Prince Andrew’s legal team will not attend today’s court date in New York where the Duke of York is being sued over sexual assault allegations, reports claim.
Virginia Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
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 later on Monday.
Lawyers for Ms Giuffre say they served legal papers on him a fortnight ago, according to a document filed in the New York court.
However that is reportedly disputed by the Duke of York’s personal lawyer.
The Mirror understands is not to be planning to sending his legal team to the teleconference phone call hearing expected to focus on how the papers were served.
The royal, who was last week visiting the Queen’s Balmoral residence in Scotland, has been accused of stonewalling the case as Ms Giuffre as her lawyers repeatedly request his presence in the US to confront the allegations.
He held a shooting party at Balmoral on Saturday with guests including the crown prince of Bahrain, according to The Sun on Sunday.
According to the paper, the duke’s lawyer Gary Bloxsome has claimed correct procedure was not followed and that the papers should instead be served through a British court official.
Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s former friend and convicted sex offender, the late billionaire financier, Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the duke when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
Andrew has vehemently denied all the allegations.
Lawyers for Ms Giuffre filed the civil suit citing allegations of battery by sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the Duke.
The royal was claimed to have been served with the civil lawsuit documents a fortnight ago.
The legal counsel representing Ms Giuffre say the civil lawsuit was handed to a Metropolitan Police officer on duty at the main gates of The Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, on August 27 at 9.30am.
But Blackfords, who said they represent the duke “in certain UK matters”, raised questions in an email on September 6 about how the papers were served.
In a document, they wrote: “We reiterate that our client reserves all his rights, including to contest the jurisdiction of the US courts (including on the basis of potentially defective service).”
They added Ms Guiffre’s claim may not be viable, citing a 2009 release in a separate court case in Florida.
Representatives for Ms Giuffre, however, stated in a court document that the assertion regarding the 2009 release was an “erroneous suggestion” by Blackfords.
Judge Kaplan will ultimately determine whether the papers were properly delivered as part of Monday’s hearing.
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 Met 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”.
Andrew and Buckingham Palace have faced growing pressure to put him forward to face the allegations.
He has stepped back from public royal duties amid the fallout from his relationship with Epstein and an interview on BBC Newsnight widely viewed as disastrous.
The Mirror has approached the Duke of York’s representatives for comment.
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