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Family Law Rules – Rule 6: Service of Documents

Angela Princewill

November 14, 2015

RULE 6: SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS

METHODS OF SERVICE
6. (1) Service of a document under these rules may be carried out by regular service or by special service in accordance with this rule, unless an Act, rule or order provides otherwise. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (1).

AGE RESTRICTION
(1.1) No person shall serve a document under these rules unless he or she is at least 18 years of age. O. Reg. 6/10, s. 1.

REGULAR SERVICE
(2) Regular service of a document on a person is carried out by,

(a) mailing a copy to the person’s lawyer or, if none, to the person;

(b) sending a copy by courier to the person’s lawyer or, if none, to the person;

(c) depositing a copy at a document exchange to which the person’s lawyer or, if none, the person belongs;

(c.1) if the person consents or the court orders, using an electronic document exchange;

(d) faxing a copy to the person’s lawyer or, if none, to the person; or

(e) if the person consents or the court orders, emailing a copy to the person’s lawyer or, if none, to the person. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (2); O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (1, 2).

SPECIAL SERVICE
(3) Special service of a document on a person is carried out by,

(a) leaving a copy,

(i) with the person to be served,

(ii) if the person is or appears to be mentally incapable in respect of an issue in the case, with the person and with the guardian of the person’s property or, if none, with the Public Guardian and Trustee,

(iii) if the person is a child, with the child and with the child’s lawyer, if any,

(iv) if the person is a corporation, with an officer, director or agent of the corporation, or with a person at any place of business of the corporation who appears to be managing the place, or

(v) if the person is a children’s aid society, with an officer, director or employee of the society;

(b) leaving a copy with the person’s lawyer of record in the case, or with a lawyer who accepts service in writing on a copy of the document;

(c) mailing a copy to the person, together with an acknowledgment of service in the form of a prepaid return postcard (Form 6), all in an envelope that is addressed to the person and has the sender’s return address (but service under this clause is not valid unless the return postcard, signed by the person, is filed in the continuing record); or

(d) leaving a copy at the person’s place of residence, in an envelope addressed to the person, with anyone who appears to be an adult person resident at the same address and, on the same day or on the next, mailing another copy to the person at that address. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (3).

SPECIAL SERVICE — DOCUMENTS THAT COULD LEAD TO IMPRISONMENT
(4) Special service of the following documents shall be carried out only by a method set out in clause (3) (a), unless the court orders otherwise:

1. A notice of contempt motion.

2. A summons to witness.

3. A notice of motion or notice of default hearing in which the person to be served faces a possibility of imprisonment. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (4); O. Reg. 322/13, s. 4 (1).

SPECIAL SERVICE — RESTRICTION ON WHO MAY SERVE
(4.1) Subject to subrule (4.2), special service of the following documents shall be carried out by a person other than the party required to serve the document:

1. An application (Form 8, 8A, 8B, 8B.1, 8B.2, 8C, 8D, 8D.1, 34L or 34N).

2. A motion to change (Form 15) and change information form (Form 15A) or affidavit permitted under subrule 15 (22), with required attachments.

3. A document listed in subrule (4). O. Reg. 6/10, s. 1.

EXCEPTIONS
(4.2) Subrule (4.1) does not apply if,

(a) the party required to serve the document or the person being served is a person referred to in clause 8 (6) (c) (officials, agencies, etc.); or

(b) the court orders otherwise. O. Reg. 6/10, s. 1.

REGULAR SERVICE AT ADDRESS ON LATEST DOCUMENT
(5) Regular service may be carried out at the address for service shown on the latest document filed by the person to be served. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (5).

NOTICE OF ADDRESS CHANGE
(6) A party whose address for service changes shall immediately serve notice of the change on the other parties and file it. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (6).

SERVICE BY MAIL, WHEN EFFECTIVE
(7) Service of a document by mail is effective on the fifth day after it was mailed. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

SERVICE BY COURIER, WHEN EFFECTIVE
(8) Service of a document by courier is effective on the day after the day the courier picks it up. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

SERVICE BY DOCUMENT EXCHANGE, WHEN EFFECTIVE
(9) Service of a document by deposit at a document exchange is effective only if the copy deposited and an additional copy of the document are date-stamped by the document exchange in the presence of the person depositing the copy, and then service is effective on the day after the date on the stamp. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

SERVICE BY ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT EXCHANGE, WHEN EFFECTIVE
(10) Service of a document through an electronic document exchange is effective only if the electronic document exchange provides a record of service showing the date and time of service, as well as the information listed in subrule (11.4), and then service is effective on,

(a) the date shown on the record of service; or

(b) if the record of service shows that the document was served after 4 p.m., the following day. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

