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Serving the Defendant

When you make a claim you are responsible for notifying the other person (called the defendant) of the claim. You do this by serving the claim on them after you have filed it with the court. You must then prove to the court that you have served your claim on the defendant. The court will not proceed with your claim unless you prove that you have served the defendant.

Multiple Defendants

If you are suing more than one person for the same claim you must serve each party to the claim separately. Even if the people are married to each other they must be served separately.

What to Serve

To make a claim you must serve...

  • Summons (tells the defendant when and where to appear in court)
  • Claim
  • Defendant Information Document (provided to you by the court)
  • Draft Defendant Reply (provided to you by the court)
  • The First Appearance and Case Management Conference Document. (provided to you by the court)

When to Serve

If the defendant has not had enough time to prepare they may ask for and receive an adjournment of the court date.

You must serve the above documents on the other party at least 30 days before the court date. The earlier you serve the defendant the better. The defendant may need time to prepare a response to your claim.

If you are unable to serve the defendant at least 30 days before the court date, you must advise the court. A new date will be given and a new Summons prepared at no additional cost, so that you will have more time to serve the defendant. If you do not contact the court to change the date your claim could be dismissed.

How to Serve

You can hire a process server or the Sheriff's Office to serve the court documents for a fee. Process servers are listed in the yellow pages under Bailiffs and Sheriff's Offices are located in King's Bench Courts.

A Summons must be served in person or by registered mail.

Personal delivery service may be made by any person 18 years of age or over. Service is made by giving the person a copy of the documents. It is not necessary to obtain a signature from the person. You can just hand the documents to the person and tell them they are being served with court documents. If the person refuses to accept the documents you should tell them that they are being served with court documents and explain what the claim is about. You should then leave the documents as close to the person as possible.

Specific Serving Rules

There are specific rules for serving certain people or organizations.

Serving Minors

You can serve a minor (a person under 18 years of age) by giving one copy of the documents to the minor and another copy to the parent, guardian or any other adult person at the address where the minor lives.

Serving Government

Special rules apply to serving government bodies. The court staff will explain the requirements for serving a Crown Corporation, a municipality or the Government of Saskatchewan.

Serving a Corporation

Service on a corporation can be carried out by leaving a copy of the court documents with any officer or director of the corporation. You can also serve a clerk, manager, agent or other representative at, or in charge of, any office or any other place where the corporation carries on business in Saskatchewan.

You may also serve a corporation by registered mail by delivering copies of the documents to the registered office or any attorney of the corporation appointed pursuant to section 268 of The Business Corporations Act.

The corporate "Profile Report" will provide you with the necessary information about the names of the officers and directors of the corporation, the address of the registered office, as well as the name of any attorney appointed with respect to an extra-provincial corporation, pursuant to section 268 of The Business Corporations Act.

Serving a Lawyer

Court documents may be served by leaving a copy with a party's lawyer if the lawyer accepts service by signing a copy of the document, indicating that they are the lawyer for that person.

Service Outside of Saskatchewan

Documents may be served outside Saskatchewan, without the necessity of a court order, in the same circumstances in which it would be allowed in the Court of King's Bench. More information may be obtained from the court staff.

Problems with Service

You may be unable to serve documents. This could happen if you do not know where the person you want to serve lives and cannot locate them. It could also happen when you know where the person lives but you still have not been successful in serving them, perhaps because they are avoiding service.

In these cases you can apply to court for an order allowing an alternate method of service. This allows you to serve the person through different means.

You need to prepare a statement for the court outlining why you cannot serve the person. This should include all the steps you have taken to locate and serve the person and the costs to you so far in taking these steps. It should also include a proposed alternative way you think would work to serve the person such as...

  • serving a family member or someone else with whom you believe the party is in regular contact
  • delivering the documents to the last known address of the party
  • publishing a notice in a newspaper

If you think an application for an alternate method of service is necessary, speak to the court staff.

Proving Service

You must prove that the other party was served by completing an Affidavit of Service. An Affidavit of Service must be sworn before a Commissioner for Oaths or a Notary Public. You can find these individuals in the yellow pages of your local phone book or through online directories. You can also take the Affidavit to the courthouse to be sworn. Do not sign it until you are in front of the Commissioner for Oaths or a Notary Public

The Affidavit of Service will vary depending on how the documents were served.

  • If the documents were served by registered mail you must attach the mailing receipt to the Affidavit of Service by Registered Mail.
  • If the documents were served in person the Affidavit of Personal Service must be filled out by the person who served the documents. If you served the documents yourself you can testify in-person instead of preparing an Affidavit.
  • If someone from the Sheriff's office served the documents they will fill out a Certificate of Service instead of using the Affidavit.
  • If the documents were served on the other party's lawyer service is proved by producing the documents signed by the lawyer accepting service and an Affidavit is not required.

The Affidavits to prove service as well as other forms are available on the Courts of Saskatchewan website.

Keep a copy of the court documents that have been served and filed, as well as proof of service, for your records.

Costs of Service

If you are successful in court, you may be reimbursed for the reasonable costs of service.

Keep receipts or invoices that show costs you incurred when serving documents. You can present these to the court when your costs are being discussed. If the costs of service were increased due to the distances travelled or the number of attempts before service was successful, this may be explained in an affidavit or invoice and may be referred to when seeking an order for costs.

The judge will want to be satisfied that the costs are reasonable having regard to all of the circumstances, including the amount of the claim and the methods of service available. For example, if you used a process server instead of registered mail you will have to justify the extra cost.

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