Service of Legal Documents Abroad
PROHIBITION: Foreign Service officers are prohibited by Federal regulations (22 CFR 92.85) from serving process on behalf of private litigants or appointing others to do so, state law notwithstanding.
A. BACKGROUND: This information flyer provides a general discussion of the methods available for service of process and service of a subpoena abroad. The flyer also includes a discussion on service on a foreign state or agency or instrumentality under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and service on U.S. State Department and U.S. military personnel abroad in a private capacity. The method selected to effect service can have a serious impact both on the matter pending the United States and eventual enforcement of a U.S. judgment abroad. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f) Advisory Committee's Note (West Supp. 1993) "service by methods that would violate foreign law is not generally authorized." See also, Restatement (Third) Foreign Relations Law of the United States Sec. 472, Reporter's Note 1 (1987); Epstein & Snyder, International Litigation: A Guide to Jurisdiction, Practice & Strategy, 2nd, Prentice Hall Law & Business, Sec. 4.01 - 4.07 (1994 supp.); Ristau, International Judicial Assistance (Civil and Commercial), Sec. 3-1-1 - 3-1-15; Sec. 4-1-1 - 4-5-2 (1995 Supp.); Born & Westin, International Civil Litigation in United States Courts, 119-170 (1989); and Wright & Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure, West Publishing, (1987) Sec. 1133-1136 and other treatises on the subject.. In addition to this general flyer on service of process, the Department of State, Office of American Citizens Services has flyers on a variety of topics including service under the Hague and Inter-American Service Conventions (treaties) and country-specific flyers on judicial assistance. See "Additional Information" below.
|Service Treaty/Convention CountryService by Foreign Central Authority||Service Generally Guaranteed;No Service Problems Re Future Enforcement Proceedings Abroad.||Translation Usually Required ;Expense; Time; 3 months + to serve.|
|Service by International Registered or Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested||Fast,Inexpensive||Possible Problems Enforcing Judgment Abroad; Problems With Proof of Service|
|Service by Agent(Foreign Attorney or Process Server)||Personal Service;Timely||Expense; Possible Problems Enforcing Judgment Abroad|
|Service by Publication||Timely; Inexpensive||Possible Problems Enforcing Judgment Abroad|
|Waiver of Service||Timely; Inexpensive||Possible Problems Enforcing Judgment Abroad|
|Letters Rogatory(Letter of Request)||No Service Problems Re Future Enforcement Proceedings Abroad||Time Consuming - 6 months to a year;Translation Required - Expense|
C. IS ENFORCEMENT OF A JUDGMENT IN THE FOREIGN COUNTRY FORESEEN? If eventual enforcement of a U.S. judgment abroad is envisioned, you may wish to consult foreign legal counsel very early in the process of the U.S. proceeding, long before any judgment is rendered, before you begin filing the complaint, serving process, discovery, trial, etc. This may help ensure that the foreign requirements for enforcement are not inadvertently violated in the U.S. action. In countries whose laws do not provide for other methods of service, letters rogatory may be the only method of service if enforcement is anticipated. See Epstein & Snyder, Sec. 4.07 (1994 supp.); Born & Westin, p. 124, 132; Wright & Miller, Sec. 1133, note 4 at 365 (1987); and Waller, Under Seige: United States Judgments in Foreign Courts, 28 Tex. Int'l L.J. 429 (1993).
D. SERVICE PURSUANT TO MULTILATERAL CONVENTION: (Rule 4(f)(1) F.R.Cv. P.) The United States is a party to two multilateral treaties on service of process. See "Additional Information" below for guidance on how to obtain copies of our detailed information flyers on the practical operation of these Conventions via our automated fax system or our home page on the Internet. See also our country-specific flyers on service of process or international judicial assistance. But see, Volkswagenwerk AG v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694 (1988) on the issue of service upon an agent for a foreign corporation in the United States by serving its U.S. subsidiary. See Cumulative Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1981-1988, Vol. 2, 1543-1547 (1994) and Vol. 3, 3707-3709 (1995).
