If you or someone you know is involved in a lawsuit and needs to take the deposition of a witness in Mexico, it is important to know what options you have under the law. Simply put, you are allowed to depose a willing witness in Mexico but there are some restrictions according to the U.S. Department of State.
- First, provided there is no compulsion used voluntary depositions of American witnesses can be conducted in Mexico irrespective of the witness’s nationality.
- Second, prior permission from the Mexican Central Authority for the Hauge Evidence Convention is required when deposing Mexicans and other nationals.
- Third, depositions on written questions or oral depositions may be taken on notice by the U.S. Consular officers or by private attorneys from:
- The U.S. or Mexico at the American Embassy;
- One of the American Consulates; or
- Another location such as an office or hotel.
- Fourth, prior arrangements must be made directly with the American Embassy if the services of a U.S. consular office are necessary to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter, and stenographer.
Basics of Mexico Depositions
Handling a litigation matter in which some of the witnesses—as well as the physical evidence—are located outside of the United States requires that the attorney carefully consider all of the available options under the law for seeking and successfully obtaining the evidence needed for a deposition. Once the attorney determines that taking a deposition overseas is necessary, they should first determine if the foreign country in which the witness is located—in this case, Mexico—is a member of the Hague Convention on Taking Evidence Abroad on Civil or Commercial Matters. If the nation is a member and signatory, then the attorney has the option of using a provided method or another permissible method. Mexico is a member of the Hague Evidence Convention and, consequently, allows the taking of voluntary depositions of a witness who is willing to testify regardless of that witness’s nationality and without any special requirements.
Once it is granted, a deposition in Mexico can occur at a place of your choosing—whether that be a conference room, law firm office, hotel room, or video conferencing location. To be prudent, you should allow your self at least four weeks of lead time to plan so that you are able to locate and book the correct locally-based professionals for the deposition in Mexico. This can include attorneys, court reporters, interpreters, videographers, and any other needed personnel.
If you need litigation support on a domestic or international lawsuit, contact Ancillary Legal today. If you need assistance with depositions, videography, or transcripts contact us at Elizabeth Gallo Court Reporting.