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(a)    Summons and Subpoenas.

(1)    Summons. Upon the filing of a petition, the clerk shall issue a summons. The summons shall require the person on whom it is served to appear for a hearing at a time and place specified. Except in cases of medical emergency, the time of hearing shall not be less than 24 hours after service of the summons. If the child is not detained by an order of the court, the summons shall require the custodian to produce the child at the said time and place. A copy of the petition shall be attached to the summons.

(2)    Subpoenas. Upon the application of a party, the clerk shall issue, and the court on its own motion may issue, subpoenas requiring attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of records, documents, or other tangible objects at any hearing. This subdivision shall not in any way limit the state attorney’s power to issue subpoenas.

(3)    Service. The summons and other process shall be served upon such persons and in such manner as required by law. If the parents or custodian are out of the state and their address is known, the clerk shall give them notice of the proceedings by mail. Service of process may be waived. Authorized agents of the Department of Juvenile Justice may also serve summons and other process upon such persons and in such manner as required by law.

(b)    Service of Pleadings and Papers.

(1)    When Required. Unless the court orders otherwise, or a statute or supreme court administrative order specifies a different means of service, every pleading subsequent to the initial petition, every order, every written motion, unless it is one as to which hearing ex parte is authorized, and every written notice filed in the case shall be served on each party; however, nothing herein shall be construed to require that a plea be in writing or that an application for witness subpoenas be served.

(2)    How Made. When service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney, service shall be made upon the attorney unless service upon the party is ordered by the court.  All documents required or permitted to be served on another party must be served by e-mail, unless the parties otherwise stipulate or this rule otherwise provides.

(A)    Service by Electronic Mail (“e-mail”). Service of a document by e-mail is made by an e-mail sent to all addresses designated by the attorney or party with either (a) a copy of the document in PDF format attached or (b) a link to the document on a website maintained by a clerk. Any document served by e-mail may be signed by any of the “/s/,” “/s,” or “s/” formats, so long as the filed document is signed in accordance with the applicable rules of court.

(i)     Service on Attorneys. Upon appearing in any proceeding, an attorney must designate a principal e-mail address and may designate no more than two secondary e-mail addresses to which service must be directed in that proceeding. Every document filed by an attorney thereafter must include in the signature block the principal e-mail address of that attorney and any secondary e-mail addresses. If an attorney does not designate any e-mail address for service, documents may be served on that attorney at the e-mail address on record with The Florida Bar.

(ii)    Exception to E-mail Service on Attorneys. Upon motion by an attorney demonstrating that the attorney has no e-mail account and lacks access to the Internet at the attorney’s office, the court may excuse the attorney from the requirements of e-mail service. Service on and by an attorney excused by the court from e-mail service must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2)(B) of this rule.

(iii)   Service on and by Parties not Represented by an Attorney. Any party not represented by an attorney may serve a designation of a principal e-mail address and also may designate no more than two secondary e-mail addresses to which service must be directed in that proceeding by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2)(A) of this rule. If a party not represented by an attorney does not designate an e-mail address for service in a proceeding, service on and by that party must be by the means provided in subdivision (b)(2)(B) of this rule.

(iv)    Format of E-mail for Service. All documents served by e-mail must be sent by an e-mail message containing a subject line beginning with the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” in all capital letters, followed by the case number of the proceeding in which the documents are being served. The body of the e-mail must identify the court in which the proceeding is pending, the case number, the name of the initial party on each side, the title of each document served with that e- mail, and the sender’s name and telephone number. Any e-mail which, together with its attachments, exceeds five megabytes (5MB) in size, must be divided and sent as separate e-mails, numbered in the subject line, no one of which may exceed 5MB in size.

(v)     Time of Service. Service by e-mail is complete on the day it is sent and must be treated as service by mail for the computation of time. If the sender learns that the e- mail did not reach the address of the person to be served, the sender must immediately serve another copy by e-mail, or by a means authorized by subdivision (b)(2)(B) of this rule.

(B)    Service by Other Means. In addition to, and not in lieu of, service by e-mail, service may also be made upon attorneys by the means specified in this subdivision. Service on and by all parties who are not represented by an attorney and who do not designate an e-mail address, and on and by all attorneys excused from e-mail service, must be made by delivering a copy of the document or by mailing it to the party or attorney at their last known address or, if no address is known, by leaving it with the clerk of the court. Service by mail is complete upon mailing.

Delivery of a copy within this rule is complete upon:

(i)      handing it to the attorney or to the party;

(ii)    leaving it at the attorney’s or party’s office with a clerk or other person in charge thereof;

(iii)   if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein;

(iv)    if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person’s usual place of abode with some person of his or her family above 15 years of age and informing such person of the contents; or

(v)     transmitting it by facsimile to the attorney’s or party’s office with a cover sheet containing the sender’s name, firm, address, telephone number, and facsimile number, and the number of pages transmitted. When service is made by facsimile, a copy must also be served by any other method permitted by this rule. Facsimile service occurs when transmission is complete.

(vi)    Service shall be deemed complete on the date of delivery.

(C)    Numerous Parties. In an action where the parties are unusually numerous, the court may regulate the service contemplated by these rules on motion or on its own initiative in such manner as may be found to be just and reasonable.

(3)    Filing. All documents must be filed with the court either before service or immediately thereafter, unless otherwise provided for by general law or other rules. If the original of any bond or document required to be an original is not placed in the court file or deposited with the clerk, a certified copy may be so placed by the clerk.

(4)    Filing with Court Defined. The filing of documents with the court as required by these rules shall be made by filing them with the clerk in accordance with rule 8.004 except that the judge may permit documents to be filed with the judge, in which event the judge must note the filing date before him or her on the documents and transmit them to the clerk. The date of filing is the date shown on the face of the document by the judge’s notation or the clerk’s time stamp, whichever is earlier.

(5)    Certificate of Service. When any attorney shall in substance certify:

“I certify that a copy/copies has/have been furnished to

(insert name or names) by (e-mail) (delivery) (mail) (fax) on (date).


this certificate shall be taken as prima facie proof of such service in compliance with this rule.

(6)    Service by Clerk. When the clerk is required to serve notices and other documents, the clerk may do so by e-mail or by any other method permitted in subdivision (b)(2). Service by a clerk is not required to be by e-mail.

(c)    Service of Orders. A copy of all orders or judgments must be transmitted by the court or under its direction to all parties at the time of entry of the order or judgment. The court may require that orders or judgments be prepared by a party, may require the party to furnish the court with stamped addressed envelopes for service of the order or judgment, and may require that proposed orders and judgments be furnished to all parties before entry by the court of the order or judgment. The court may serve any order or judgment by e-mail to all attorneys who have designated an e-mail address for service and to all parties not represented by an attorney who have designated an e-mail address for service. This subdivision is directory and a failure to comply with it does not affect the order or its finality or any proceedings arising in the action.