Q&As

Do I need to serve an original claim form or can I serve a copy?

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Published on LexisPSL on 21/10/2015

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Do I need to serve an original claim form or can I serve a copy?
  • Service by post or DX—original required
  • Service by email or fax—copy is acceptable
  • What can I do if I have served a copy claim form when I should have served an original?

Do I need to serve an original claim form or can I serve a copy?

There are no express provisions in the CPR as to whether the original sealed claim form must be served or whether a copy will suffice.

Service by post or DX—original required

There is a considerable weight of judicial interpretation requiring the original claim form to be served on the defendant in specific circumstances, which are if using either the postal or DX methods of service. The main case generally referred to is that of Ramsey J in Hill Contractors.

Six months later, the Court of Appeal in Davidson referred to CPR 6.3 requiring an original sealed claim form to be served. This provision states:

'A claim form may (subject to Section IV of this Part and the rules in this Section relating to service out of the jurisdiction on solicitors, European Lawyers and parties) be served by any of the following methods—

(a)     personal service in accordance with rule 6.5;

(b)     first class

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