1. HAGUE SERVICE CONVENTION: The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-Judicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (20 U.S.T. 1361; 658 U.N.T.S. 163, T.I.A.S. No. 6638; 28 U.S.C.A. (Appendix following Rule 4 FRCvP); 16 Int'l Legal Materials (I.L.M.) 1339 (1977); Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Selected International Conventions) is in force for the countries listed below. (But see, our flyer pertaining to the Hague Service Convention.) IN FORCE: ANGUILLA, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, ARUBA, BARBADOS, BELGIUM, BELIZE, BERMUDA, BOTSWANA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, CANADA, CAYMAN ISLANDS, CHINA, CYPRUS, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, DJIBOUTI (formerly Afars and Issas)*, EGYPT, FALKLAND ISLANDS AND DEPENDENCIES, FIJI, FINLAND, FRANCE (including French Overseas Departments), FRENCH POLYNESIA, GERMANY, GIBRALTAR, GREECE, GUERNSEY, HONG KONG, IRELAND, ISLE OF MAN, ISRAEL, ITALY, JAPAN, JERSEY, KIRIBATI (formerly Gilbert Islands and Central and Southern Line Islands)*, LATVIA, LUXEMBOURG, MACAU, MALAWI, MONTSERRRAT, NETHERLANDS, NEVIS**, NORWAY, PAKISTAN, PITCAIRN, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ST. CHRISTOPHER (KITTS)**, ST. HELENA AND DEPENDENCIES, ST. LUCIA**, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES**, SEYCHELLES, SLOVAK REPUBLIC, SOLOMON ISLANDS, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, TURKEY, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, TUVALU (formerly Ellice Islands*, UNITED KINGDOM, UNITED STATES, VENEZUELA.
* This country achieved independence. No formal declaration has been made to the depository government (The Netherlands) on the continuation in force of the Convention. We have requested the assistance of the Hague Conference on Private International Law in ascertaining from these countries whether they are applying the Convention. Inquirers may wish to consult local counsel in the host country regarding applicability of the Convention.
** This country achieved independence. No formal declaration has been made to the depository government (The Netherlands) on the continuation in force of the Convention. Local authorities in the host country have advised the U.S. Embassy that the Convention remains in force and have provided the identity of the foreign central authority. See our specific flyer on the Hague Service Convention.
2. INTER-AMERICAN SERVICE CONVENTION: The Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, done at Panama January 30, 1975; and Additional Protocol with Annex [regarding service of process] done at Montevideo, Uruguay on May 8, 1979. Senate Treaty Doc. 98-27; 98th Congress; 2d Session; 14 Int'l Legal Materials (I.L.M.) 339 (March 1975); 18 ILM 1238 (1984); Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Law Digest Volume, Selected International Conventions. IN FORCE***: ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, CHILE, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, GUATEMALA, MEXICO, PANAMA, PARAGUAY, PERU, UNITED STATES, URUGUAY and VENEZUELA. (See our flyer on the operation of the Inter-American Service Convention.)
*** Only countries party to both the Convention and the Additional Protocol have a treaty relationship with the United States.
E. SERVICE BY INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED MAIL: (Rule 4(f)(2)(C)(ii) F.R.Cv.P.) registered or certified mail, return receipt requested may be sent to most countries in the world. Rule 4(f)(2)(C) provides that this method of service may be used unless prohibited by the law of the foreign country. (But see discussion below regarding treaty obligation to refrain from this method of service in certain countries.) To ascertain whether such mail service exists in a foreign state, contact your local Post Office to review the International Mail Manual and consult the business section of the U.S. Postal Service Home Page via the Internet at http.//www.usps.gov:80/welcome.htm for general information, or contact the Government Printing Office. For a general discussion of service by international mail see Born & Westin, 125-126; Epstein & Snyder, Sec. 4.04 p. 4-14 - 4-18; Ristau, Sec. 3-1-11, p. 70.4 - 70.5 (1995 supp.); and Wright & Miller, Sec. 1074, note 6 at 458; Sec. 1092 at 51, 52; Sec. 1134 at 377 regarding international mail conventions and Sec. 1136 regarding proof of service by mail in a foreign country (1987).
F. TREATY OBLIGATION TO REFRAIN FROM SERVICE BY MAIL: American courts have held that formal objections to service by mail made by countries party to a multilateral treaty or convention on service of process at the time of accession or subsequently in accordance with the treaty are honored as a treaty obligation, and litigants should refrain from using such a method of service. See DeJames v. Magnificence Carriers, Inc., 654 F.2d 280 (3d Cir. 1981), [cert. den., 454 U.S. 1085]; Porsche v. Superior Court, [123 Cal. App. 3d 755,] 177 Cal. Rptr. 155 (1981). Service by registered mail should not be used in China, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, the Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Turkey and Venezuela which have notified the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the Government of the Netherlands (the depository) on accession, ratification or subsequently that they object to service in accordance with Article 10, sub-paragraph a of the Convention, via postal channels. See Memorandum of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (November 6, 1980) at Cumulative Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1981-1988, Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser, 1447 (1994) or Ristau, Sec. 3-1-9, p. 70.2 (1995 supp.).
