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Appendix 3.5 – England - Service of documents by post

1.0 Interpretation Act 1978, Section 7

This states:-

"7. Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression "serve" or the expressions "give" or "send" or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post."

2.0 Practice Direction - Service of Documents - First and Second Class Mail

"With effect from 16 April 1985 the Practice Direction issued on 30 July 1968 is hereby revoked and the following is substituted therefore.

1. Under S7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 service by post is deemed to have been effected, unless the contrary has been proved, at the time when the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.

2. To avoid uncertainty as to the date of service it will be taken (subject to proof to the contrary) that delivery in the ordinary course of post was effected:-

(a) in the case of first class mail, on the second working day after posting;

(b) in the case of second class mail, on the fourth working day after posting.

3. "Working days" are Monday to Friday, excluding any band holiday.

4. Affidavits of service shall state whether the document was dispatched by first or second class mail. If this information is omitted it will be assumed that second class mail was used.

5. This direction is subject to the special provisions of RSC Order 10, rule 1(3) relating to the service of originating process.

8 March 1985
Queen's Bench Division

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