Arrange for alternative service (Provincial Court)

Provincial Court


Sometimes it's not possible to deliver documents by personal service. For example, if the other person

  • is overseas and you can't have anyone overseas deliver the documents,
  • is in jail,
  • has a history of avoiding someone who is trying to give them documents, or
  • is violent and it wouldn't be safe for anyone to deliver the documents.

So you'll need to ask the court for an order to approve another way of getting the documents to the person. This is called alternative service.

You must have a reasonable plan for getting the documents to the other person. If the judge is convinced, they'll make an order allowing it.

Updated on 12 May 2021

Fill out a form

You’ll need:

Fill out the Application and Schedule 2 forms. Give the court as much information as you can about the following:

  • What you've already done to try to serve the person (for example, who tried to serve them, when they tried, how many times they tried, where they tried). Be specific.
  • What you did to try to find the person if you don’t know where they are (for example, you talked to family and friends or searched online).
  • Why you think the person will get the documents if they are given in the way you asked. Explain what you learned when you tried to find the person that makes you believe your plan would get the document(s) to their attention.

Your plan for alternative service must be clear and reasonable. For example, you could ask the judge if you could:

  • give the documents to the other person's mother, if you believe this would work.
  • tape the documents to the other person's door.
  • send the documents by email, or fax, or mail.
  • post a Notice by Advertisement in the community newspaper where you believe the other person lives, if you have no contact information for the other person, their family, friends, or employers.
  • post the documents in the court registry, if you can prove you've tried and failed to find the other person.
You won’t appear in front of a judge to explain your situation. A judge will look at your documents in their office and either give you the order or deny the order. So the more information you have, the better.

You can attach more paper to the application if you need more room than the form includes. You can also attach any printed proof you want to show the judge. (For example, a screen capture showing the person confirming where they live, or a text ­message thread with someone confirming that the person is staying with them.)

Updated on 17 May 2021

File the forms

You’ll need:

  • Your completed Form 11 and Schedule 2

Take your completed forms to the registry and give them to the clerk.

The judge might take a few days to a few weeks to decide on your order. If the judge denies your order, they'll give reasons why. If you have explanations to convince the judge, ask the registry if they will allow you to submit more information on the same application or if they want you to submit a new application.

Updated on 12 May 2021

Serve your documents

You'll need:

  • Your order for alternative service
  • The documents you need to serve on the other person

Attach a copy of the order for alternative service to the documents you're serving by this alternate means.

If the method of service is a Notice by Advertisement (Form 47), you don't need to attach a copy of the alternative servicer order. The person who applied for the order must pay for this Notice by Advertisement.

You've now gone through all the steps required to arrange for alternative service in Provincial Court. Thank you for using our step-by-step guide.

Updated on 17 May 2021