A Process Server often does more than just serving documents; our agents have previously conducted field calls whereby our agents attend at a given address and make inquiries to confirm whether or not a particular individual resides at the address. Further, agents with relevant security licenses often carry out personal security work for our clients.
Our agents provide our clients with either an affidavit of our agents attempts to serve the recipient of our clients’ documents, where our agents describe their efforts to serve recipients, including relevant observations made about the address attended, any relevant things said or done by the recipient etc.
If documents are successfully served by our agents, our agents’ sworn affidavits of service are considered by the Courts as evidence that the recipient was served with the documents.
If our agents are unable to serve documents on a recipient, our agents’ affidavits of attempted service can be used as supporting evidence of the efforts made to serve a person with documents, or perhaps evidence that a person may no longer be residing at a particular address, and can be used to support any application for substituted service made by our clients.
For example, the usual prescribed method of service of a Federal Circuit Court Application for Divorce is by way of personal service on the respondent (ie. a process server physically handing a copy of the Application to the respondent). If, for example, the applicant attempts to serve the respondent at the respondent’s last known residential address, the server is informed at the last known address that the respondent no longer resides at the address and the applicant does not know any other address for the respondent, the applicant may apply for an order for substituted service that the respondent be served by some other means of service as the applicant is unable to personally serve the respondent.
Other methods of service that you may ask for in an application for substituted service may include service my email, post, fax, text message and/or Facebook message. To be successful in obtaining an order for substituted service, the applicant must provide the Court with good evidence that the documents will be brought to the respondent’s attention by the method of service. For example, being able to show recent emails or text messages from the respondent to provide evidence that the email address or phone number is the respondent’s current email address or phone number.
To be successful in an application for substituted service, you need to show the Court that you have taken all reasonable steps to personally serve the documents (and have been unsuccessful) and that another method of service (such as email, fax, text message, social media etc.) will bring the documents to the attention of the recipient. To do this, you must show the Court evidence that the recipient uses those methods of communication currently, or at least recently. This evidence can be things such as recent emails, calls or messages from the recipient.
If an Acknowledgment of Service is required to be signed (such as in the case of personally serving an Application for Divorce), the person who is to be served on behalf of the person should make it clear on the Acknowledgement of Service that they have signed as the person’s case guardian, the person’s guardian, the person’s care taker or the person in charge of the relevant facility. The server must set out the circumstances of service in the Affidavit of Service e.g. handed/posted to the and amend the details of service to reflect the person served e.g. The person’s guardian.
If you require documents to be served on a person with a disability or a person who is in a retirement home, please contact our friendly team for further information and how our team may assist you.
If an Acknowledgment of Service is required to be signed (such as in the case of personally serving an Application for Divorce), the person in charge of the prison should make it clear on the Acknowledgement of Service that they have signed as “person in charge of the prison” and the server must set out the circumstances of service in the Affidavit of Service e.g. handed/posted to the “person in charge of (name) prison” and amend the details of service to reflect the person served e.g. The person in charge of the prison.
If you require documents to be served on a person in prison, please contact our friendly team for further information and how our team may assist you.
Rule 105 of the UCPR provides that all originating processes must be personally served on the defendant or respondent. This means claims and statements of claims and applications must be personally served on the defendant or respondent.
Rule 106 of the UCPR provides that personal service is performed by giving the document, or a copy of the document, to the person intended to be served. If the person does not accept the document, the document may be left at their feet.
It is not necessary to serve the original document. Serving a copy of the document will satisfy the requirements under the UCPR.
Section 109X of the Corporations Act provides that documents can be served on companies by personally serving the documents on a director of the company who resides in Australia.
Family Court Documents
For more information on serving Divorce documents by hand, see the Service of Divorce section on the Federal Circuit Court website.
Response to a Divorce application:
For more information on serving a Response to a Divorce, see the Service of Response section on the Federal Circuit Court website.
Parenting Order applications:
For more information on serving Parenting Order documents, see the Service of Application starting a proceeding section on the Federal Circuit Court website.
For more information on serving Subpoenas, see the Service of Subpoenas section of the Federal Circuit Court website.
Civil Court Documents
Personal service of any document is recommended where there is any concern that the recipient of the document may ignore the document if it were served by any other method (ie. Post, email or fax) or where the sender wants clear and indisputable evidence that documents have been brought to the attention of the recipient. We are willing to serve any document on any recipient, whether the recipient is a person, business or corporation, sole trader, partnership, firm, property manager or Warden. We have previously served the following kinds of documents:
Our agents have served a variety of international documents from overseas clients, including clients located in the United States, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Malaysia.
Our agents will serve documents from international clients in accordance with Australian service rules, unless otherwise instructed by our clients. We provide our clients with an affidavit of service or attempted service which is witnessed by an Australian Public Notary so that the affidavit may be used and is admissible in international legal proceedings.
Recently in the NSW Supreme Court case of Wakim V Criniti  NSWSC 1723, the Plaintiff sought an order that personal service of the Statement of Claim be effected on the Defendant through social networking websites Facebook and Instagram. The court ultimately held that the Statement of Claim could not be practicably served on the Defendant in person and service via social media was likely to bring the Statement of Claim to the notice of the Defendant. Similarly, in the ACT Supreme Court in MKM Capital Pty Ltd V Corbo & Poyser (Unreported, 12 December 2008) it was held that a Judgement could be served via Facebook as this method of service would bring the Judgement to the Defendant’s attention.
Such cases demonstrate how social media can be a cost effective method for the service of a court document and how it can be potentially considered in cases or circumstances where service is difficult.