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Consent to Electronic Service

The most common methods of initial service of pleadings are personal service, regular mail to the AOR, certified restricted mail with a return receipt and a completed acknowledgment and waiver of service. Pursuant to 12 O.S. § 2005(B) (2010), a party or attorney may consent to electronic service of subsequent documents and orders that relate to the pleading that was initially served.

Service of process may be obtained by electronic means if the attorney or party consents in writing to receiving service in a particular case by electronic means and the attorney or party provides instructions for making the electronic service consented to by the attorney or party. Said another way, the party or party’s attorney must give written consent to receive electronic service and designate an email address at which to receive subsequent documents. The required written consent and electronic service instructions may be made in the entry of appearance filed by the attorney or the party or may be made in another pleading filed by the attorney or party in the case. 12 O.S. § 2005.2 (2007)

In order to perfect service by electronic means, CSS must obtain written consent by the attorney or party to be served.  There are two Notices of Consent to Electronic Service forms on ALC: the GN20 (for pro se use) and GN21 (for attorney use). This notice must be signed and filed with the court.

It is imperative to be aware of the limitations of electronic service. When CSS has been given consent to serve a party or his/her attorney at an authorized email address the service is only good for the current action.

Below are two scenarios illustrating when a new Notice of Electronic Service would or would not be needed.

Scenario 1

A party consented to electronic service on a Motion to Modify as evidenced by completion of a Notice of Consent to Electronic Service (GN20) signed by the party and filed with the Court. Parties appear for a hearing and a continuance is needed to obtain additional information, such as the cost of health care coverage for an accurate calculation of child support. Notice of the continuance may be sent to the authorized email address as it is a continuation of the original action.

Scenario 2

If a party consented to electronic service in an initial action and a new or amended action is filed, it is considered a new action. A new Notice of Consent to Electronic Service is required.

An action is deemed complete when an order has been entered and the appeal time has expired. Any new actions would require service pursuant to 12 O.S. § 2004 (2017) and a new signed and filed Notice of Consent to Electronic Service.  See 12 O.S. §§ 990A (2017)2005(B) (2010), and 56 O.S. 240.3 (2019).

At the discretion of the State’s attorney, CSS may also consent to Electronic Service per 12 O.S. §§ 2005.2. The consent may be included in the Entry of Appearance and provide the electronic address to which the electronic services will be accepted.

Always consult your managing or state’s attorney when the use of electronic service is in question.