Florida Senate - 2019                              CS for SB 462
       By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Powell
       590-02331-19                                           2019462c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to judicial process; amending s.
    3         48.23, F.S.; providing that a person who acquires for
    4         value a lien on property during the course of
    5         specified legal actions takes such lien free of claims
    6         in certain circumstances; specifying the effect of a
    7         valid, recorded notice of lis pendens in certain
    8         circumstances involving a judicial sale; providing
    9         applicability; amending s. 48.021, F.S.; revising
   10         authority of special process servers; revising a
   11         cross-reference; requiring that civil witness
   12         subpoenas be served by certain persons; amending s.
   13         48.031, F.S.; revising requirements for substituted
   14         service on the spouse of the person to be served;
   15         revising requirements for documenting service of
   16         process; conforming terminology; amending s. 48.062,
   17         F.S.; revising requirements for service on limited
   18         liability companies; amending s. 48.194, F.S.;
   19         revising provisions specifying who may serve process
   20         outside of the state; revising requirements for
   21         documenting that service has been properly made
   22         outside the state; amending s. 48.21, F.S.; revising
   23         requirements for return-of-service forms; authorizing
   24         certain persons to electronically sign return-of
   25         service forms; providing an effective date.
   27  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   29         Section 1. Paragraphs (b) and (d) of subsection (1) of
   30  section 48.23, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   31         48.23 Lis pendens.—
   32         (1)
   33         (b)1. An action that is filed for specific performance or
   34  that is not based on a duly recorded instrument has no effect,
   35  except as between the parties to the proceeding, on the title
   36  to, or on any lien upon, the real or personal property unless a
   37  notice of lis pendens has been recorded and has not expired or
   38  been withdrawn or discharged.
   39         2. Any person acquiring for value an interest in, or lien
   40  upon, the real or personal property during the pendency of an
   41  action described in subparagraph 1., other than a party to the
   42  proceeding or the legal successor by operation of law, or
   43  personal representative, heir, or devisee of a deceased party to
   44  the proceeding, shall take such interest or lien exempt from all
   45  claims against the property that were filed in such action by
   46  the party who failed to record a notice of lis pendens or whose
   47  notice expired or was withdrawn or discharged, and from any
   48  judgment entered in the proceeding, notwithstanding the
   49  provisions of s. 695.01, as if such person had no actual or
   50  constructive notice of the proceeding or of the claims made
   51  therein or the documents forming the causes of action against
   52  the property in the proceeding.
   53         (d) Except for the interest of persons in possession or
   54  easements of use, the recording of such notice of lis pendens,
   55  provided that during the pendency of the proceeding it has not
   56  expired pursuant to subsection (2) or been withdrawn or
   57  discharged, constitutes a bar to the enforcement against the
   58  property described in the notice of all interests and liens,
   59  including, but not limited to, federal tax liens and levies,
   60  unrecorded at the time of recording the notice unless the holder
   61  of any such unrecorded interest or lien intervenes in such
   62  proceedings within 30 days after the recording of the notice. If
   63  the holder of any such unrecorded interest or lien does not
   64  intervene in the proceedings and if such proceedings are
   65  prosecuted to a judicial sale of the property described in the
   66  notice, the property shall be forever discharged from all such
   67  unrecorded interests and liens. A valid recorded notice of lis
   68  pendens of such proceedings prosecuted to a judicial sale
   69  remains in effect through the recording of any instrument
   70  transferring title to the property pursuant to the final
   71  judgment unless it expires, is withdrawn, or it is otherwise
   72  discharged. If the notice of lis pendens expires or is withdrawn
   73  or discharged, the expiration, withdrawal, or discharge of the
   74  notice does not affect the validity of any unrecorded interest
   75  or lien.
   76         Section 2. The changes made by this act to s. 48.23,
   77  Florida Statutes, are intended to clarify existing law and shall
   78  apply to actions pending on the effective date of this act.
