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The Hague Convention

SERVICO WILL ASSIST YOU WITH SERVICE OF PROCESS OUTSIDE THE U.S.!

We stay informed of the procedures, and have developed a network of professionals around the world, and together, we are able to complete proper notice and service on Foreign defendants in any action.

The Hague Convention was developed to provide a timely, uniform manner of providing notice/service to foreign defendants.

If we are retained to effect service on your behalf using this method, we will:

prepare all necessary treaty documents and have service properly effected, either through the appropriate central authority or our appointed agent (as in expedited service where available).

provide, at no extra cost, an affidavit detailing the work in progress which can support a motion to extend, if necessary.

PLEASE CALL US FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE COST AND TIMING OF THIS SERVICE.

It should be noted that there are currently 36 different Hague Conventions developed for/relating to various issues and procedures. For example, Hague Convention #14 is the "Service" Convention and is solely for the service of "notice" documents between signatory countries. Hague Convention #20 is the "Evidence" Convention and is solely for the compulsion of evidence between signatory countries. Hague Convention #12 is solely for the uniform legalization of documents for use between signatory countries. There are also other "Conventions" currently being discussed and developed, such as a Convention for the recognition of judgments.

It is wise to understand the differences between these Conventions and when/which one is warranted in a particular situation.

There are many controversial subjects relating to whether or not, as well as HOW, the Hague Service Convention should be utilized if it is available. The United States Supremacy Clause dictates that use of the convention supercedes state statutes for service, but there are appellate rulings for and against use of the convention that vary from court to court, even when deciding the same issue.

Upon accession to the Hague Service Convention, a signatory country is allowed the opportunity to voice objections to, impose restrictions on, or issue a requirement relating to, any of the Articles of the Convention. The most common controversy surrounds a signatory country's objection or lack of objection to the various portions of Article 10, which generally allows the applicant to sidestep utilizing or going through the country's designated Central Authority. The text of Article 10 is as follows:

Article 10
Provided the State of destination does not object, the present Convention shall not interfere with -

a.      the freedom to send judicial documents, by postal channels, directly to persons abroad,

b.     the freedom of judicial officers, officials or other competent persons of the State of origin to effect service of judicial documents directly through the judicial officers, officials or other competent persons of the State of destination,

c.      the freedom of any person interested in a judicial proceeding to effect service of judicial documents directly through the judicial officers, officials or other competent persons of the State of destination.


With regard to paragraph (a), significant controversy exists over the term freedom to "send" (as is quoted in par.(a) above) which some courts have ruled does not mean freedom to "serve".

IN ADDITION, SERVICE BY MAIL SHOULD NEVER BE USED IN A COUNTRY WHERE A FORMAL OBJECTION TO IT HAS BEEN DECLARED.

With regard to (b) and (c), there are many countries where this is an option, but often not a practical one. The reasons for this are that U.S. consular officers are forbidden by regulation to assist in the service of process, process servers, as a private profession, do not exist in most foreign countries, and many judicial officers in foreign countries will not serve documents sent to them directly from private individuals in the United States.

What needs to be taken into consideration at all times is that IF you ever intend to attempt enforcement of a judgment IN the foreign country, the judgment must be obtained based upon a method of service considered valid in the courts of the foreign country. Use of the Hague Service Convention removes this potential complication because it is recognized as valid service in the courts of all signatory countries (which includes ALL U.S. courts).

use our helpful glossary of terms to better understand what you need

Toll Free (NYS) 800-828-4428 | (518) 463-4179 | Fax (518) 463-3752
Servico | P.O. Box 871 | Albany, NY 12201
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