Understanding Affidavits of Service

November 6th, 2023
Service of legal documents

If you sue someone in Small Claims Court, you might find yourself needing to submit an affidavit of service. This is an important document that stands as proof that one party received legal documents from another.

What is an Affidavit of Service?

An Affidavit of Service, sometimes referred to as Proof of Service, provides proof that a legal document, such as a Statement of Claim in a lawsuit or an Application for Divorce, has been served on the other party. Affidavits of Service are typically utilized during legal disputes or court cases, including those in Small Claims Court, Family or Civil Court. Having an Affidavit of Service prevents the other party from claiming they never received the legal documents, which could potentially cause delays in the court proceedings.

Are notarized affidavits of service necessary?

Affidavits of service must undergo notarization or commissioning. The individual who delivered the documents must sign and swear or affirm the Affidavit of Service in the presence of a commissioner for taking affidavits or a notary public. If the affidavit is going across a border, it must usually be Notarized.

Who Can Serve Documents on Another Party?

Legal documents can be served (or delivered) on another party by an adult over age 18, as long as they follow the rules of the court for which they are serving the document. It is usually acceptable to serve your own document, have a lawyer, friend or relative serve it, or hire a professional, called a process server, to serve the document.

What Details are necessary for this Affidavit?

Once documents are delivered to the other party, the person who served the document needs to fill out an affidavit of service. Each division of court has its own specific forms and rules for serving documents. You must ensure that you are using the correct affidavit of service form or the court will not accept it. Check online at the link below or contact the applicable court office if you are not sure. Affidavits of service will generally contain the following information:

● The legal first and last name and official address of the person serving the documents
● The legal first and last name and official address of the person delivering the documents
● The legal first and last name and official address of the person or agency being served
● The date and exact time of the document’s delivery.
● The location of service, including the address of the business, house or apartment number, street name, city, and province.
● The name of the document that was served
● The method of service, whether it was in person, at the place of residence or business, via regular mail, courier, fax, etc. Be sure to serve the document using a method specified by the division of court where you are filing the document.
● Proof of service, such as copies of courier receipts or fax confirmations should be attached to the affidavit as exhibits
● If you were not successful in serving the document, you can list all of your attempts to serve the document and include details and proof of your attempts
● If the individual being served provided any form of photo identification like a driver’s license or health card, it’s important to record the identification number for further verification of the service.

Who can Commission or Notarize an Affidavit of Service?

Once the Affidavit of Service is filled out, the server must confirm the accuracy of the information before a Commissioner of Oaths or Notary Public After this, the officer will notarize it by signing and stamping the Affidavit, making it valid as proof of the document’s delivery.

An Affidavit can be sworn or affirmed before:

● A Notary Public or Commissioner of Oaths
● Court staff who are appointed as a Commissioner of Oaths
● A licensed Paralegal or Lawyer

Subsequently, the person who served the document must file the notarized or commissioned Affidavit of Service and accompanying documents with the court to confirm the successful delivery of the papers.

How Can Red Seal Notary Help?

If you’re facing a time crunch for notarizing the Affidavit of Service, reach out to Red Seal Notary for swift and reliable assistance. Our experienced team, comprised of knowledgeable notaries, can efficiently guide you through the process, ensuring your legal documentation is properly notarized or commissioned and ready for submission. Remember to bring your original valid government-issued photo identification with you, as the notary will need to see this in order to verify your identity. Red Seal Notary has convenient walk-in offices in Toronto, Ottawa, and Mississauga where you can have affidavits of service notarized. Please visit our website at www.redsealnotary.com or contact our helpful call center at 1-888-922-7325 to make appointments to notarize documents at locations across the country.

Helpful Links

Ontario Court Forms

Ontario Small Claims Court Affidavit of Service – Form 8A

Ontario Civil Court Affidavits of Service – Form 16B

Ontario Family Court Affidavits of Service – Form 6B

Ontario Estate Court Affidavits of Service (and other Estate forms)

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