Positive Impact Approval of Electronic Means in Serving Summons

The Royal Order approving using electronic means in serving legal summons (e-service) was enacted and became effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette on 9 Jumada Al-Awwal 1439 H, corresponding to 26 January 2018. This Royal Order included certain significant provisions and measures. E-service is deemed legally effective and duly served to the addressee if in accordance with the following provisions:

A: Service of summons via SMS on mobile phones           

The service of a summons is deemed legally effective upon the addressee/recipient via SMS to the addressee’s mobile phone, provided that such mobile is authenticated  with the competent  authority, i.e.,  entered in the records of such authority.

B: Service of summons via e-mail

The summons may also be served via e-mail given to a natural or legal person if the e-mail is attributable to the addressee or is recorded in a contract between the parties of the legal action, or in the electronic website for the addressee, or authenticated with a governmental authority.  

C: Service of summons via accounts recorded with any governmental electronic systems

The Royal Order requires, in addition to the particulars entered in the summons and the statement of claim, inclusion of the  I.D or C.R. number of the Defendant, the party against whom the enforcement is sought, or the addressee. The burden to provide these particulars rests on the Plaintiff, the enforcement applicant, or the service applicant, as the case may be.

It is worthwhile to point out that enactment of this Royal Order establishes an approach to advance and enhance the judicial classification of the Kingdom at both local and international levels.  

This Royal Order is deemed one of the most significant features in connection with the objectives and realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the strategic goals laid down by the Ministry of Justice to create an attractive environment for both local and international investors.  It further contributes to shortening the average time dedicated to hearing Saudi legal actions.

The Kingdom, by enactment of this Royal Order, thus conforms to advanced systems in the judicial and court arenas in accordance with established good practices and international and regional standards. The matter requires a comprehensive review by the competent authorities to consider the articles of the Law of Procedure before Sharia Courts and the Enforcement Law to make certain  e-summons fully comply with all existing laws.