Service of Process in Europe
- The 15 November 1965 Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial
and Extra-Judicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters sets
several options for service of process. So does EC Regulation
1393/2007. These options include, inter-alia:
- Service through Central Authority; A Public Service
- Direct service through local private process server
Service through Central Authority. The Hague Convention's public
channel is time-consuming, since it is processed through the
Government's Administration. No option for expedited service exists.
The Public Service channel is free of charge and has no taxes, but you
must arrange for the paperwork to be translated, pay a Court bailiff's
fees and any other disbursements, including Value Added Tax.
The contents of your documents is inspected by the State's
representative for legality and conformity to internal laws and
therefore your paperwork is not kept strictly confidential.
If using the centralized channel, one must bear in mind that all
documents are, in principle, to be translated by a Certified Court
translator. Pursuant to article 5 of the Convention, if the documents
being served are not translated, service can be denied. In addition,
it is common for the Defendant to be given the option of refusing
service due to lack of translation and, in that instance, documents
would not be served. Documents must be accepted voluntarily by the
defendant or your efforts will be lost.
On the other hand, the address of defendant must be exact since they
do not offer a "Locate or Skip trace" service reason why often
services are not completed.
Service can also be by mail, courier and other document carriers, as
explained in Art. 10 but their returned receipt certificate is not an
"Affidavit" of Service and the contents of what was sent is not
"legally guarantee" or "Specified".
Direct service is what we provide. Such method is preferable, because
it is faster, usually less expensive (it does not requires expensive
translation since documents will be served by a registered Attorney at
law in the language of the defendant), the documents will not be
submitted to inspection by the Judicial authorities and will be kept
It is essential to bear in mind that private agent service by a
non-qualified legal professional may be quashed in the originating
Court and any judgment obtained on the basis of service by a
non-qualified person may be unenforceable, or may be voidable, because
it is illegal under European law. Our Attorney's
offer all required qualifications offering a complete multilingual
service and giving all possible guarantees. With us service will be
effective, we will stand in court for it.
Using our services offers many advantages: Your documents come
directly and to our network of selected local licensed process
servers, thus saving time and costs, No translations or waiting, We
will provide you with a Proof of Service in the form of an
Authenticated Affidavit, in English, at no extra cost.
One could of course instruct a local process sever direct, but such a
solution is fraught with potential communication, payment, and timing
issues. Besides, French Process servers never provide any Affidavit in
English, contrary us who offer customer service in English and will
even authenticated the affidavit at the Consulate's Notary Public.
Joseph A. de LA CUETARA
Member of NAPPS