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tangerine3

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Posts: 15
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FLORIDA:  I have went through the eviction process and the tenant is out.  I have filed papers in the court now for damages for back rent.  The court has told me that I need to serve a summons for damages now even though in my original compaint for eviction i filed a "Complaint for Evictions AND Damages" but only a summons for eviction was served.

My question is does Florida law require that a Summons for Damages have to be hand delivered or can it be posted on the door of her last place of residence (my empty house).  This was ok for the summons for eviction but don't know if ok for the summons for damages.  What happens if the process server cannot find her?  Am I then out of luck . . . thanks  Also does anyone know where I can get a form for Summons for Damages for the state of Florida?

tangerine3

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Posts: 15
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just found out it has to be served in her hand or someone over the age of 15 that is authorized to take mail for her.
ThatAttorney

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Quote:
The court has told me that I need to serve a summons for damages now even though in my original compaint for eviction i filed a "Complaint for Evictions AND Damages" but only a summons for eviction was served.
The court is correct. An eviction is a different procedural matter than a typical lawsuit and thus must be litigated independently. The correct way of doing this is to file for an eviction as one part (ie; Count I) with any damage/unpaid rent as a separate count. That would allow you to serve both together.

Not only did you complicate the matter for yourself, but if the tenant is savvy enough they could oppose the awarding of court costs for the second suit and there is a good chance the judge would make you eat that cost rather than the Defendant.

Quote:
My question is does Florida law require that a Summons for Damages have to be hand delivered or can it be posted on the door of her last place of residence (my empty house).
Not to be harsh here, but let us consider this. Do you believe it is legal (or even ethical) to post a summons at a residence you know the Defendant is not living at? Fairly common sense issue here I think.

Quote:
What happens if the process server cannot find her?  Am I then out of luck
If you can't locate her to the point where you'd be able to serve her in compliance with the Rules of Civil Procedure, then yes, you would essentially be out of luck.

__________________
(insert standard disclaimer about this not being legal advice)
tangerine3

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Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #4 
The civil department where you file for the evictions does not help you in any way regarding legal issues.  They are there just to file the papers that you give them and you are supposed to know what you are doing.  They told me this several times.  I am obviously not a lawyer and a lot of ppl do evictions themselves.  The civil department did not tell me until later that if I would have served her the first time in person Count I eviction and Count II damages, then I would not have to serve her this second time just for the damages.  Don't know why they can give me that info after the fact but not before when I went down to file the papers in the first place.  The law for serving summons for Count I evictions, at least here in FL, is after 2 attempts to hand deliver fail you are allowed to post eviction summons on the last place of residence, vacant or not.  This will ensure that you are following procedures correctly and get a writ.  We just had to follow through because she still had belongings in the house but had abandoned the property and of course had not corresponded with a forwarding address.
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