, there will be a growing emphasis on professionalism within the process service industry, including certification and training programs, to ensure that process servers adhere to high ethical and quality standards


The COVID-19 pandemic has already led to changes in how process servers operate, such as utilizing remote and contactless services. These changes may continue as the pandemic situation evolves.


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