Service by fax

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Service by fax is a substitute delivery of litigation documents to give the opposing litigant notice of the suit against them by faxing the documents to the party or parties requiring service. Generally, a person must consent to service by fax in advance to establish adequate service of process. In federal court, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 5(b)(2)(E) provides that a person may be served “by other electronic means that the person consented to in writing,” and the Notes on Advisory Committee on the Rules to this provision state that facsimile transmission is included as an electronic means. Analogous state statutes and rules often mirror the federal rules for establishing service by fax. For example, California Code of Civil Procedure § 1013(e) provides that “[s]ervice by facsimile transmission shall be permitted only where the parties agree and a written confirmation of that agreement is made.”

[Last updated in April of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]