Affidavit of service

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The Jolly Contrarian’s Dictionary

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Affidavit of service /ˌafɪˈdeɪvɪt ɒv ˈsəːvɪs/ (n.)
1. (Litigation): A sworn written statement made by the bearded, tattooed hippy on a fixie to whom you gave your close-out notice with instructions to deliver it to your Defaulting Party — that he actually did what you asked, and handed the parcel to your counterparty at the registered address listed in your legal agreement for the purpose of serving notices. While tattooed, bearded, hippy cycle couriers are inevitably somewhat distasteful, you should nevertheless exercise some standards when appointing one since, in theory at least, this fellow may be called upon to confirm his written affidavit in court and the reliability of his evidence may well not stand up to cross-examination if he turns out to have a crystal meth habit.

This is a simple but nonetheless important evidential point should you need to take legal action against your counterparty to recover sums due but unpaid. Should the rascal not pay the amount due and you find yourselves issuing proceedings, this greasy fellow becomes a process server, and will need to file your claim on your defendant or, should it be foreign, its process agent.

If your counterparty was not there to take delivery of the notice, your fellow will need to be suitably present of mind to work out how to validly effect service in a way that will satisfy any court who might subsequently be asked to adjudicate on the matter. If you are in doubt, give him instructions before he sets off.

Litigation in a time of cholera

Serving legal notices became unexpectedly fraught in the early part of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

To be clear: serving notices under a contract can be done to a client wherever it may reside, as directed in your notices boilerplate. It is only the commencement of a legal action in the English courts on a defendant with no place of business in England or Wales that must be served on a process agent.

See also