Service of documents

Service of an originating process that names the Commonwealth as a party

An originating process that names the Commonwealth as a party may be served at an AGS office. Certain AGS lawyers have been appointed under s 63 of the Judiciary Act 1903 to receive service of an originating process of this kind.

COVID-19: Facilitating service electronically

AGS has established an e-service email address that can be used to facilitate service of an originating process that names the Commonwealth as a party: processservice@ags.gov.au.

This platform has been established to remove the need for people to attend an AGS office to serve originating documents, consistent with the Government’s directions to practise social distancing. The service may only be used to deliver an originating process (such as a writ of summons, an initiating application, an originating summons, an originating statement of claim or petition). The service should not be used to deliver other kinds of court documents (e.g. subpoenas). In particular, the service should not be used by parties to litigation in which AGS is the solicitor on the record. Documents to be served by parties in existing proceedings in which AGS is the solicitor on the record should continue to be served in the usual way, electronically, on the responsible AGS solicitor.

When an originating process is delivered to processservice@ags.gov.au, an automatic response will be sent advising that service cannot be taken to have been effected until formal confirmation is received from AGS that service has been accepted.

AGS will review the documents and a formal email confirmation will be sent to advise whether service has been accepted. The timing of AGS’s response may depend on the nature of the documents being served. If AGS advises that service has been accepted, acceptance of service will, for the purpose of any limitation period, be taken to be the date on which AGS received the originating process at processservice@ags.gov.au.

If you have questions about this service, please contact processservice@ags.gov.au.

Personal service

Personal service of an originating process that names the Commonwealth as a party can still be effected if you do not have access to email. Please call the relevant local contact below to make an appointment to attend one of our offices. Office numbers will divert to mobile where required:

Canberra: Emily McBride – 02 6253 7252

Adelaide: Nerida Nelson – 08 8205 4230

Brisbane: Alexander Tate – 07 3360 5782

Darwin: Brooke Griffin – 08 9268 1158

Hobart: Eileen Webb – 03 6210 2111

Melbourne: Katrina Close – 03 9242 1230

Perth: Brooke Griffin – 08 9268 1158

Sydney: Louise Buchanan – 02 9581 7325

Service of an originating process that names the Attorney-General as a party

Service of any originating process that names the Attorney-General as a party to a suit, or that names him personally (i.e. ‘Mark Dreyfus’) as a party to a suit in relation to the performance of functions in his role as the Attorney-General, may be effected at an AGS office. The Attorney-General has authorised certain AGS lawyers to accept service, on his behalf, of these kinds of originating processes. For service to be effected, the originating process must be personally delivered to one of these authorised AGS lawyers at an AGS office.

Please contact an AGS office for further information.