Courts start to notify litigants with SMS, e-mail


Saudi Gazette report

— The Ministry of Justice has officially started to implement the royal decree approving digital means of judicial notifications. Dr. Waleed Al-Sama'ani, Justice minister and chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, ordered implementation after the e-notification controls had been published in the official Umm Al-Qura last Friday.

The ministry said in a press statement that e-notification was considered productive for its legal effects in three cases. The first is notification with an SMS sent to a phone number verified by the competent authority.

The second case is notification on the natural or legal person’s e-mail address when the address belongs to the person, has been included in a contract between the parties, has been mentioned on the person’s website, or has been verified by a government entity. The third case is notification via an account registered on any of the government automated systems.

The ministry asserted that — in addition to the data required for the notice and claim statement — the ID card or commercial registration number of the defendant, execution debtor, or notification receiver would also be included, and they would have to provide such data.

It also pointed out that e-notification should be conducted via the digital systems approved by the Ministry of Justice.

The official implementation comes at a time when some judicial panels, such as those of commercial courts, have started applying it and linked it to the ministry’s digital systems, in addition to the traditional notification means, including process servers and Saudi Post.

Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques King Salman had issued a royal decree approving judicial e-notifications — via SMSs on verified phone numbers, e-mails, and accounts registered on government automated systems — as valid and effective notifications, just like the means traditionally recognized by law.