Service of Initial Official Documents by Email?

Do you know of any means by which prosecutorial documents – like a notice of compliance or notice of laying of charges – can be delivered electronically? If a regulator, for example, wanted to require one of its regulated bodies to appear at a hearing, how can it ensure that the addressee has received the notice?

The regulator would have an email address of the regulated body, but assume that there is no contract or statute that allows for ‘originating process’ to be presumed to be delivered if delivered electronically.

I am aware that the Rules of Civil Procedure allow lawyers for parties in civil actions to exchange documents by email, once the action has begun – but not the ‘originating process’ like the statement of claim.

I am also aware that some courts have allowed parties to serve originating process as ‘substitute service’ (the traditional service in person having been tried and failed) by electronic means, notably by posting messages to the defendant’s Facebook page or by Twitter (a notice of injunction).

I am not aware of such methods being used in a prosecution or regulation context. Am I missing something? How could the regulator prevent a denial of receipt by the addressee? (How can it decrease the prospects of repudiation?) Must there be contractual or statutory authority to support delivery?

Retweet information »

Comments are closed.