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Service of documents and deemed service

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Posted (edited)

I am posting this as a separate thread because my existing case thread is far too long and ongoing but also because this is more urgent.


There is some confusion for the litigant in person about serving documents (not a Claim in this case) and when docs are "deemed" served. I am in a situation where the defendant may argue late service.


I have an Application Hearing on 14th Jan 2020, the court sent a letter a few months back about the hearing date only. Following a brief letter with questions from my end, they replied that I should file/serve evidence no later than 14 days before the hearing. I didn't want to send the documents out too early and may have inadvertently ran dates down to the wire while finishing up some details.


The issue:

I posted docs on 26 Dec 2019 before 4pm with a signed-for service, to both the court and the defendants. I set Tuesday 31 December as the absolute last business date that docs should be "deemed" served, so the last date of posting would be Friday 27 Dec. Until this point and being overcautious, I have had no issues with letters signed by the defendant (a company address) or the court. I understand someone may argue a 1st class with proof or tracking service may have been sufficient.

The Court received my letter on Monday 30 Dec, but, for the defendant the tracking service shows "10:41am we were unable to deliver this item at 30-12-2019 as the address was inaccessible".

It may be that their office is closed for the festive season or the postman could not enter or obtain a signature. It still forms a record of attempted delivery on that date/time. Unfortunately I cannot possibly know and it was too late to personally deliver the documents. On a side note I have also not received anything from the defendant for the hearing.


The problem is the interpretation of "deemed service", something I did not want to have contested by the other party.

Reading CPR 6.26 I cannot tell if the letter is deemed "served" i.e proof of postage shows time/date and Defendant's address and 1st Class postage, but also has an additional "signed-for" service. Or some could argue the defendants were not "served" 14-days before the application hearing because the letter did not go through their letter box.




6.26  A document, other than a claim form, served within the United Kingdom in accordance with these Rules or any relevant practice direction is deemed to be served on the day shown in the following table


1. First class post (or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day) The second day after it was posted, left with, delivered to or collected by the relevant service provider provided that day is a business day; or if not, the next business day after that day.


The confusion here is that CPR wording suggests a document "deemed" served once it goes into the postal service. It does not address issues like letters being lost, access to an address or a signature. For example the letter could be placed through the letterbox but nobody would have looked at it till the 2nd of January.



" Calculation of time is rarely based on when a party actually receives something. It is normally based on when a document is deemed to have been filed or served."


I just want to know how to handle this going forward, if the judge could penalise or affect the hearing date, as I did not expect this and hearing is important and took really long for court to set dates.


Edited by conflyer

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not your problem the defendant did not get them in time

all you have to do is PROVE they were sent in due time NOT that the defendant GOT them.

hence the use of 1st class post or even 2nd class post and free proof of posting.


please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..


if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.



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Thank you!


This is really good news while lost in the mind boggling CPR 😅



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