Modern communication methods like text messaging are being used for service of court documents in dispute cases. 

In a recent privacy case, NPV v QEL and another, the Court granted an interim injunction against two defendants alleged to be blackmailing a successful married businessman, by threatening to expose his brief relationship with the first defendant.

The interesting thing about this injunction is the order made by the judge allowing the injunction to be served on the second defendant by text message, in the event that it was not possible to serve the injunction by physically handing to the second defendant copies of the injunction and supporting documents (known as “personal service”).

The Court has made orders of this type previously and the Civil Procedure Rules make reference to the possibility of service of court documents by text message, but it is still fairly rare for such orders to be obtained.

It may be worth applying for such an order in situations where a claimant only has limited contact details for a defendant.  The Court has the power to make an order for alternative service and this case demonstrates that the Court will be prepared to take a practical approach where necessary.

If you are involved in a dispute and would like advice, please contact Catherine Mathews on 01392 210700 or  Catherine specialises in commercial and contract litigation.  Catherine is Head of the Dispute Resolution Team in Exeter, which is top-ranked in The Legal 500. She is listed as a leader in her field in Chambers 2018.