In June of 2022, Florida enacted Senate bill 1062. The bill, effective 1/2/2023, amends laws governing service of process. According to an analysis by the Florida Senate, the bill:
- Details and standardizes the manner and priority of forms of service of process as related to different forms of business entities as appropriate to the form and structure of the entities;
- Prioritizes service of process on the registered agent of an entity;
- Clarifies procedures for substituted service of process by delivery to the Secretary of State;
- Creates the authority of a trial court to allow any effective alternative means of service of process where an entity cannot be served with process by conventional means;
- Creates a framework for service of process on an individual or entity in a foreign country, to include any form of process recognized under that country’s laws;
- Creates procedures for service of process for removal of an unknown party in possession of rented real property;
- Provides that service of a medical negligence pre-suit notice starts to toll the statute of limitations from the date of mailing rather than the date of receipt, and broadens the forms of such delivery to allow commercial delivery services or use of a certified process server;
- Broadens statutes on service of process by registered or certified mail to also allow delivery by a commercial delivery service;
- Allows the Department of State to accept substituted service of process by electronic means
- Adds all forms of a business entity to the statute governing registered agents, allows a registered agent to be open at times in addition to the 10 a.m. to noon requirement, repeals the existing sign requirement, specifies that service on a registered agent may be by delivery to any employee of the registered agent, and codifies the commonly understood duty of a registered agent to promptly forward the process and any related papers to the responsible person in the business entity.
More information regarding the bill, including the bill analysis, can be found at The Florida Senate (flsenate.gov).