International Process Service

Professional International Service of Process

When a court case requires international service of process, things can get especially complicated. In fact, dealing with consulates, diplomatic channels, and designated authorities who handle this type of service can be a challenge. What’s more, deadlines can be tight and it can take months to see the process effectuated.

Be that as it may, there are ways to simplify the process. For example, understanding the basics of how this process works, knowing what rules and treaties apply, and working with an exceptional process server can help. These steps also ensure the service is legal.

Below we outline some of the key information regarding this type of service.

Service of Process Federal Rules

The United State’s Federal Rules of Civil Procedure outlines acceptable means, methods, and processes for serving foreign individuals. The primary note within these rules is that the process service must be effectuated in a method that is reasonably calculated to give the defendant notice.

This means that service must…

  1. Be completed in a way permitted by the foreign country’s service of process laws
  2. Be compliant with the country’s direction given in response to your official request letter
  3. Lastly, not violate any of the country’s laws

Personal service and service by mail are two common methods used in international service of process. In most instances, you will be required to submit a letter rogatory (a formal request letter to a foreign court for judicial assistance) to the proper channel in order to ensure the laws of that country are being upheld in the process. This will differ depending on the country and whether the country is a party in The Hague Convention, but it can be a lengthy process that takes up to 6 months and, in some cases, longer.

The Hague Convention

The Hague Convention (fully titled The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents) is an international treaty adopted in 1965. To explain, this agreement allows the service of legal documents from one country to another using consulates and diplomatic channels. Like the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act did for service of process in other states, the Hague Convention simplifies the process when legal documents must be served between two countries that are part of the treaty.

When Does the Hague Convention Apply?

The Hague Convention applies when…

  1. A document is to be transmitted abroad for service in a signatory country
  2. The address of the company or person to be served is known
  3. The document is a judicial or extrajudicial in nature
  4. The document relates to a civil or commercial matter

The Hague Convention Process

Each country that has signed the Hague Convention treaty must designate an authority to accept and handle incoming requests for service of process. Generally speaking, this means a judicial officer can send a request for service to that authority. The authority will then arrange for service through a local court, always in a matter permitted within their country. A certificate of service is then sent to the judicial officer as notice of completion.

This process requires the use of three standardized forms:

  1. A request for service,
  2. A summary of the proceedings, or
  3. A certificate of service.

This process usually takes two to four months, which is much faster than alternative means for countries that don’t recognize the Hague Convention. Other means, like service by mail, may be necessary.

Countries That Recognize the Hague Convention

  • Albania
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • South Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Republic of Macedonia
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Venezuela

Do You Have International Service of Process Needs?

If you are in need of international service of process services, contact Torri’s Legal Services! We provide exceptional service, and furthermore, our professionalism, knowledge, and experience with international service means we will be able to effectuate your service promptly and legally.

Give us a call today at 800-990-SERV(7378) or email

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