Prince Andrews lawyers claim sex assault court papers not properly served

Prince Andrew has been served legal papers over a civil case for rape and sexual assault following weeks of "avoiding" officials, court documents have revealed.

The legal documents were accepted by the Duke of York's security chief at his home in Windsor but his lawyers "claim the papers were not properly served", the Daily Mail reports.

The legal counsel, who represent Virginia Roberts, say in the document that the civil lawsuit was handed to a Metropolitan Police officer who was on duty at the main gates of The Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, on August 27 at 9.30am.

The filing says this is "consistent with the provisions for service upon an individual defendant, under Section 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules, as required by the Supreme Court of Judicature in England & Wales".

Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts has lodged a civil claim against the Prince for rape, sexual assault and battery.

Prince Andrew, 61, strongly denies the claims.

In documents filed to the US district court for the southern district of New York, 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 onto the property.

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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 summons has been accepted under civil procedure rules by the Supreme Court of England Wales, though Andrew's lawyers are trying to prevent the case from progressing further by accessing the sealed document Miss Roberts signed through the US courts.

The confidential settlement she signed in 2009 may include clauses which would prevent the action taken against the Prince or any individuals she has accused of being Epstein's co-conspirators.

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Representatives for Ms Roberts however, stated in a court document that the assertion regarding the 2009 release was an "erroneous suggestion" by the Duke's legal team.

The initial hearing will take place at 9pm UK time on Monday via a conference call.

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