   79         Section 3. Subsection (1) of section 48.021, Florida
   80  Statutes, is amended to read:
   81         48.021 Process; by whom served.—
   82         (1) All process shall be served by the sheriff of the
   83  county where the person to be served is found, except initial
   84  nonenforceable civil process, criminal witness subpoenas, and
   85  criminal summonses may be served by a special process server
   86  appointed by the sheriff as provided for in this section or by a
   87  certified process server as provided for in s. 48.27 ss. 48.25
   88  48.31. Civil witness subpoenas shall may be served by any person
   89  authorized by rules of civil procedure.
   90         Section 4. Subsections (2) and (5) and paragraph (a) of
   91  subsection (6) of section 48.031, Florida Statutes, are amended
   92  to read:
   93         48.031 Service of process generally; service of witness
   94  subpoenas.—
   95         (2)(a) Substituted Substitute service may be made on the
   96  spouse of the person to be served may be made at any place in a
   97  the county by an individual authorized under s. 48.021 or s.
   98  48.27 to serve process in that county, if the cause of action is
   99  not an adversarial adversary proceeding between the spouse and
  100  the person to be served, if the spouse requests such service or
  101  the spouse is also a party to the action, and if the spouse and
  102  person to be served reside are residing together in the same
  103  dwelling, regardless of whether such dwelling is located in the
  104  county where substituted service is made.
  105         (b) Substituted Substitute service may be made on an
  106  individual doing business as a sole proprietorship at his or her
  107  place of business, during regular business hours, by serving the
  108  person in charge of the business at the time of service if two
  109  attempts to serve the owner are have been made at the place of
  110  business.
  111         (5) A person serving process shall place, on the first page
  112  only of at least one of the processes served, the date and time
  113  of service, his or her initials or signature, and, if
  114  applicable, his or her identification number and initials for
  115  all service of process. The person serving process shall list on
  116  the return-of-service form all initial pleadings delivered and
  117  served along with the process. The person requesting service or
  118  the person authorized to serve the process shall file the
  119  return-of-service form with the court.
  120         (6)(a) If the only address for a person to be served which
  121  is discoverable through public records is a private mailbox, a
  122  virtual office, or an executive office or mini suite,
  123  substituted substitute service may be made by leaving a copy of
  124  the process with the person in charge of the private mailbox,
  125  virtual office, or executive office or mini suite, but only if
  126  the process server determines that the person to be served
  127  maintains a mailbox, a virtual office, or an executive office or
  128  mini suite at that location.
  129         Section 5. Subsection (4) of section 48.062, Florida
  130  Statutes, is amended to read:
  131         48.062 Service on a limited liability company.—
  132         (4) If the address provided for the registered agent,
  133  member, or manager is a residence, a or private mailbox, a
  134  virtual office, or an executive office or mini suite, service on
  135  the domestic or foreign limited liability company, domestic or
  136  foreign, may be made by serving the registered agent, member, or
  137  manager in accordance with s. 48.031.
  138         Section 6. Subsection (1) of section 48.194, Florida
  139  Statutes, is amended to read:
  140         48.194 Personal service outside state.—
  141         (1) Except as otherwise provided herein, service of process
  142  on persons outside of this state shall be made in the same
  143  manner as service within this state by any person officer
  144  authorized to serve process in the state where the person is
  145  served. No order of court is required. A An affidavit of the
  146  officer shall be filed, stating the time, manner, and place of
  147  service. The court may consider the return-of-service form
  148  described in s. 48.21 affidavit, or any other competent
  149  evidence, in determining whether service has been properly made.
  150  Service of process on persons outside the United States may be
  151  required to conform to the provisions of the Hague Convention on
  152  the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in
  153  Civil or Commercial Matters.
  154         Section 7. Subsection (1) of section 48.21, Florida
  155  Statutes, is amended to read:
  156         48.21 Return of execution of process.—
  157         (1) Each person who effects service of process shall note
  158  on a return-of-service form attached thereto, the date and time
  159  when it comes to hand, the date and time when it is served, the
  160  manner of service, the name of the person on whom it was served,
  161  and, if the person is served in a representative capacity, the
  162  position occupied by the person. The return-of-service form must
  163  list all pleadings served and be signed by the person who
  164  effects the service of process. However, a person who is
  165  authorized under this chapter to serve process and employed by a
  166  sheriff who effects such the service of process may sign the
  167  return-of-service form using an electronic signature certified
  168  by the sheriff.
  169         Section 8. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.