High Court grants Application for Substituted Service via Facebook

fb_icon_325x325An Accra High Court in the case of IFS Financial Services Limited v Jonathan Mensah & Anor[1] has allowed the social media network, Facebook, to be used to notify a defendant of a civil suit after several failed attempts at serving the court processes on him personally.

The High Court judge, Justice Sophia Bernasko-Essah in her order directed that the documents should be brought to the attention of the Defendant “By sending a copy of the writ of summons together with the statement of claim as a private message to the official verified Facebook account of the 1st Defendant where it will be deemed to have been delivered, after an electronic indication that it has been read.”

Lawyers for IFS Financial Services Limited (IFS) argued that since the aim of substituted service is to notify a Defendant of a suit against him, if it is established that the Defendant has a verified Facebook account, then it is right to notify him of the suit through Facebook. It was also argued on behalf of IFS that since the Electronic Transactions Act entreats the courts to accept electronic data, the service of the process and the generation of a confirmation of receipt of the processes are admissible as proof of service of the writ.

Service of court processes through social media and messaging apps in Ghana is gradually gaining ground.  In 2015, a High Court in the case of Kwabena Ofori Addo v Hidalgo Energy and Julian Gyimah[2] approved an application for substituted service by WhatsApp, a free mobile instant messaging application.

[1] Suit No. GJ563/2017

[2] Suit No. AC 198/2015


Samuel Alesu-Dordzi

Samuel Alesu-Dordzi

Samuel Alesu-Dordzi is an Editor of the Ghana Law Hub.

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