One of the most common clauses that can be found in a contact is the so-called domicilium citandi et executandi clause. This clause, simply put, provides the addresses of the parties to the agreement, where they consent to service notices and pleadings in relation to that agreement.
The importance of this clause cannot be overstated. It makes it easy for parties to serve documents on each other relating to disputes arising from the agreement itself. Without this clause, the onus would fall on the innocent party to locate the other party in order to serve documents on him/her.
That being said, the domicilium clause does come with some risks. In most cases, should documents be served at a domicilium address, the courts will consider such service sufficient, even if the document was not received by the party personally. There is thus no need to prove that the notice or pleading was actually received by the intended recipient.
As a result a situation may arise where a summons is served, judgment taken and execution steps initiated against a person who knows nothing of the matter. The onus will then fall on that that person to approach the court to have the judgment against his/her name rescinded which could be a costly exercise.
It is accordingly of the utmost importance that, when you sign an agreement, you make sure the address supplied is correct and that the address is one where you shall actually receive any documents served on you. Also, it is essential that you notify the other party to the agreement of any changes to your domicilium address. This will help ensure that any documents intended for you, will reach you successfully
The domicilium clause is an essential part if any agreement. Although it can be extremely helpful, you must ensure that your address is up to date to avoid proceedings being instituted against you, without your knowledge. It may even be prudent to look at old agreements that you entered into to ensure that you advise the other parties of any potential changes to your address.