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Is Email Ever an Accepted Method of Service?

If you’ve been having trouble getting papers served in your case, you might be wondering about potential alternatives. The bottom line is that you aren’t able to serve papers to anyone in a method other than in person by an approved server without a judge’s express approval and permission. 

That said, email could be an accepted method of service and much more frequently as the pandemic progresses. Here’s what you need to know.

The email must be proven to belong to the individual.

This can be tricky. Anyone can create a Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail account with false information, and no one would be able to prove or disprove it, at least not easily. For email to be a valid form of service, you have to be able to prove to the judge that the email account definitely belongs to the intended recipient and that the email is still currently in use. That can be hard, if not impossible.

The email still has to be sent by a process server.

Even in cases where judges have allowed service by email, it still has to be sent by a process server. This is a recommendation that most judges follow to try to eliminate fraud.

You still have to have proof of receipt.

The email that is sent to the intended party must offer the ability to receive proof that the email was opened. This is not a capability that all email addresses or apps have, so you might not be able to get that proof easily.

Need help getting papers served in your area? Contact our Florida process servers today.

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