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The importance of correctly serving papers

If you are involved in court proceedings you will see reference to serving papers at some point. What is the significance of this?

Within court proceedings various documents are prepared and presented to the court. This will usually form the basis of one party’s case that they are putting forward. The only way that the court can make a fair decision is if both parties are given the chance to put their respective cases forward.

For both parties to be able to do this, they need to see what the other way is saying. How do you know what to respond to if you don’t know what’s being said?

So, this is when the importance of service arises. When a document is filed at court, it also needs to be served on the other party(ies). You need to be able to show the court that the other party in the case has received a copy of what you have filed at court.

Samantha Lee, Managing Director and experience family Solicitor says, “This is especially important when the other party fails to engage in the proceedings. If both parties attend court, it’s easier to tell if they have received the paperwork, the judge can simply ask them. If they do not show up, you need some independent evidence that they have received it but have failed to respond.”

The best way to ensure a party has been served is with a process server. Although this attracts a cost, it could save money in the long term.

In a recent case, a Judge made an order that a father and the paternal grandmother should be imprisoned for 12 months for not returning a child to England. However, this order could not be enforced as there was a problem with service of the papers.

Effective service can mean the difference between an order being enforceable and it being unenforceable.

You can instruct a process server yourself, or we could assist you with this. If you have any concerns about service of papers in your court proceedings, contact one of our experienced team today. We have a range of funding options and we can discuss which way forward would be best for you.

Call us today on 023 92492967.

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