10.52: Declaration of civil contempt
11.16: Service on lawyer
11.17: Service on lawyer of record
11.3: Agreement between parties
11.5: Service on individuals

Case Summary

The Appellant appealed an Order finding him in civil contempt. One of the issues on Appeal was whether or not legally sufficient service was effected. Pursuant to Rule 10.52, for allegations of contempt other than those in the face of the court, a notice of an Application for contempt “must be served on the person in the same manner as a commencement document.” The Respondents served the contempt Application on the Appellant’s lawyers of record by email, fax and courier and provided appropriate evidence of receipt. The Court noted that service by courier, with receipt acknowledged in writing, is a form of recorded mail.

The Rules of Court provide a number of ways to effect service of a commencement document on an individual including: as agreed in a contract where applicable as per Rule 11.3; by personal service on or recorded mail addressed to an individual as per Rule 11.5; by service on an individual’s lawyer, if the lawyer acts for the individual and accepts service in writing as per Rule 11.16; or by leaving a copy with the individual’s lawyer of record, or at their office or other designated address, or by recorded mail addressed to the lawyer at the lawyer’s office as per Rule 11.17.

The Appellant argued that Rule 11.5, for service on individuals, displaced other methods of service of commencement documents provided for in the Rules. The Court disagreed and found no error in the Chamber Judge’s conclusion that Rule 11.17 provides a proper mode of service for a commencement document and, therefore, for a contempt Application. Ultimately, for reasons other than ineffective service, the Appeal was allowed, and the underlying Order was set aside.

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