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The Florida Senate

2007 Florida Statutes

Section 409.257, Florida Statutes 2007

409.257  Service of process.--

(1)  The service of original process and orders in any paternity or child support action or proceeding filed by the department shall be made in accordance with chapter 48. The sheriff shall be reimbursed at the prevailing rate of federal financial participation for service of process and orders as allowed by law. The sheriff shall bill the department monthly as provided for in s. 30.51(2).

(2)  Process and orders may be served or executed by authorized agents of the department at the department's discretion if the agent of the department does not take any action against personal property, real property, or persons.

(3)  Service of process by publication under chapter 49 may be made on the legal father in any action or proceeding to determine paternity, which may result in termination of the legal father's parental rights, in which another man is alleged to be the biological father. Before service of process by publication may be made, the petitioner shall conduct a diligent search and inquiry to locate the legal father. A diligent search must include the inquiries required by s. 63.088(5). The petitioner shall execute an affidavit of diligent search and file it with the court confirming completion of each aspect of the diligent search enumerated in s. 63.088(5) and specifying the results. If the legal father cannot be located, he shall be served with process by publication in the manner provided in chapter 49. The notice shall be published in the county where the legal father was last known to have resided. The clerk of the circuit court shall mail a copy of the notice to the legal father at his last known address.

(4)  Notices and other intermediate process, except witness subpoenas, shall be served by the department as provided for in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

(5)  Witness subpoenas shall be served by the department by United States mail as provided for in s. 48.031(3).

History.--s. 2, ch. 84-141; s. 9, ch. 87-405; s. 8, ch. 89-183; s. 8, ch. 2004-273; s. 15, ch. 2004-334; s. 7, ch. 2007-85.