Dalhousie Law Journal


Jurisdiction, involuntary or accidental entry, service of process


In Doyle v. Doyle, ' the defendant in a civil action moved to set aside the service of a writ of summons on the grounds of want of jurisdiction of the Newfoundland Supreme Court. The defendant, resident and domiciled in Montreal, was arrested there on December 7, 1973, and taken under police escort to St. John's. He was released on bail on December 11 but was required to remain in Newfoundland until final disposition of the fraud case for which he had been arrested. On December 17 a writ was issued against him from the Newfoundland Court and on December 18 it was served on him in Newfoundland. This action was one for arrears of maintenance under a Quebec judgment. 2 The defendant asked that the writ and service thereof "be set aside ... on grounds that he was only found within the jurisdiction of the Court where service could legally be effected because he was brought into Newfoundland compulsorily by the police' '.3 The Court rejected the defendant's contentions. It distinguished situations where civil process has been set aside where a defendant was induced to enter the jurisdiction by fraud,4 such decisions being founded on the principle that service in such instances amounts to an abuse of process of the Court. 5