(1) As a condition precedent to service by publication, a statement shall be filed in the action executed by the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s agent or attorney, setting forth substantially the matters hereafter required, which statement may be contained in a verified pleading, or in an affidavit or other sworn statement.
(2) As used in this chapter:
(a) The word “plaintiff” means any party in the action who is entitled to service of original process on any other party to the action or any person who may be brought in or allowed to come in as a party by any lawful means.
(b) The word “defendant” means any party on whom service by publication is authorized by this chapter, without regard to his or her designation in the pleadings or position in the action.
(c) The word “publication” includes the posting of the notice of action as provided for in ss. 49.10(1)(b) and 49.11.
(3) After the entry of a final judgment or decree in any action no sworn statement shall ever be held defective for failure to state a required fact if the fact otherwise appears from the record in the action.