Family Court of Western Australia

Special service by post or electronic communication

Service by post or electronic communication involves sending the documents to the other party, who signs and returns an Acknowledgment of Service.

You should only attempt this method of service if you are confident the other party will sign and return the Acknowledgement of Service to you. Without this, the Court cannot be sure the other party has received the documents. If you attempt service by post and do not receive the signed Acknowledgment of Service, you may need to arrange service by hand.

To serve a document by post or electronic communication process, you need to:

  • Step 1: Prepare the documents
  • Step 2: Send the documents
  • Step 3: Complete an Affidavit of Service (Form 7).

Step 1: Prepare the documents

The documents you will need to send to the other party are:

  • an Acknowledgment of Service (Form 6) to be signed by the other party
  • the document to be served (such as an application or subpoena)
  • any brochures or other accompanying documents required to be served at the same time.
  • If you will send the documents by post, include:
    • A written request that the other party sign the Acknowledgment of Service (Form 6) and return it to you as soon as practicable.

    • A stamped self-addressed envelope to enable the signed Acknowledgment of Service (Form 6) to be returned to you.

  • If you send the documents electronically:

    • A request that the other party sign the Acknowledgment of Service (Form 6) and return it to you as soon as practicable.
    • A cover sheet containing
      • the sender’s name and address
      • the name of the person to be served
      • the date and time of transmission
      • the total number of pages, including the cover page, transmitted
      • a statement as follows: "The purpose of the transmission is for service of Court documents."
      • the name and telephone number of a person to contact if there is a problem with transmission
      • a return electronic address.

The brochures and accompanying documents you need to prepare depend on what you are serving. If you are unsure of the documents you need to serve, you should read the appropriate information or application kits or seek legal advice.

 

Step 2: Send the documents

Send the documents you have prepared to the other party.

You can send them by post, email or other appropriate form of electronic communication. It’s a good idea to confirm the other party's address if you are unsure. Attempting service again by another method will delay your proceedings.

Serving the respondent’s lawyer

If the other party has a lawyer, you can ask them if they will accept service of the documents. If they agree, the lawyer can sign the Acknowledgement of Service.

Getting the lawyer’s agreement is important. A lawyer may have given the other party legal advice, but that doesn’t mean they will be representing them throughout the proceedings. The documents will not be properly served if you send them to a lawyer who has not agreed to accept them.

If you serve the other party's lawyer, you don’t need to complete an Affidavit of Service (which is normally Step 3 of the process).

Remember to record the date you posted the documents to your spouse.

Step 3: Complete an Affidavit of Service

Once you have received the signed Acknowledgment of Service, you can complete the Affidavit of Service. The affidavit includes giving evidence that you recognise your the other party's signature.

After completing the form, you have to sign it in front of an authorised witness.

Signing the form

After completing the affidavit (apart from the signing section), attach the Acknowledgment to the Affidavit and visit an authorised witness (usually a lawyer or Justice of the Peace).

After signing the documents in front of the witness, the service documents are ready to file.

Next steps

If you have received a signed Acknowledgement of Service, file the Acknowledgement and Affidavit of Service.

If the other party didn't return the Acknowledgment of Service, you may have to attempt special service by hand. If you can't locate the other party, you can apply to dispense with service.


Last updated: 16-Apr-2018

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