Family Law Form 12.910(A) "Summons: Personal Service on an Individual" - Florida

What Is Family Law Form 12.910(A)?

This is a legal form that was released by the Florida Courts - a government authority operating within Florida. As of today, no separate filing guidelines for the form are provided by the issuing department.

Form Details:

  • Released on March 1, 2017;
  • The latest edition provided by the Florida Courts;
  • Easy to use and ready to print;
  • Quick to customize;
  • Compatible with most PDF-viewing applications;
  • Fill out the form in our online filing application.

Download a fillable version of Family Law Form 12.910(A) by clicking the link below or browse more documents and templates provided by the Florida Courts.

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Download Family Law Form 12.910(A) "Summons: Personal Service on an Individual" - Florida

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA FAMILY LAW RULES OF PROCEDURE FORM
12.910(a)
SUMMONS: PERSONAL SERVICE ON AN INDIVIDUAL
(03/17)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used to obtain personal service on the other party when you begin your lawsuit.
Service is required for all documents filed in your case. Service means giving a copy of the required papers
to the other party using the procedure that the law requires. Generally, there are two ways to make
service: (1) personal service, or (2) service by email, mail, or hand delivery. A third method for service is
called constructive service; however, the relief a court may grant may be limited in a case where
constructive service has been used.
The law requires that certain documents be served by personal service if personal service is possible.
Personal service means that a summons (this form) and a copy of the forms you are filing with the court
that must be personally served are delivered by a deputy sheriff or private process server
a. directly to the other party, or
b. to someone over the age of fifteen with whom the other party lives.
Personal service is required for all petitions, including petitions for modification. You cannot serve these
papers on the other party yourself or by mail or hand delivery. Personal service must be made by the
sheriff’s department in the county where the other party lives or works or by a private process server
certified in the county where the other party lives or works.
In many counties, there are private process servers who, for a fee, will personally serve the summons and
other documents that require personal service. You should look under process servers in the yellow pages
of the telephone book for a list of private process servers in your area. You may use a private process
server to serve any paper required to be personally served in a family law case except a petition for
injunction for protection against domestic or repeat violence.
How do I start?
When you begin your lawsuit, you need to complete this form (summons) and a Process Service
Memorandum, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.910(b). The forms should be typed
or printed legibly in black ink. Next, you will need to take these forms and, if you have not already done
so, file your petition with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where you live. You should keep a
copy of the forms for your records. The clerk will sign the summons, and then the summons, a copy of the
papers to be served, and the process service memorandum must be delivered to the appropriate sheriff’s
office or to a private process server for service on the other party.
IF THE OTHER PARTY LIVES IN THE COUNTY WHERE SUIT IS FILED: Ask the clerk in your county about any
local procedures regarding service. Generally, if the other party lives in the county in which you are filing
suit and you want the sheriff’s department to serve the papers, you will file the summons along with a
Instructions for Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.910(a), Summons: Personal Service on an
Individual (03/17)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA FAMILY LAW RULES OF PROCEDURE FORM
12.910(a)
SUMMONS: PERSONAL SERVICE ON AN INDIVIDUAL
(03/17)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used to obtain personal service on the other party when you begin your lawsuit.
Service is required for all documents filed in your case. Service means giving a copy of the required papers
to the other party using the procedure that the law requires. Generally, there are two ways to make
service: (1) personal service, or (2) service by email, mail, or hand delivery. A third method for service is
called constructive service; however, the relief a court may grant may be limited in a case where
constructive service has been used.
The law requires that certain documents be served by personal service if personal service is possible.
Personal service means that a summons (this form) and a copy of the forms you are filing with the court
that must be personally served are delivered by a deputy sheriff or private process server
a. directly to the other party, or
b. to someone over the age of fifteen with whom the other party lives.
Personal service is required for all petitions, including petitions for modification. You cannot serve these
papers on the other party yourself or by mail or hand delivery. Personal service must be made by the
sheriff’s department in the county where the other party lives or works or by a private process server
certified in the county where the other party lives or works.
In many counties, there are private process servers who, for a fee, will personally serve the summons and
other documents that require personal service. You should look under process servers in the yellow pages
of the telephone book for a list of private process servers in your area. You may use a private process
server to serve any paper required to be personally served in a family law case except a petition for
injunction for protection against domestic or repeat violence.
How do I start?
