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Accepting service of a document other than a claim form by fax

Written by Paul Bicknell on 25 November 2011

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CPR 6.23(5) says this: "Where, in accordance with Practice Direction 6A, a party indicates or is deemed to have indicated that they will accept service by fax, the fax number given by that party must be at the address for service."

So when is a party or its representative to be taken to have indicated that it/they will accept service of a document other than a claim form by fax?

PD 6A para 4.1 says this: "Subject to the provisions of rule 6.23(5) and (6), where a document is to be served by fax or other electronic means (1) the party who is to be served or the solicitor acting for that party must previously have indicated in writing to the party serving (a) that the party to be served or the solicitor is willing to accept service by fax or other electronic means; and (b) the fax number, e-mail address or other electronic identification to which it must be sent."

So the next issue is whether a party has previously indicated in writing and whether that indication is sufficient.

PD 6A 4.1(2) reads: "the following are to be taken as sufficient written indications for the purposes of paragraph 4.1(1) -(a) a fax number set out on the writing paper of the solicitor acting for the party to be served; (b) an e-mail address set out on the writing paper of the solicitor acting for the party to be served but only where it is stated that the e-mail address may be used for service; or (c) a fax number, e-mail address or electronic identification set out on a statement of case or a response to a claim filed with the court."

Care should be taken here just because parties have been communicating by fax it could be the case that a party's letter head contains the fax number but is qualified with the words service by fax is not accepted.

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