Change of Era as Service of Court Summons can now be effected through Mobile Messaging & E-Mail
The Civil Procedure Rules have been amended by the enactment of the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules, 2020 contained in Legal Notice No.22 in Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 11 dated 26th February 2020
The amended Rules have expanded the procedure of the service of summons and other court process on persons out of Kenya to include service through mobile-enabled messaging and electronic mail. While the old Civil Procedure Rules only provided for personal service as the default mode of service, with other substituted means which could be obtained upon application and with leave of the court, the new Rules are a welcome change as they now cater for situations where service is required on a person who has left Kenya and can only be reached on their telephone numbers and email addresses.
The discretion of the Court to allow substituted service under the old Rules was subject to the Court’s assessment of the particular circumstances, with documented instances in which the Courts allowed electronic email as a substituted means of service before the amendment to the Rules came into being. The enactment of the amended Rules now give legal backing to these forms of substituted service and give the Courts express jurisdiction to allow service upon persons out of Kenya through messaging and electronic mail.
The only prerequisite for the service to be deemed proper is the ability to prove that the sender of the electronic message or mail has received a delivery receipt to confirm the service. In addition, the Court will most definitely require compliance with rules of evidence on electronic evidence for the proof of service to be considered as evidence.