Service of Process Requirements when Bank knows you reside out of Florida
Service of Process out of State
Fla. Stat. ?48.194 which is titled "Personal service outside state" which provides (1) "Except as otherwise provided herein, service of process on persons outside of this state shall be made in the same manner as service within this state by any officer authorized to serve process in the state where the person is served. No order of court is required. An affidavit of the officer shall be filed, stating the time, manner, and place of service. The court may consider the affidavit, or any other competent evidence, in determining whether service has been properly made. Service of process on persons outside the United States may be required to conform to the provisions of The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters.
Service by Publication and Florida Case Law Requirements
In addition, Florida courts have recognized that there must be strict compliance with the requirements of service of process by publication. Tindal v. Varner, 667 So.2d 890 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1996). A Plaintiff seeking service by publication must prove that it made "an honest and conscientious effort, reasonably appropriate to the circumstances, to acquire the information necessary to fully comply with the controlling statutes." Godsell v. United Guaranty Residential Insurance, 923 So.2d 1209 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006), Citing Dor Cha, Inc. v. Hollingsworth, 876 So.2d 678, 680 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004). In Godsell, the Defendant was a permanent resident of Canada, but her address reflected in the mortgage was a property located in Florida. The Plaintiff attempted to serve the Defendant at his Florida address and then resorted to constructive service by publication even though the Plaintiff was put on notice that the Defendant lived in Canada. As a result, the Court held that Plaintiff did not meet the minimum requirements of the "diligent search and inquiry" and that Service by Publication was void and reversed judgment for the Bank. Godsell, 923 So.2d at 1215.
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