Your opponent has to notify you and the court office of a (physical) address at which formal documents may be delivered to them (CPR 6.23). They can only specify one physical address for service of documents at any one time but they can change that address at any time by notifying you and the court office in writing. Your opponent must give a physical address for service. They can also give an email address for service and/or a FAX number for service as well but they do not have to.
It is important to understand that the fact that your opponent (or your opponent’s solicitor if they have engaged a solicitor to conduct the litigation on their behalf) has used a particular email address when corresponding with you does not automatically mean they are notifying you that that email address is their address for service of documents. It is only if they have, at some time, actually said in writing that that email address may be used “for service of documents” or “for service” (which means the same thing) that it can be. Otherwise the email address is merely a correspondence address and, whilst it is convenient for everyone if copies of documents are sent to that email address in PDF form, sending to the email address does not, in itself, count as valid service of the document.
Note: Even if service of documents by email is not valid, it is good practice to always send a copy of the document by email as well as serving a copy by a formally valid means. This is because if by some accident you are late serving the document by a valid means of service, the fact that you sent the document by email before the deadline, even though not formally valid service, means that a court may (all other things being equal) be more likely to excuse the late formal service.
It is, or course, important to file documents at the correct court office. A claim in the High Court can be transferred from one District Registry to another or to or from the Royal Courts of Justice (which includes the Rolls Building) in London.
A County Court claim will start in one County Court hearing centre but might be transferred to another hearing centre. Claims which are purely for money (i.e. claims which do not include a claim for a declaration, injunction, possession of land, or return of property) normally have to be started in the County Court Money Claims Centre but will usually be transferred later to another County Court hearing centre.
When a case is transferred to a different Court, or transferred within a Court from one district registry or hearing centre, to another, you will receive a Notice of Transfer of Proceedings, telling you the name and address of the court office it has been transferred to. It is important to keep track of which court office the case is currently with, and to file any documents which need to be filed at the correct court office, so you should store a copy of the Notice of Transfer of Proceedings in the Service folder so that you can easily check, when the time comes for you to file a document at the court office, the correct address to use.
The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.
This page was lasted updated in January 2017 Disclaimer