G. SELECTED CASES ON SERVICE BY INTERNATIONAL MAIL: See, FTC v. Compagnie de Saint-Gobtain-Pont-A-Mousson, 636 F.2d 1300 (D.C. Cir. 1980) on the issue of service via international registered mail when the document to be served is compulsory or punitive. See also, Digest of United States Practice in International Law, Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser, 1980 p. 452-457 generally and Cumulative Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1981-1988, 1445-1449 (1994) regarding Department of State response to Embassy of Switzerland inquiry concerning the case. See also, Umbenhauer v. Woog, 959 F. 2d 25 (3d Cir., 1992) which held that absent a treaty obligation, objections from foreign governments cannot justify non-compliance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for service of process by mail. It should be noted that the country in question in the case, Switzerland, was not a party to the Hague Service Convention at that time.
H. PERSONAL SERVICE BY AGENT: (Rule 4(f)(2)(C)(i) FRCvP) If personal service is desired in countries which are not party to the Hague Service Convention, the most expeditious method may be to retain the services of a local foreign attorney or process server. Rule 4(f)(2)(C) provides for personal service unless prohibited by the laws of the foreign country. The attorney (or agent) can execute an affidavit of service at the nearest American embassy or consulate, or before a local foreign notary which can be authenticated. (See Wright & Miller, Sec. 1136 regarding proof of service. The fee for notarization by a consular officer is $55.00. Lists of foreign attorneys are available from our office and from American embassies and consulates abroad. See also our information flyer "Retaining a Foreign Attorney" available through our autofax service or via our home page on the Internet. See "Additional Information" below. It should be noted, however, that this method of service may not be considered valid under the laws of the foreign country. If eventual enforcement of the U.S. judgment in the foreign country is foreseen, this method may not suffice. It may be prudent to consult local foreign counsel early in the process on this point. American process servers and other agents may not be authorized by the laws of the foreign country to effect service abroad, and such action could result in their arrest and/or deportation. See Wright & Miller, Sec. 1135 and 1133 (1987) on the subject of who is authorized to serve process abroad.
I. SERVICE BY LETTER ROGATORY: (Rule 4(f)(2)(B) F.R.Cv.P; 28 U.S.C. 1696) A letter rogatory, also known as a "letter of request", is a request from a court in the United States to a court in a foreign country requesting international judicial assistance, which is often employed to obtain evidence abroad, but is also utilized in effecting service of process and particularly in those countries which prohibit other methods of service. In some countries service by letters rogatory is the only recognized method of service. Service of a judicial summons, as set forth in Rule 9(c), F.R.Cr. P., may also be effected pursuant to a letter rogatory. Service of process by judicial authorities in the receiving State pursuant to a letter rogatory from a court in the sending State is based on comity. Procedural requirements vary from country to country. See "Additional Information" below for guidance on how to obtain a copy of our information flyer on "Preparation of Letters Rogatory" via our automated fax service or our home page on the Internet. See also our country-specific flyers for any peculiarities of particular countries, or consult the appropriate geographic division of the Office of American Citizens Services. Letters rogatory are a time consuming, cumbersome process and should not be utilized unless there are no other options available. If the laws of the foreign country permit other methods of service, the use of letters rogatory is not recommended given the habitual time delays of up to a year or more in execution of the requests. (See Casad, Jurisdiction in Civil Actions, 4.06(2) (1983 & Supp. 1986); Horlick, A Practical Guide to Service of United States Process Abroad, 14 Int'l Law. 637, 642 (1980); Born & Westin, 123-125, 133-136; Wright & Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure, Sec. 1134 (1987); and Cumulative Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1981-1988, Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser, 1442, 1448 (1994).)
