Service of process

The procedure of bringing the contents of a document instrumental in some legal proceeding to the notice of the party affected. The burden for service will depend on the nature of the documents and the proceedings involved. Service is a key element of the judicial process as it dictates how much time parties have to respond to and prepare for a legal action against them or concerning them.

There are many ways in which a document can be served. These include:

Personal service

  • By physically giving the documents to the subject

Substituted/other service

  • By leaving the documents at the subject’s residence or workplace
  • By posting the documents to the subject’s residence or workplace
  • By email, text message, or contact via social media (where use/currency can be established)
  • By leaving the documents with a spouse, solicitor, or close family member

Where the documents concern an originating process, service is usually required to be personal (for individuals).