International Process Service FAQs

Why should Ancillary handle my international service?

  • Ancillary knows International Service. We have
    • served thousands of documents worldwide over the past thirty years;
    • contributed to numerous articles in law reviews, legal periodicals, and treatises;
    • and conducted CLE workshops for lawyers on international service.
  • We are committed to the best, fastest, and least expensive wayto serve your international process. Ancillary will always suggest procedures for you to avoid process and translation costs whenever possible.
  • Free Service. Ask Ancillary about your options for avoiding service altogether. Almost every U.S. Court has a procedure in place to avoid process and translation costs.
  • Mail Service. It is available in many states and can be your best and cheapest method for service of process. You can do it yourself, or we can help. Be sure to ask us.
  • We can serve your documents by every appropriate method. Also we can talk about your use of a traditional formal option such as service through international treaty procedures, or an informal methods of service such as private process servers?
  • Time frames and costs for service. What are the time frames for service, the respective costs, and the pros and cons to the client (and the attorney) when selecting one method over another.
  • Immediate quote. Find out immediately the cost of the various methods of service available to you, and how long it takes to serve under each method.
  • There is never a charge for you to call us at 404-459-8006 to discuss your serve.

Free Service. Your first consideration on how to avoid service of process costs.

  • Almost every state court allows a defendant to accept service voluntarily and waive formal service requirements. This is a procedure allowed in almost every state and should always be a plaintiff’s first consideration.
  • However, if your judgment may need to be enforced by a foreign court, then formal service procedures should also be used to satisfy any service requirements of their Courts.
  • There is never a charge for you to call us at 404-459-8006 to discuss your serve.

Service by mail.

  • You should always talk to us about your mail service option. When it is available to you, it is the fastest and least expensive method to serve international process.
  • While service by mail can be the fastest and least expensive method of service, it is the least often used because of numerous practical and procedural issues. Its use can be prohibited by international treaty law and/or your Rules of Civil Procedure. Call us to find out.
  • It should not be used if a final judgement needs to be enforced in the foreign country.
  • There is never a charge for you to call us at 404-459-8006 to discuss your serve.

Private Process Server

  • This is usually the first method of service pre-selected since personal service by a private process server is the most common method of service used in serving a domestic defendant. This does not necessarily mean it is the most appropriate for a particular foreign country or to achieve the plaintiff’s objective.
  • It is the generally the most expensive option, and one of the most difficult methods to complete, although it can also be one of the fastest.
  • It is not available in countries where it is prohibited by international treaty, or in remote areas of the world where servers are unavailable, or in dangerous area of the world.
  • There is never a charge for you to call us at 404-459-8006 to discuss your serve.

Hague Convention. The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (20 UST361)

  • This is the most well known service of process treaty and includes most of the world’s industrialized countries. Is your defendant in a Hague Treaty country? (See List of Hague treaty countries)
  • Most Courts have determined that service outside the treaty procedures constitute invalid service. They have said “failure to use the treaty will have consequences.”
  • Every treaty country can have different procedures. Each foreign country is allowed to make changes to the treaty that affects their sovereignty and methods of service in their country, such as which treaty provisions will be enforced and which will be prohibited, and whether translations will be required, and if so, into which languages. These reservations, declarations and notifications have the practical effect of allowing each foreign country to write its own treaty.
  • There is never a charge for you to call us at 404-459-8006 to discuss your serve.

Inter American Treaty The Inter American treaty on Letters Rogatory and the Additional Protocol (18 International leg. Mat., 1238).

  • This treaty includes most of the Latin American nations. Is your defendant in an Inter American Treaty country? (See List of Inter American Treaty countries)
  • Some countries are parties to 2 treaties. The treaty is referred to as The Inter American Treaty on Letters Rogatory and the Additional Protocol, but it should not to be confused with “letters rogatory” even though these procedures share a confusingly similar name.
  • Six of these treaty countries are parties to the Hague Convention also. If a signatory nation is a party to two treaties, what are your options on how to proceed in those countries?
  • Does a treaty nation have reservations, declarations and qualifications that affect the methods for service in that country?
  • There is never a charge for you to call us at 404-459-8006 to discuss your serve.

Letters Rogatory Letters Rogatory See USC Title 22 Foreign Relations, Chpt I Department of State, Sec 92.54.

  • Letters Rogatory through diplomatic channels are mandated for formal service in all countries that are not parties to an international process treaty.
  • Documents must be sent through diplomatic channels adhering to strict formal diplomatic protocol. The lengthy and expensive procedures for formal service through diplomatic channels is not to be confused with the procedures of The Inter American Treaty on Letters Rogatory even though these procedures share a confusingly similar name.
  • Find out the consequences to the client and the law firm if these formal procedures are ignored. An attorney must weigh the potential consequences against a decision to opt for another method of service. Since the U.S. State Department’s filing fees alone are now in excess of $2200 and a litigant’s total cost could be several thousand dollars and take many months, what are a lawyer’s alternatives?
  • There is never a charge for you to call us at 404-459-8006to discuss your serve.

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. 28 USCA Sec. 1601.

  • When suing a foreign government, or its instrumentality (a company owned by a foreign government), federal statutes mandates an exclusive service of process procedure.
  • The FSIA sets out a complex multi step set of procedures that must be followed precisely.
  • There is never a charge for you to call us at 404-459-8006 to discuss your serve.

If you are litigating for monetary damages, the only method to serve your legal documents is by following the Hague Convention, Inter-American Convention or Letters of Rogatory methods. If you serve process by mail or private process server your judgment will not be enforceable.

DISCLAIMER: We are experts at serving legal documents abroad; however, as a process serving company, we do not provide any legal advice.

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