When you begin your lawsuit, you need to complete this form (summons) and a Process Service
Memorandum, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.910(b). The forms should be typed
or printed legibly in black ink. Next, you will need to take these forms and, if you have not already done
so, file your petition with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where you live. You should keep a
copy of the forms for your records. The clerk will sign the summons, and then the summons, a copy of the
papers to be served, and the process service memorandum must be delivered to the appropriate sheriff’s
office or to a private process server for service on the other party.
IF THE OTHER PARTY LIVES IN THE COUNTY WHERE SUIT IS FILED: Ask the clerk in your county about any
local procedures regarding service. Generally, if the other party lives in the county in which you are filing
suit and you want the sheriff’s department to serve the papers, you will file the summons along with a
Instructions for Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.910(a), Summons: Personal Service on an
Individual (03/17)
Process Service Memorandum, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.910(b), with the
clerk and the clerk will forward those papers to the sheriff for service. Make sure that you attach a copy
of the papers you want personally served to the summons. You may also need to provide the sheriff with
a stamped envelope addressed to you. This will allow the sheriff to send the proof of service to you, after
the sheriff serves your papers on the other party. However, in some counties the sheriff may send the
proof of service directly to the clerk. If you are instructed to supply a self-addressed, stamped envelope
and you receive the proof of service, you should file the proof of service with the clerk after you receive
it from the sheriff. Also, you will need to find out how much the sheriff charges to serve the papers.
Personal checks are not accepted. You should attach to the summons a cashier’s check or money order
made payable to the sheriff, and either give it to the clerk for delivery to the sheriff or send all of the
paperwork and the fee to the sheriff yourself. The clerk will tell you which procedure to use. The costs for
service may be waived if you are indigent.
If you want a private process server to serve the other party, you should still bring the summons to the
clerk’s office and have the clerk sign it for you. You should deliver the summons, along with the copy of
your initial petition and any other papers to be served, and a Process Service Memorandum, Florida
Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.910(b), to the private process server. The private process
server will charge you a fee for serving the papers. After service is complete, proof of service by the
private process server must be filed with the clerk. You should discuss how this will occur with the private
process server.
IF THE OTHER PARTY LIVES IN ANOTHER COUNTY: If the other party lives in another county, service needs
to be made by a sheriff in the county where the other party lives or by a private process server certified
in the county where the other party lives. Make sure that you attach a copy of the papers you want
personally served to the summons as well as the Process Service Memorandum, Florida Supreme Court
Approved Family Law Form 12.910(b). If you want the sheriff to serve the papers, the clerk may send your
papers to that sheriff’s office for you, or you may have to send the papers yourself. The clerk will tell you
which procedure to use. Either way, you will need to provide the sheriff with a stamped envelope
addressed to you. This will allow the sheriff to send the proof of service to you, after the sheriff serves
your papers on the other party. You should file the proof of service with the clerk after you receive it from
the sheriff. Also, you will need to find out how much the sheriff charges to serve the papers. Personal
checks are not accepted. You should attach to the summons a cashier’s check or money order made
payable to the sheriff, and either give it to the clerk for delivery to the sheriff or send all of the paperwork
and the fee to the sheriff yourself. The clerk will tell you which procedure to use. The costs for service
may be waived if you are indigent.
If you want a private process server to serve the other party, you should still bring the summons to the
clerk’s office where the clerk will sign it for you. You should deliver the summons, along with the copy of
your initial petition and any other papers to be served, and a Process Service Memorandum, Florida
Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.910(b), to the private process server. The private process
server will charge you a fee for serving the papers. After service is complete, proof of service by the
private process server must be filed with the clerk. You should discuss how this will occur with the private
process server.
IF THE OTHER PARTY CANNOT BE LOCATED OR DOES NOT LIVE IN FLORIDA: If, after you have made a
diligent effort to locate the other party, you absolutely cannot locate the other party, you may serve the
other party by publication. Service by publication is also known as constructive service. You may also be
able to use constructive service if the other party does not live in Florida. However, Florida courts have
only limited jurisdiction over a party who is served by constructive service and may have only limited
Instructions for Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.910(a), Summons: Personal Service on an
Individual (03/17)
jurisdiction over a party living outside of Florida regardless of whether that party is served by
constructive or personal service; that is, the judge’s power to order the other party to do certain things
may be limited. For example, the judge may be able to grant your request for a divorce, but the judge
may not be able to address issues such as child support, spousal support (alimony), or division of property
or debts.
