SERVICE OF PROCESS ABROAD BY ELECTRONIC MEANS

Numerous United States (U.S.) courts have found that service on foreign defendants by means of e-mail or facsimile is justified under certain circumstances. Specifically, when e-mail or facsimile is the preferred means of communication for the defendants and when such methods of service are more effective than the traditional alternatives. Electronic service is authorized under Rule 4(f)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What are the main considerations in an order granting service by electronic means?
What court decisions have influenced the eventual breakthrough decision in Rio, which allowed service of process on foreign defendants by electronic means?
What aspect of electronic service on foreign defendants has not been clarified by the decision in Rio?
What are the implications of the Rio decision on the future of serving process?

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