As all lawyers and a significant number of clients learn quickly in litigation, finding a Defendant to personally serve can be painfully slow and frustrating. Unfortunately, the Civil Procedure Rules categorically require personal service for originating matters (and a handful of other proceedings).
If the client is unable to provide any further details of the Defendant to personally serve, we recommend a process referred to as a “skip trace.” In simple terms, skip tracing involves hiring an investigator to conduct a search of a wide range of public and private resources, and often involves on site investigation, to find a Defendant’s location. Skip tracing can be a complex and lengthy process, and usually attracts a fee of anywhere between $110 and $1,100 (which varies depending on the scope of the investigation, if on sight investigation is required, this fee can be significantly greater).
A general skip trace includes some of the following searches, but can depend on what information is already held about the Defendant:
- Electoral roll search;
- Electronic White Pages;
- Federated Content Search;
- Australia Securities and Investment Commission;
- Real property;
- Social websites;
- Australian Business Number; and
- Reverse phone searches.
Our Team conduct a range of these searches internally, prior to commencement of proceedings (based on the client engagement). However, when these initial searches prove unsuccessful and/or the process servers advise us they are unable to locate the Defendant at the last known address – we will offer a solution being a “skip trace” investigation.
We welcome you to contact our offices on (07) 5574 3560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We thank you for considering Nautilus Law Group.