That's the question. Is it legally mandatory, at least if one side wants it, for the two sides to make all communications by mail or by hand-delivery? Are all communications required to meet the standards of service of a summons and complaint?
Real Estate Attorney
If you are asking about just service of documents, then Mr. Daymude is correct. If you are asking about just correspondence in general, then the request is highly irregular.
Attorneys and parties sometimes do state that all communications must be in writing after they have determined that they cannot trust their adversary to remember the conversation accurately. I have never heard of anyone refusing to allow communication with email. Attorneys no longer have the staff to prepare and mail every piece of correspondence. I think a court would not look favorably upon litigants who say that some communication they received did not count because it was by email.
Electronic service of documents in CA courts depends on consent. If a party has not agreed to accept electronic service of documents, service must be done via a method that does not require consent, i.e., personal service or via U.S. mail. See CRC Rule 2.251 here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/cms/rules/index.cfm?title=two&linkid=rule2_251
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Yes, they can refuse. Attorney Daymude is correct.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
Ethics / Professional Responsibility Lawyer
I agree with Mr Eschen. I would add that requiring communication to be written but not emailed drastically increases communication time, making it wholly unworkable in today's practice. Any court that eventually got involved would think that was ridiculous.