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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
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Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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how long does a walls of notice have to be displayed in the

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how long does a walls of notice have to be displayed in the court, in respect of being unable to serve divorce papers, what steps have to be taken before walls of notice is put in the court
Thank you for your question.

Before a walls of court notice can be used the summons or writ has to narrate that the person's whereabouts are unknown, their next of kin's whereabouts are unknown and a note of the steps taken to try to find the person has to be narrated, eg, investigators, sheriff officers etc.

The period of notice is the same as if the action was served in the normal course, typically 21 days for a person last known to be living in the UK.

See rule 33.4

"Averments where identity or address of person not known

33.4.​In a family action, where the identity or address of any person referred to in rule 33.7 as a person in respect of whom a warrant for intimation requires to be applied for is not known and cannot reasonably be ascertained, the party required to apply for the warrant shall include in his pleadings an averment of that fact and averments setting out what steps have been taken to ascertain the identity or address, as the case may be, of that person."

And Rule 5.6

"Service where address of person is not known

5.6.​(A1) ​Subject to Rule 6.A7 this rule applies to service where the address of a person is not known.
(1) ​Where the address of a person to be cited or served with a document is not known and cannot reasonably be ascertained, the sheriff shall grant warrant for citation or service upon that person-
(a) ​by the publication of an advertisement in Form G3 in a specified newspaper circulating in the area of the last known address of that person, or
(b) ​by displaying on the walls of court a copy of the instance and crave of the initial writ, the warrant of citation and a notice in Form G4;
and the period of notice fixed by the sheriff shall run from the date of publication of the advertisement or display on the walls of court, as the case may be.
(2)​ Where service requires to be executed under paragraph (1), the pursuer shall lodge a service copy of the initial writ and a copy of any warrant of citation with the sheriff clerk from whom they may be uplifted by the person for whom they are intended.
(3) ​Where a person has been cited or served in accordance with paragraph (1) and, after the cause has commenced, his address becomes known, the sheriff may allow the initial writ to be amended subject to such conditions as to re-service, intimation, expenses or transfer of the cause as he thinks fit.
(4)​ Where advertisement in a newspaper is required for the purpose of citation or service under this rule, a copy of the newspaper containing the advertisement shall be lodged with the sheriff clerk by the pursuer.
(5) ​Where display on the walls of court is required under paragraph (1)(b), the pursuer shall supply to the sheriff clerk for that purpose a certified copy of the instance and crave of the initial writ and any warrant of citation."

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