16 Mar 2009

Social networking site serves legal purpose

9:01 pm on 16 March 2009

In what is believed to be a first for New Zealand, the High Court has given permission for court papers to be served by a father on his son via a social networking website.

The company Axe Market Garden, which is run by John Axe, is trying to sue his son Craig for allegedly transferring $241,000 from the firm's account via the Internet.

Craig Axe is reported to be living in Britain, but his exact whereabouts remain unknown.

Justice David Gendall approved the use of the social networking site Facebook to serve papers on Craig Axe, after being told newspaper advertisements were not a reliable method of reaching him.

The lawyer for Axe Market Garden, Daniel Vincent, said all other avenues to contact Craig Axe had been exhausted. He said Mr Axe has until late April to respond.

It is believed to be the first time court papers have been served using Facebook in New Zealand, but an Australian court recently took a similar action.