The only way to recover more than $600,000 from a couple who ran an Alexandra car dealership before it was placed in liquidation is via text message or email.
In a Dunedin High Court judgement, Associate Judge Dale Lester said he was satisfied all other attempts to make contact with Grant and Jenny Constable had been exhausted.
The case relates to Fivefifteen Holdings, which was placed in liquidation in August 2019.
The company traded under the name Grant Ward Auto Central and the Constables, of Alexandra, were its directors and joint shareholders.
A fortnight before Fivefifteen Holdings was placed in liquidation Grant Constable closed the BP fuel service station next to the dealership in Centennial Ave.
The November 6 High Court decision applies to action by Nissan Financial Services New Zealand (NFSNZ) to recover $633,466 plus interest and costs from the Constables.
Associate Judge Lester said NFSNZ's counsel Christchurch law firm Anthony Harper did not have a residential address for the Constables, but did have a physical work address, and a work email address for Grant Constable.
The Constables' lawyer had earlier told Anthony Harper he would try to get instructions from the couple.
Anthony Harper later followed up with the lawyer, who said his firm no longer acted for the couple but that he would speak to Grant Constable to confirm who now represented them.
"Nothing further has been forthcoming at the time this application was filed."
Anthony Harper had also been told it would be unwise to serve documents to Grant Constable at his work, the judge said.
Anthony Harper had working cell phone numbers for the Constables and dispensed with the need to serve the legal papers in person in favour of a specifically worded text message.
"The High Court has ordered that unless you, within five working days from the date of this text, make contact with Anthony Harper to arrange receipt of the court documents, you will be deemed to have received those documents which seek judgement against you for $633,466 plus interest and costs."
Associate Judge Lester also ordered a copy of the proceedings be sent to Grant Constable's work email.
The text and email meant the documents were to be treated as served three days after being sent, the decision said.
The Anthony Harper firm was closed yesterday for Christchurch Anniversary Day and the Constables could not be reached for comment.