SERVICE BY FAX OR EMAIL, WHEN EFFECTIVE
(11) Service of a document by fax or email is effective on,

(a) the date shown on the first page of the fax or in the email message, as the case may be; or

(b) if the first page of the fax or the email message shows that the document was served after 4 p.m., the following day. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

SPECIAL SERVICE BY LEAVING COPY, WHEN EFFECTIVE
(11.1) Special service of a document under clause (3) (a) or (b) is effective on the day the copy of the document was left in accordance with those clauses or, if the document was left after 4 p.m., the following day. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

SPECIAL SERVICE BY LEAVING COPY AND MAILING, WHEN EFFECTIVE
(11.2) Special service of a document under clause (3) (d) is effective on the fifth day after it was mailed. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

EXCEPTION, IF EFFECTIVE DATE IS A HOLIDAY
(11.3) Despite subrules (7) to (11.2), if the effective date of service under one of those subrules would be a day on which court offices are closed, service is instead effective on the next day on which they are open. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED IN RECORD OF SERVICE
(11.4) A record of service for service of a document through an electronic document exchange shall, in addition to the date and time of service, include,

(a) the total number of pages served;

(b) the name and email address of the person who served the document;

(c) the name of the person or lawyer who was served; and

(d) the title or a description of the nature of the document. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (3).

INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED WITH DOCUMENT SERVED BY FAX
(12) A document that is served by fax shall show, on its first page,

(a) the sender’s name, telephone number and fax number;

(b) the name of the person or lawyer to be served;

(c) the date and time of the fax;

(d) the total number of pages faxed; and

(e) the name and telephone number of a person to contact in case of transmission difficulties. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (12); O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (4).

MAXIMUM LENGTH OF DOCUMENT THAT MAY BE FAXED
(13) Service of a document or documents relating to a single step in a case may be carried out by fax only if the total number of pages (including any cover page or back sheet) is not more than 20, unless the parties consent in advance or the court orders otherwise. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (13); O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (5).

DOCUMENTS THAT MAY NOT BE FAXED
(14) A trial record, appeal record, factum or book of authorities may not be served by fax at any time unless the person to be served consents in advance. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (14).

INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED WITH DOCUMENT SERVED BY EMAIL
(14.1) Unless the court orders otherwise, the email message to which a document served by email is attached shall include,

(a) the name of the person or lawyer to be served;

(b) the title or a description of the nature of the document;

(c) the date and time of the email; and

(d) the name and telephone number of a person to contact in case of transmission difficulties. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (6).

SUBSTITUTED SERVICE
(15) The court may order that a document be served by substituted service, using a method chosen by the court, if the party making the motion,

(a) provides detailed evidence showing,

(i) what steps have been taken to locate the person to be served, and

(ii) if the person has been located, what steps have been taken to serve the document on that person; and

(b) shows that the method of service could reasonably be expected to bring the document to the person’s attention. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (15); O. Reg. 322/13, s. 4 (2).

SAME, NOTICE
(15.1) An order under subrule (15) may be obtained on motion without notice, except where the person to be served is a government agency. O. Reg. 322/13, s. 4 (3).

SERVICE NOT REQUIRED
(16) The court may, on motion without notice, order that service is not required if,

(a) reasonable efforts to locate the person to be served have not been or would not be successful; and

(b) there is no method of substituted service that could reasonably be expected to bring the document to the person’s attention. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (16).

SERVICE BY ADVERTISEMENT
(17) If the court orders service by advertisement, Form 6A shall be used. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (17).

APPROVING IRREGULAR SERVICE
(18) When a document has been served by a method not allowed by these rules or by an order, the court may make an order approving the service if the document,

(a) came to the attention of the person to be served; or

(b) would have come to the person’s attention if the person had not been evading service. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (18).

PROOF OF SERVICE
(19) Service of a document may be proved by,

(a) an acceptance or admission of service, written by the person to be served or the person’s lawyer;

(b) an affidavit of service (Form 6B);

(c) the return postcard mentioned in clause (3) (c);

(d) the date stamp on a copy of the document served by deposit at a document exchange; or

(e) a record of service provided by an electronic document exchange that meets the requirements of this rule. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 6 (19); O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (7).

DOCUMENT THAT WAS NOT SEEN ON EFFECTIVE DATE
(20) The court may, on motion, lengthen a time, set aside the consequences of failing to take a step by a specified time, order an adjournment, or make any other order that is just, if, despite service of a document having been effected on a person in accordance with this rule, the person shows that the document,

(a) did not come to his or her notice; or

(b) came to his or her notice only after the effective date of service. O. Reg. 140/15, s. 1 (8).

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