What are some alternative methods of service?
You must present a reasonable plan to the judge/master for delivering the documents so they'll get to the person you need to serve. For example, if you believe that the other party would definitely receive the documents if you gave them to their mother, include that information in your affidavit. Include the mother's name and address, as the judge/master will need to include those details in the order. If you have a mailbox number, address, fax number, or email address for the person to be served, include that information, and ask if you may serve the person by mail, fax, or email. You can also ask if the person may be served by taping a notice to their door.
If you have no contact information at all, and you don't know of any family members, friends, employers, or other acquaintances who could bring the application to the other party’s notice, you must state this in your affidavit. Under these circumstances, you could ask if you can serve the documents by posting an advertisement in the newspaper in the community where you believe the other party lives. You must draft the announcement in the proper format: for Supreme Court cases, a Notice for Publication (Form F11). You must also pay for the costs of the advertisement.
You could also ask the judge/master to allow you to serve the other party by posting a copy of your Notice of Family Claim (Form F3) in the court registry. This is the cheapest method of alternative service, but you must first make every effort to find the other party (and be prepared to prove that you've done so).
If the judge/master agrees to allow you to serve the documents this way, they will specify how long the documents must stay posted at the court registry. You'll have to take the order for substituted service and a copy of your Notice of Family Claim (Form F3 in Supreme Court) to the court registrar. The registrar will date stamp the documents for you to put up on the board. You'll have to take them down again. Different courts may have different procedures for doing this. Ask at the court registry how to proceed.
If you get an order for substituted service, you must serve the document exactly as ordered and include a copy of the order with the documents to be served, unless the judge/master says otherwise.
For more information about other ways to serve documents, see JP Boyd on Family Law.
Fill out the forms
Once you've tried everything you can to serve the documents on the other party, you can apply for an order for substituted service in Supreme Court. Usually these orders are made without a hearing. As a result, they're often referred to as "desk orders." This desk order is just as effective as an order made in court.
To apply for a desk order, you need to fill out several forms. In these forms, use the same file number and court registry name where any Notice of Family Claim (Form F3) was filed or previous order was made, even if you've moved. Fill out:
- a Requisition for Consent Order or Order Without Notice (Form F29) (PDF) (Word),
- an Affidavit (Form F30) (PDF) (Word), and
- a draft Order Made Without Notice (Form F34).
These forms contain technical instructions to help you fill them out. You can fill out the forms online or print them and fill them out by hand (print neatly using dark-coloured ink). See our fact sheet Common questions about the Supreme Court PDF forms or Common questions about the Supreme Court Word forms for help using the online forms.
Swear the affidavit
Collect your completed Affidavit (Form F30) and copies of any documents you want to attach to them and take them to a lawyer, notary public, or a clerk at the court registry. You have to swear or affirm any affidavits in front of one of these people.
Phone first to ask how much they will charge for this service, because some people charge a lot more than others.
If you're going to a lawyer or notary public, call ahead to make an appointment and to make sure that he or she can swear or affirm the document for you. Say the document is an affidavit. Make sure you tell the person that you don't need any advice.
When you go to have the Affidavit (Form F30) sworn or affirmed, take photo identification with you. The person who will swear the affidavit for you must be sure you are who you say you are. After identifying you, they will ask you if you've read the affidavit, and if you swear or affirm that the contents are true to the best of your knowledge and belief. If you answer yes, then you sign the documents and the person witnesses your signature.
File the forms
Once the Affidavit (Form F30) has been sworn or affirmed, make one photocopy of all your documents, and go to the court registry to file your documents. You must file the application at the same court where any Notice of Family Claim (Form F3) was filed or where any previous order was made.
File the original Requisition (Form F29), Affidavit (Form F30), and draft Order Made Without Notice (Form F34). The registry clerk will date stamp your Requisition and Affidavit, keep the originals of all documents, and return the photocopies to you. You'll have to pay a filing fee. These are your "filed copies."
You'll receive a photocopy of the original order once it's signed. Be sure to ask the clerk how long it usually takes to have the written order signed and where you should go to pick up your copy.