Service of documents means the delivery of the statement of claim and/or other court related documents to a physical or legal entity. The service of documents is a fundamental prerequisite of our Legal system because it informs and/or notifies a person (legal or physical) of the procedure against them. The right to be notified and informed as such is constitutionally safeguarded under Art. 30 of the Republic.
The traditional method of service in Cyprus is via private bailiff. However other methods of service can also be used, for example via fax or registered post. Ordinance 5 of the Civil Procedure Rules provides in relation to issues of service of legal documents. More specifically Ordinance 5 provides that a service must be made at the address of the residence of a person or in his/her address of work. In the event that the person cannot be found in his/her address of residence or work place then the service can be made to another member of his/her family, provided that such person is of 16 years old and upwards, or to his/her employer respectively. Where a bailiff serves a document then he/she must make a sworn affidavit in relation to the service at the District court that the service took place. In the contents of the aforementioned affidavit he/she must state or specify whether the document was successfully serviced or not and specify whether it was received by a person or whether such person refused to sign. The aforementioned affidavit serves as evidence of the service especially in case the recipient denies or is ignorant of the service as such.
In cases where the recipient of the service is a Cyprus registered company then, according to article 372 of CAP.113 Cyprus Company Law, the service can be effected to the registered address of such company. Furthermore the service is considered successful and legally binding if it was delivered to the Director or secretary of the company.
If the physical or legal entity resides in the EU then Regulation 1393/2007 is applicable. An application must be made to the Court requesting the out of jurisdiction service of the documents. This Regulation allows out of jurisdiction service for all the Member-States in relation to civil or commercial disputes. The service is effected via each Member- State’s Governmental Authority. If the legal or physical entity resides outside of EU then, the Hague Convention of 1965 is applicable due to Cyprus being a signatory to the Convention, since 1969.
The Courts in the Cyprus Republic are flexible and depending upon the issue up hand can and do issue a plethora of Orders to accommodate the service needed in every case, when traditional or orthodox service of documents cannot be effected.
Author Michaella Pillakouri, Lawyer
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