The Chief Justice David Maraga-led Judiciary could soon starting serving subpoenas through SMSs, WhatsApp messages and e-mail should the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules, 2020 sail through.
Why Maraga's team will now start sending SMSs and WhatsApp messages
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At present, court summons are required to be received personally by the involved party or their agents who could be the law firm representing them or their spouse.
Other ways lawyers have used to serve summons include publishing the document in the local dailies and pinning the court document to the respondent's premises.
"The amendment rules are an attempt to reform civil procedure in the magistrates' court and High Court, and align it to technological advancement by providing alternative modes of service of summons, including by email and mobile-enabled messaging applications.
"Integration of technology will aid in streamlining litigation practice in advancement of the interests of justice," Bowmans Kenya opined.
Court summons on Facebook and Twitter
The firm has gone on to caution that the new rule could allow lawyers to serve sermons through social media platforms.
"It is therefore arguable that the rules permit service of summons through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which may also be broadly interpreted as being inclusive to the definition, particularly because a party does not require the court's leave to effect service by email or mobile-enabled messaging applications," they stated.
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