Service means the delivery of a pleading, notice, or other paper in a suit, to the opposite party, so as to charge the party with the receipt of it and subject the party to its legal effect.
You can choose to have a summons (notice to appear) served by certified mail, by the Sheriff, or by a private process server. Fees for private process servers vary, and arrangements are your own responsibility. The Sheriff charges $20 per defendant for service within Pinellas County. Fees for service outside of Pinellas County vary. See notes below for payment information.
- All Replevins must be served by the Sheriff and the property in question must be located in Pinellas County.
- Personal Checks: The Pinellas County Sheriff accepts personal checks from within Florida. Out-of-State plaintiffs must provide a cashier's check or money order. All checks and money orders must be made payable to the Sheriff. Please bring the appropriate payment to the Clerk's office.
- If a defendant is outside of Pinellas County: You must make the check payable to the Sheriff of the county for which service of summons will be made. Several Sheriffs in the state of Florida will not accept personal checks.
- It is your responsibility to verify address and cost or service when you are having your defendant(s) served by a Sheriff of another county/state. You must determine the County, State, Defendant(s) address, Sheriff's fee to serve the summons, whether the Sheriff of that county will accept your personal check or if he/she requires a Cashier Check or Money Order and whether the Sheriff has any other Special Instructions. If the Sheriff has any special instructions, you must notify the Clerk's office when filing. Click here for links to the various Sheriffs offices in Florida.