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Ministry of Justice advises of changes in serving documents

31 March 2020

The Ministry of Justice is advising lawyers how they can assist to facilitate service of documents by bailiffs during COVID-19 alert level 4.

Chief Operating Officer Carl Crafar says bailiffs will only serve urgent documents if all other options are unavailable.

These urgent documents include Family Court documents such as Order Preventing Removal of Child from New Zealand (OPR) and temporary Protection Orders (Without Notice), he says.

"We suggest the legal profession provide a working phone number for the respondent/defendant. The courts will attempt to contact the respondent/defendant for an email address. If a phone number is not available, but evidence can be supplied of an active social media account or a working email address, then we suggest filing for substituted service."

Mr Crafar says the usual procedures will be followed in relation to without notice Protection Orders, where they are sent to the Police to serve.

"As the Police are stretched for resources during this time, we will only be requesting documents to be served in urgent situations," he says.

Last updated on the 31st March 2020