International Process Service: Taking the Dispute Overseas

One might think that, once a dispute arises between you and an individual or company located in a foreign country, you have no access to America’s judicial system to assist you.

Not true. But the road is not an easy one. Under the Hague Service Convention on international service (of legal papers, or “legal process’), other than certain exceptions you may not serve American legal documents, from either a California court or a federal court, by mail on a foreign individual or company.

And the U.S. State Department cannot help much. American foreign service officers, who work at U.S. embassies, are prohibited by Federal regulations from serving process on behalf of private litigants, or appointing others to do so. Here is a link to the text of 22 CFR 92.85.. This is so even if California law purports to allow U.S. embassy employees to serve documents.

The road to success with international process service is long, but not impossible. Our California-based international process service experts have 30 years’ direct experience with managing the workings of international process service.

The United States is a party to two multi-country treaties pertaining to service of legal process/legal papers in foreign countries. One is the Hague Service Convention. The other is the Inter-American Service Convention. BOTH these conventions require hiring a process service agency in the target or target company’s home country. The U.S. State Department helps, by maintaining a database of information on each country which participates in these two conventions.

The Hague Service Convention, signed by 62 countries around the world, including all of America’s major trading partner countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia, sets up a Central Authority in each country, to accept service for service targets resident in that country. Some countries (like Israel, and others) require a judge order the service, and need to see a special exemplified copy of that court order. Other countries will accept an attorney-signed order to serve the papers. And it isn’t quick – under the Hague Convention, the time to effect service is still usually two full months.

You will need to consult competent legal counsel. And check this link for information from the State Department.

But it just makes sense to get your own professional help. Our professional process service specialists have thirty years’ experience working with attorneys and courts on international process service issues. And we know where to get help, both inside the State Department and in several foreign countries.

Your case is at stake. You do not want to short-change your case when you engage professional process service experts to serve a party in a foreign country.

We have provided you with a convenient online form to start the process.

Or, contact our office.

To get your papers served fast, efficiently, economically, and in a manner that will satisfy the Court –or just to discuss your international process service needs—contact, at 877 493 3463. Available 24/7.

If you would like to submit your request now, please click here for one of our available forms. If you would like to speak with one of our representatives regarding your needs, please call 877 493 3463 or click on the live chat link in the upper right hand corner.

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