The Hague Service Convention
The Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, more commonly called the Hague Service Convention, is a multilateral treaty which was signed in The Hague (Netherlands) in 1965 by members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It allows service of judicial documents from one signatory nation to another without the burden of following diplomatic channels.
The Hague Service Convention was designed 1) to provide a simpler way to serve process abroad, 2) to assure that defendants sued in foreign jurisdictions would receive actual and timely notice of suit, and 3) to facilitate proof of service abroad. The Convention is a highly regarded and very functional treaty which facilitates the exchange of thousands of service requests annually between member nations.
Service may be made by “formal” service through the Central Authority of the country of destination which itself arranges for service by methods prescribed in the treaty. Each signatory nation may impose reservations (restrictions) regarding limits of service, such as prohibition against service by private process server. All reservations must be properly filed with the Hague Conference on Private International Law.
Prior to the enactment of the Hague Service Convention, service of process in civil cases was generally effected by means of a Letter Rogatory, by a formal request from the court in the country where proceedings were initiated to a court in another country where the party on whom service was to be made resided or operated a business. Although no longer required for service in nations which are signatories to the Hague Service Convention, the Letters Rogatory procedure is still used for service in many non-Hague countries where enforcement of judgment (attachment of assets) is anticipated. It is also used for service of a civil subpoena.
Documents to be served in a Hague Service Convention nation must be translated into the official language of that country.
Read the full text of the Hague Service Convention here.
We Serve Anywhere in the World!
We specialize in the one thing they forget to teach in law school. . . .
International Service of Process
If you need:
- To serve someone in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, North America or anywhere
- To verify an address in Australia, Greenland, India or anywhere
- To depose a witness in Antarctica, or anywhere
- Any other international assignment
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Here’s All We Will Need:
- 1. If sending via email: a PDF version of the service documents combined into one (1) file. If sending via FedEx, mail, or similar: three (3) copies of the documents to be served
(Note: all 3 sets can be copies; original documents are not required, except for service to India – India requires one (1) original set.)
- 2. A letter of instructions advising us the defendant’s name, service address, and requested method of service (i.e. formal or informal).
- 3. Payment for the service fees in U.S. dollars (we will bill you for the translation costs, if translation is required).
Got a Case Involving a Foreign Defendant?
We can solve all of your problems
Here is what we can do:
- Serve documents in any country
- Hire an attorney for you anywhere in the world
- Obtain evidence and arrange depositions globally
- Translation in 88 languages
- Local contact available in any nation
- Local interpreters for depositions
- Foreign corporation research
- Locate anyone – anywhere
- Research laws and local rules in foreign jurisdiction
- Lawsuit search on defendant
- Embassy/Consulate support in any nation
- News search on any defendant
- Any other legal support assignment you may have
Specializing in International Service of Process
A note about copies: Service documents sent to us for domestic assignments are subject to a $.25/page copy fee for large files (100+ pages). Copy fees are waived for international assignments.
Note: We’ve been in business since 1978, so we must be doing it right.