Danske Bank v Meagher: Substituted service can be served on a defendant who is outside the jurisdiction of the State

imgresHere ([2014] IESC 38), the Court held that, under the Rules of the Superior Courts, it is sufficient that a judge is satisfied that prompt personal service of notice of proceedings cannot be effected before granting an order for substituted service. There is no requirement that the defendant is within the jurisdiction of the State.


Kelly J, in the High Court, granted Danske an order to serve substituted service on Meagher by ordinary post. Kelly J, later, granted Danske summary judgment and a garnishee order against Meagher.

Meagher applied to the High Court to have those orders set aside on grounds that the property at which Danske served the notice of proceedings was not his residence, he was outside the jurisdiction when Danske served notice at that property and he therefore had no knowledge of the proceedings.

Meagher argued that, under Order 9 rule 2 of the Rules of the Superior Courts, substituted service can only be served on a person who is within the jurisdiction of the State, and that Danske was obliged to serve proceedings on him outside of the State.


Laffoy J, with Fennelly and Dunne JJ concurring, held that in certain circumstances, such as where the defendant is a foreign national with no connection to the State, it may be necessary to serve proceedings outside of the jurisdiction. As Meagher is a citizen of the State, though, with business and property interests and banking facilities within the State, the High Court was correct to allow substituted service to the premises that he listed as his address with the Companies Registration Office.

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