In our experience, the commonly accepted practice of parties to an agreement choosing a domicilium citandi et executandi (that is, an address to which all legal documentation may be sent) can cause problems. Quite frequently, the address will be abandoned or deemed unsuitable by the owner (who may be living elsewhere or, indeed, may have emigrated) but he will not have informed those with whom he is dealing about this.
Later, he may claim, with truth, that he never saw the documents sent to his domicilium address. However, the law will not accept that as an excuse unless he can prove that he has advised his partners and associates of the intention to change his business address.
A case on choosing a domicilium address
In a recent court case, however, the judge did rule against a claimant delivering to a domicilium address. In that case the address was vacant land, which should never have been accepted as a domicilium and the documents had been placed under a stone.
Furthermore, as the claimant here was a bank, the judge ruled that, having dealt regularly with the defendant, they had sufficient information to trace her and need not have resorted to the drastic legal action of a summons.
Our advice on choosing a domicilium address
In general, our advice is that it is extremely important that if you are entering into some sort of legal agreement you have a reliable domicilium address which will look after documents received and, if necessary, forward them quickly to you. The law does not look kindly on those who try to use an ineffective or inefficient domicilium as an excuse and, in fact, various deals have fallen through because of this.
We understand that the legal terminology and the rules surrounding this area of the law can very easily be overwhelming. If this is the case for you, and you are faced with choosing a domicilium address, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice at [email protected].
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