Canada is currently in the midst of a postal strike. Although the strike is currently “rotating” in nature, with different communities being subject to the strike on different days, it is possible that the strike could become country wide should negotiations remain unsuccessful. Although concern may immediately turn to the potential impact of a full strike upon online holiday shopping, a full national strike could also have an impact upon the legal world in relation to the service of documents.
Canada Post remains a vital service to the legal community, amongst other things remaining one of the official means of service upon a lawyer of record pursuant to rule 16.05 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Although there are alternate service mechanisms available to serve documents upon a lawyer of record should the strike become national, such as potentially using a courier, there are certain documents which the Rules of Civil Procedure provide may only be served by mail.
Rule 74.18(3) of the Rules of Civil Procedure contemplates that an Application to Pass Accounts is to be served by regular lettermail, providing:
“The applicant shall serve the notice of application and a copy of a draft of the judgment sought on each person who has a contingent or vested interest in the estate by regular lettermail.” [emphasis added]
Although such a rule typically assists the Applicant in serving the Application to Pass Accounts in a streamlined and cost effective manner, as otherwise personal service of the Application to Pass Accounts would be required pursuant to rule 16.01 as an “originating process”, the rule does not contemplate what is to occur in the circumstance that service by regular lettermail is not possible (i.e. in a full work stoppage). In such circumstances, how can the Applicant ensure that the Application to Pass Accounts is properly served as required by the Rules of Civil Procedure?
From a common sense standpoint there are likely alternatives readily available to serve the Application materials other than by regular lettermail, including potentially by courier or by personal service. From a strict reading of rule 74.18(3) however, service of the Application to Pass Accounts by any means other than “regular lettermail” is not proper service, such that it is possible that a beneficiary may argue that they have not been properly served should you serve them by any other means. Should this occur, it is possible that an Order validating service and/or substituting service for alternative means under rule 16.04 may be required.
Thankfully at present the strike is only “rotating” in nature, such that we can continue to mail out documents such as Applications to Pass Accounts to be served in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure (subject to any potential daily interruptions should your community be striking on a particular day). Should circumstances change however, and there is a full work stoppage, it is possible Orders may have to be sought validating and/or substituting service for service in a manner other than by regular lettermail for those items such as Applications to Pass Accounts which the Rules provide may only be served by mail.
Thank you for reading.
It’s Friday, June 25, 2010 and as a result of the G20 summit, I am blogging remotely – from the comfort of my own home. As you know, the leaders from the G20 countries are meeting in Toronto this year to discuss key issues in the global economy.
The road leading to the summit has been a rocky one. I believe the words "fake lake" pretty much sums it up.
And you should be aware that there are traffic restrictions in effect today. For a list of the major highways with partial and full closures today through to Sunday, click here.
Even the judiciary has been impacted! If you are practicing in the area of estates, you are well aware that there were no judges sitting yesterday and there are none sitting today. My colleagues, Natalia Angelini and Paul Trudelle, noted that this was a topic of discussion at the recent Dinner with the Honourable Estates List Judges.
Well, it’s not just the courts that are closed today. In the Globe and Mail‘s ‘local view’ blog, which is dedicated to keeping us up to date on the "disruptions" and "drama" that Toronto has experienced in the lead up to the G20 summit, Siri Agrell informs us things have become personal. What could be so personal for Torontonians? Apparently the LCBO announced that it would close 7 of their stores.
If you’ve noticed that your local LCBO store is closed today and you need to stalk up for that party you’re holding tomorrow evening (perhaps to celebrate recovery and new beginnings – this year’s G20 theme), click here.
Enjoy your weekend!
Kathryn Pilkington – Click here for more information on Kathryn Pilkington.