Federal Court of Australia
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd v Reed (No 2)  FCA 114
RCL CRUISES T/AS ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES ABN 54 150 263 086
DATE OF ORDER:
18 February 2021
THE COURT ORDERS THAT:
1. The applicants have leave to serve the following documents on the respondents by substituted service by emailing them to the respondents’ lawyers’ email addresses recorded in the applicants’ interlocutory application dated 17 February 2021, namely:
(a) a sealed copy of the Amended Originating Application filed on 2 February 2021 and the Amended Statement of Claim filed on 27 January 2021;
(b) a copy of the orders made on 1 February 2021 giving leave to serve the documents out of the jurisdiction; and
(c) a copy of these orders and the interlocutory application dated 17 February 2021.
2. Upon service in accordance with order 1, the documents so served will be taken to have been served on the respondents.
3. The costs of the applicants’ interlocutory application dated 17 February 2021 are reserved.
1 On 1 February 2021, I granted leave to the applicants to serve the amended originating application and amended statement of claim on the first and second respondents in the United States of America in accordance with the requirements for service under the laws applicable there. See Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd v Reed  FCA 51.
2 The applicants have now adduced evidence of their unsuccessful attempts to serve the documents on the respondents at their place of residence in Rockville, Maryland, USA. An affidavit by a process server, Vance M Warren Sr, details his many attempts at service in the period 4-12 February 2021. The many attempts include four attempts, one on each of 8, 9, 10 and 12 February, where it appeared that the respondents were present at their home but they failed to answer Mr Warren’s and Mr Warren’s agent’s knocking on the door. Mr Warren formed the view that the respondents were attempting to avoid service.
3 In the circumstances, I am satisfied that reasonable attempts have been made to effect personal service of the documents on the respondents and that those attempts have failed.
4 The applicants have also adduced evidence of extensive correspondence by email between their Australian lawyers and their US lawyers who are conducting the proceeding in Florida, on the one hand, with the respondents’ lawyers who are conducting the Florida proceeding on behalf of the respondents, on the other. The Florida proceeding is the proceeding which is the target of the applicants’ anti-suit injunction in the principal proceeding in this Court. Although the respondents’ lawyers have replied on inquiry to say that they do not have the respondents’ authority to accept service, the lawyers clearly have the respondents’ authority to otherwise conduct the proceeding.
5 There is no conceivable – at least to me – reasonable explanation why the respondents would not give their US lawyers authority to accept service of process on their behalf, or why they would not answer the knock of the process server. The most obvious explanation that occurs to me is that the respondents are seeking to avoid service so as to delay the proceeding in this Court and to thereby potentially hinder its prospects. That is not a reasonable explanation.
6 In any event, I need reach no concluded view on that. The point is that I am confident that if the documents are provided to the respondents’ US lawyers, the lawyers will in turn bring them to the attention of the respondents. In those circumstances, I am content to grant the applicants’ application under r 10.49 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) for leave to serve the documents at the email addresses of the respondents’ US lawyers. Those email addresses have been established in the evidence before me. In order to protect the respondents’ lawyers’ privacy in their email addresses, I will avoid listing the email addresses in the orders that I make but will rather refer to the interlocutory application for the identification of the email addresses.