English courts have a wide discretion to authorise service of a claim form. CPR 6.15(1) grants that “where it appears to the court that there is good reason… the court may make an order permitting service by an alternative method or alternative place”.
This flexibility ensures that the court is able to use the latest communication methods. Recent cases have seen service by Whatsapp, and we have seen queries about service via ‘social media’.
When considering an application for alternative service, under CPR 6.15, by way of social media, messaging apps, or other transfer protocols bring, consider:
- Whether the protocol permits read receipts and/or the ability to confirm that the recipient has logged in to their account.
- The account you use to serve via your alternative protocol. Does your account allow the reader to determine that your email address is valid and reputable?
- Whether there personal information in the claim form and is such information being sent securely and/or via any further jurisdictions.