Regardless of the type of service used, if the other party once lived in Florida but is living outside of Florida
now, you should include in your petition a statement regarding the length of time the party lived in Florida,
if any, and when. For example: “Respondent last lived in Florida from {date}
to
{date}
.”
This area of the law is very complex and you may need to consult with an attorney regarding the proper
type of service to be used in your case if the other party does not live in Florida or cannot be located.
What happens when the papers are served on the other party?
The date and hour of service are written on the original summons and on all copies of it by the person
making the service. The person who delivers the summons and copies of the petition must file a proof of
service with the clerk or provide a proof of service to you for filing with the court. It is your responsibility
to make sure the proof of service has been returned to the clerk and placed in your case file.
Where can I look for more information?
Before proceeding, you should read “General Information for Self-Represented Litigants” found at the
beginning of these forms. For further information regarding service of process, see chapters 48 and 49,
Florida Statutes, and Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.070, as well as the instructions for Notice
of Action for Dissolution of Marriage (No Child or Financial Support), Florida Supreme Court Approved
Family Law Form 12.913(a)(1), Notice of Action for Family Cases with Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.913(a)(2), Affidavit of Diligent Service and Inquiry, Florida Family
Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.913(b), and Affidavit of Diligent Search, Florida Family Law Rules of
Procedure Form 12.913(c).
Special notes
If you have been unable to obtain proper service on the other party within 120 days after filing your
lawsuit, the court will dismiss your lawsuit against the other party unless you can show the court a good
reason why service was not made within 120 days. For this reason, if you had the local sheriff serve the
papers, you should check with the clerk every couple of weeks after completing the service papers to see
if service has been completed. You may need to supply the sheriff with a new or better address. If you
had a private process server or a sheriff in another county serve the papers, you should be in contact with
that person or sheriff until you receive proof of service from that person or sheriff. You should then file
the proof of service with the clerk immediately.
If the other party fails to respond, i.e., fails to file a written response with the court, within 20 days after
the service of the summons, you are entitled to request a default. See the instructions to Motion for
Default, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.922 (a), and Default, Florida Supreme Court
Approved Family Law Form 12.922(b), for further information. You will need to file an Affidavit of Military
Service, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.912(b), before a default may be granted.
Instructions for Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.910(a), Summons: Personal Service on an
Individual (03/17)
Remember, a person who is NOT an attorney is called a nonlawyer. If a nonlawyer helps you fill out these
forms, that person must give you a copy of Disclosure from Nonlawyer, Florida Family Law Rules of
Procedure Form 12.900(a), before he or she helps you. A nonlawyer helping you fill out these forms also
must put his or her name, address, and telephone number on the bottom of the last page of every form
he or she helps you complete.
Instructions for Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.910(a), Summons: Personal Service on an
Individual (03/17)
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT,
IN AND FOR
COUNTY, FLORIDA
Case No.:
Division:
,
Petitioner,
and
,
Respondent.
SUMMONS: PERSONAL SERVICE ON AN INDIVIDUAL
ORDEN DE COMPARECENCIA: SERVICIO PERSONAL EN UN INDIVIDUO
CITATION: L’ASSIGNATION PERSONAL SUR UN INDIVIDUEL
TO/PARA/A: {enter other party’s full legal name}
,
{address (including city and state)/location for service}
.
IMPORTANT
A lawsuit has been filed against you. You have 20 calendar days after this summons is served on you to
file a written response to the attached complaint/petition with the clerk of this circuit court, located at:
{street address} _______________________________________________________________________.
A phone call will not protect you. Your written response, including the case number given above and the
names of the parties, must be filed if you want the Court to hear your side of the case.
If you do not file your written response on time, you may lose the case, and your wages, money, and
property may be taken thereafter without further warning from the Court. There are other legal
requirements. You may want to call an attorney right away. If you do not know an attorney, you may call
an attorney referral service or a legal aid office (listed in the phone book).
If you choose to file a written response yourself, at the same time you file your written response to the
Court, you must also serve a copy of your written response on the party serving this summons at:
{Name and address of party serving summons}
.
If the party serving summons has designated email address(es) for service or is represented by an
attorney, you may designate email address(es) for service by or on you. Service must be in accordance
with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516.
Copies of all court documents in this case, including orders, are available at the Clerk of the Circuit
Court’s office. You may review these documents, upon request.
You must keep the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office notified of your current address. (You may file
Designation of Current Mailing and Email Address, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form
Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.910(a), Summons: Personal Service on an Individual (03/17)