Court approves service by WhatsApp in cross-border family dispute

The High Court has approved service of a Court application by the WhatsApp messenger service.

In the case of Gray V Hurley, Ms Gray brought claims against Mr Hurley arguing that she bought numerous assets in his name due to him exerting undue influence over her. She contends that this created a constructive trust over the assets in her favour such that the value of the same belongs to her. Ms Gray brought her claims in the family Courts of England and Wales and needed to serve the papers on Mr Hurley, who had returned to live in his native New Zealand. The use of WhatsApp messenger was approved by the Court as constituting proper service of the documents. The decision was based upon the fact that Mr Hurley’s last country of domicile before he returned to New Zealand was England.

If you own property as a cohabitant and separate from your partner, contact our Family Team to discuss what rights you have and what your options are going forward.