J. SERVICE BY PUBLICATION: Service by publication may also be a viable option, however, this may not be a valid method of service under the laws of the foreign country. If eventual enforcement of a U.S. judgment in a foreign country is foreseen, it may be prudent to consult local foreign counsel or American foreign legal consultants abroad before proceeding with such a method of service. See Wright & Miller, Sec. 1062 at 222 (1987); Sec. 1074, note 17 at 461-463 (1987); 1092; 1112; 1117-1118 and 1996 pocket part.K. WAIVER OF SERVICE: (Rule 4(d) F.R.Cv.P.) Waiver of service may also be a viable option, however, this may not be a valid method of service under the laws of the foreign country. If eventual enforcement of a U.S. judgment in a foreign country is foreseen, it may be prudent to consult local foreign counsel or American foreign legal consultants abroad before proceeding with such a method of service. See Wright & Miller, Sec. 1062 (1987); . Waivers of service may be executed before a U.S. consular official abroad in the form of an acknowledgment or affidavit. See our flyer on notarial and authentication services abroad.
L. SERVICE OF SUBPOENA: 28 U.S.C. 1783, 1784 and Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 28 U.S.C. Appendix provide for service of a subpoena upon a national or resident of the United States in a foreign country. There are no provisions for service upon non-U.S. nationals or residents. See 22 C.F.R. 92.86 - 92.89. Consult the Office of American Citizens Services of the Department of State for further guidance.
M. FOREIGN SOVEREIGN IMMUNITIES ACT: Officers of the Foreign Service will serve a summons, complaint and notice of suit on a foreign government (28 U.S.C. 1608 (a)(4); 22 C.F.R. 93) on instructions from the Department of State, Office of American Citizens Services. Similarly, letters rogatory requesting service of process on an agency or instrumentality of a foreign government pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1608(b)(3)(A) must be transmitted to the Department of State, Office of American Citizens Services. See Sec. 1608 of the Act for the specific hierarchical service provisions. See also our information flyer regarding service under the Act available through our automated fax service and on our home page on the Internet. See "Additional Information" below.
N. SERVICE ON U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL ABROAD: We understand that the general position of the military departments is that the service of civil process on military personnel stationed abroad (or at sea) is not a proper military function. Thus, governing military regulations expressly prohibit commanders from serving civil process upon their personnel unless the individual agrees to accept the process voluntarily. Generally, commanders or other officials in charge when contacted about service of process on an employee will bring the matter to the attention of the individual and will determine whether he or she wishes to accept service voluntarily. If the individual does not desire to accept service, the party requesting such service will be notified and will be advised to follow the procedures prescribed or recognized by the laws of the foreign country. In countries party to the Hague Service Convention or Inter-American Service Convention, the foreign Central Authority may attempt to accomplish service under the applicable Convention if the prevailing Status of Forces (SOFA) agreement permits access to the base. Installation commanders may impose reasonable restrictions upon persons who enter their installations to serve process. It may therefore be necessary for the foreign Central Authority to effect service on the individual outside the installation. Some foreign Central Authorities may decline jurisdiction over cases involving U.S. military personnel depending on the SOFA agreement applicable (if any). Likewise, a request for service on U.S. military personnel pursuant to a letter rogatory may prove difficult as the foreign court may decline jurisdiction. It may be necessary to retain the services of a private attorney or other agent to effect service on the individual outside the U.S. military installation. Service by registered mail is also another option. You may wish to consult the Judge Advocate General's office for the appropriate branch of the U.S. military at the Pentagon for further guidance. See also, A Guide to Child Support Enforcement Against Military Personnel, Serving the Soldier, (February 1996), Administrative and Civil Law Department, Legal Assistance Branch, The Judge Advocate General's School, U.S. Army, Charlottesville, VA 22093-1781 and Barber, Soldiers, Sailors and the Law, Family Advocate, ABA Family Law Section, Vol. 9, No. 4, 38, 41 (Spring 1987).
O. SERVICE ON U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE PERSONNEL: For service on U.S. State Department personnel in an official capacity, see 22 C.F.R. 172. The Department is not an agent for the service of process upon its employees with respect to purely personal, non-official litigation. Service is usually attempted by private litigants by international registered mail, return receipt requested, or by an agent, usually a foreign attorney retained for that purpose. But See 22 C.F.R. 172.2(d). For additional information, contact the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State for Ethics and Personnel (L/EP) or the Office of Employee Relations, Conduct, Suitability and Discipline Staff (PER/ER/CSD), Washington, D.C. 20520.P. SELECTED REFERENCES:
Alley, New Developments Under the Hague Evidence and Service Conventions: The 1989 Special Commission, 17 Int'l Bus. Law. 380 (1989).
