Part of Courts

Serving a notice in a court application

How to find a respondent and serve a notice to them.


When you make a court application you must:

  • give notice to the respondent
  • serve the respondent the forms that you filed
  • hand-deliver directly to the respondent by either yourself, a friend or a Process Server

Finding the other party

If you don’t know where the other party is, you have to make every effort to find them.

Some suggestions are:

  • talking to their family members and friends
  • contacting former employers
  • contacting sport or hobby groups
  • searching Canada 411

If it is difficult or impossible to personally serve them, the court may allow you to serve in some other way such as:

  • Recorded Mail (registered mail)
  • to post the notice on their front door
  • through some other person who is in contact with them such as a co-worker or friend
  • a Process Server

A Process Server will:

  • help you find the respondent
  • serve the court materials,
  • complete the Affidavit of Service for you
  • charge a fee for their services

If you have tried all of the steps listed above and have been unsuccessful, you can ask the court for an Order for Substitutional Service.

In some cases, the court will allow you to go ahead without serving the respondent. But this is only considered after every effort to find them has failed.