In California, can one side in a lawsuit refuse to communicate via email and insist on hand-delivered mail or U.S. postal mail?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

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?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. James Carl Eschen III

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . 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.

  2. Michael Raymond Daymude

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . 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?ti...

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for... more
  3. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    5

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    Answered . 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... more
  4. Megan Elizabeth Zavieh

    Contributor Level 7

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    Answered . 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.

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