Prince Andrew’s team dispute claims that legal papers have been served

<p>(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)</p>

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Lawyers for the woman suing the Duke of York over sexual assault allegations have claimed to have served legal papers on him, according to a document filed in a New York court.

Prince Andrew’s team have disputed the claim that the  papers have been successfully served, the BBC reports.

At a glance: 5 key points

  • The legal counsel who represent Virginia Giuffre has said in the document that the lawsuit was handed to a Metropolitan Police officer who was on duty at the main gates of The Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, on 27 August, according to a document filed in a New York court. 
  • Virginia Giuffre has launched a civil case against the prince in New York - and legal papers have to be "served" before the case can proceed.
  • The BBC has reported that Prince Andrew’s team do not believe that legal papers from Ms Giuffre have been successfully served. 
  • Prince Andrew, who is currently with her mother The Queen at Balmoral, denies all claims made by Ms Giuffre.
  • A US judge will ultimately determine whether the papers were properly delivered. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York will hold the first pretrial conference in the case via teleconference on Monday.

What’s been said?

Ms Giuffre has sued the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s former friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the duke, when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.

Prince Andrew has vehemently denied all the allegations.

In documents filed to the US district court for the southern district of New York on Friday, the lawyers state there was a first attempt to serve the papers on the duke on August 26, when an agent went to Windsor Great Park.

They state that a Metropolitan Police officer, who was the head of security, told the agent officers were not able to accept service of any court process, or let anyone trying to serve legal papers on to the property.

The agent returned the next day and was told the court process could be left with the police officer at the main gate “and that this matter would then be forwarded on to the legal team”.

The document says the complaint, the summons and other papers were enclosed “in a plastic sleeve and then in an A4 envelope, addressed to the said defendant, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, at the address” and then left with the police officer.

It says within 21 days of the summons the plaintiff must be served an answer to the complaint, and “if you fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint”.

Buckingham Palace refused to comment.

A spokeswoman representing Andrew also declined to comment.