Amram, The Proposed International Convention on the Service of Documents Abroad, 51 A.B.A.J. 650, 660 (1965).
Amram, The Revolutionary Change in Service Abroad in French Civil Procedure, 2 Int'l Law. 650 (1967-1968).
Baeck & Ginsberg, Service of Process Abroad, 4 Int'l. Law. 145 (Austria) (1969).
Basarrate, Note: International Service of Process: Reconciling the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure with the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, Vand. J. Trans. L., Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 1071-1096 (1988).
Beucher & Sandage, "United States Punitive Damage Awards in German Courts: The Evolving German position on Service and Enforcement", Vand. J. Trans. L., Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 967-991 (1991).
Born, International Litigation, The International Lawyer's Deskbook, Section of International Law and Practice, American Bar Association, p. 281 (1996).
Boyd, Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law - The Hague Service Convention, 72 Am. J. Int'l. L., 130 (1978).
Carl, Service of Judicial Documents in Latin America, 53 Den. L J., 455 (l976).
Comment, Service of Process: Application of the Hague Service Convention in the United States -- Volkswagen Aktiengessellschaft v. Schlunk, 108 S. Ct. 2104 (1988), 30 Harv. Int'l L.J. 277, 284-85 (1989).
Comment, Letters Rogatory, 44 Colum. L. Rev. 72 (1944).
Davies & Weinstock, The Service of Process Overseas, Nat'l L.J. 15, 16 (October 3, 1988).
Delk & Nelson, Service of Process on Foreign Parties by Letters Rogatory, 52 Inter Alia F1 (May/June 1987).
Downs, Note: The Effect of the Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, 1 Cornell Intl L. J.,125 (1969).
Dunboyne, Service and Evidence Abroad (Under English Civil Procedure), 10 Int'l & Comp. L.Q. 284 (1961).
Ettinger, Service of Process in Austria, 9 Int'l. Law. 693-698 (1975).
Gallagher, Subpoena Service on Citizens Residing Abroad: A Proposal for the Adoption of an International Approach to Criminal Proceedings, 12 Int'l Law. 563 (1978).
Ginsberg, Service of Process Abroad, 4 Int'l Law. 145, 150 (1969) (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden).
Gordon, Comment: Service of Process by Registered Mail on a Japanese Defendant is Ineffective Under Article 10(a) of the Hague Convention of November 15, 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, Bankston v. Toyota Motor Corp. 889 F. 2nd 172 (8th Cir. 1989), Vand. J. Trans. L., Vol. 23, No. 4, pp. 851-869.
Gori-Montanelli & Botwinik, International Judicial Assistance - Italy, 9 Int'l L. 717 (1975).
Heck, Transnational Litigation: Perspectives from the U.S. and Abroad: Germany, 18 Int'l Law. 793 (1984).
Heidenberger, Service of Process and the Gathering of Information Relative to a Law Suit Brought in West Germany 9 Int'l Law. 725 (1975).
Horlick, A Practical Guide to Service of Process Abroad, 14 Int'l. Law. 637 (1980).
Horlick, Service of Process and other Documents Abroad, American Bar Association, Problems in Transnational Litigation, 23 (1980).
Hoyal, The Hague Service Convention and Agency Concepts: Lamb v. Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft, Cornell Int'l. L.J., Vol. 20, pp. 391-412 (1987).
Leo, Note: The Interplay Between Domestic Rules Permitting Service Abroad by Mail and the Hague Convention on Service: Proposing an Amendment to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Cornell Int'l. L.J., Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 335-370 (1989).
Longly, Serving Process, Subpoenas and Other Documents in Foreign Territory, ABA Int'l & Comp. L. Section Proceedings 34 (1959).
Low, International Judicial Assistance Among the American States: Inter-American Conventions, 18 Int'l Law. 705 (1984).
Lowe, Norton and Drory, ed., The International Lawyer's Deskbook, ABA (Section of International Law and Practice) 1996, ISBN 1-57073-166-7.
McCusker, Some United States Practices in International Judicial Assistance, 37 Dep't of State Bull. 808, 809, 811 (1957).
McGonagle, Serving Subpoenas Abroad Pursuant to the Futures Trading Act of 1986, 10 Fordham Int'l L.J. 710, 732 (1987).
Miller and Pionk, The Practical Aspects of Litigating Against Foreign Corporations, 54 Journal of Air Law and Commerce Kearney, Developments in Private International Law, 81 Am. J. Int'l. L. 724, 737 (1987).
Mitsui, Ratification of Convention Relating to Civil Procedure on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, 16 Japanese Annual Int'l. L. 7 (1972).
Moore-Bick, Service of Process in the United Kingdom, 9 Int'l. Law. No. 4, p. 699-715 (1975).
Nanda and Pansius, Litigation of International Disputes in U.S. Courts, Vol. 4, International Business and Law Series, Sec. 2.02(2), pp. 2-4 - 2-15, (1996).
New York State Bar Association, Service of Process Abroad: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for New York Lawyers (May 27, 1988).
Note, Closing the Chasm of International Judicial Assistance: Extraterritorial Service of Documents, 12 How. L. J. 238 (1966).
Note, United States Foreign Subpoena Power Subdued: The Case of the FTC v. Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, 8 Brooklyn J. Int;l L. 499, 511-12 (1982).
Note, Reciprocity for Letters Rogatory under the Judicial Code, 58 Yale L.J. 1193 (1949).
Recent Development, Service of Process Abroad, 16 Tex. Int'l L.J. 565 (1981).
Reisenfeld, Service of U.S. Process Abroad, 24 Int'l Law. 55, 83 (1990).
Ristau & Laguna, The Inter-American Letters Rogatory Convention, Arizona J. of Int'l. & Comp. L. 124, 138 (1985).
Schwartz, Obtaining Evidence Overseas: Discovery on Foreign Shores, 9 Family Advocate 28 (1987) [includes discussion of service abroad].
Stern, International Judicial Assistance (Part I: Service and Discovery Abroad), 14 Practical Lawyer 17, (1968).
Vazquez, Hague Service Convention - Scope and Application - Role of Internal Law:
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk, 82 Am. J. Int'l. L.816 (1988).
Victor & Hood, Personal Jurisdiction, Venue and Service of Process in Antitrust Cases Involving International Trade: Amenability of Alien Corporations to Suit, 46 Antitrust L.J. 1063 (1978).
Q. Additional Information: The Office of American Citizens Services has available general information flyers on international judicial assistance many of which are available through our automated fax system or via our Internet Consular Affairs Home Page. These topics include country-specific information about service of process and obtaining evidence abroad.
1. Using the Autofax System:
* Dial (202) 647-3000 using the phone on your fax machine.
* Follow the prompt to obtain a printed index of judicial assistance topics. There are four indexes.
Travel Information - Index of Countries - Press 1
Passports and Visas - Index of Flyers - Press 2
Judicial Assistance - General and Country Specific - Press 3
Child Custody and Adoption - Index of Flyers - Press 4
* Enter the four digit code for the document desired as listed in the index.
* When the prompt identifies the document and asks if you want that document, enter Y (9) for yes or N (6) for no.
* If you want another document, enter the four digit code, using the same procedures noted in the previous step.
* When you finish selecting, press the # key on the phone keyboard and press the start button on your fax machine.
* After a brief delay of up to a minute, the documents will print automatically on your fax machine.
2. Autofax General Judicial Assistance Codes:
1052 - Hague Evidence
1051 - Hague Service
1049 - Service of Process - General
1047 - Obtaining Evidence - General
1045 - Preparation of Letters Rogatory - General
1050 - Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
1053 - Hague Convention - Legalization of Documents
1046 - Authentication of Documents for Use Abroad - General
1208 - Inter-American Letters Rogatory Convention on Service
1027 - Retaining a Foreign Attorney
1033 - Enforcement of Judgments
1213 - Notarial/Authentication Services Abroad
For Country-Specific Codes, See Autofax Index.
3. Using the Internet: Many of our judicial assistance flyers are also available on the Internet via the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Home Page at http://travel.state.gov/ under International Legal Assistance or through the main State Department Home Page at http://www.state.gov/ under Travel, Consular. See also, the Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser for Private International Law (L/PIL) Home Page at http://his.com/~pildb/ for information regarding private international law unification. See also the Home Pages for many of our embassies which are linked to the Consular Affairs Home Page. See also the U.S. State Department's Authentications Office Home Page at
R. Treaty Databases on the Internet:
United States Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser, Treaty Affairs, List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States In Force: http://www.acda.gov/state/.
United Nations (UN): http://www.un.org/ under Databases/Treaties at http://www.un.org/Depts/Treaty/;
Council of Europe (COE): http://www.coe.fr:80/index.html under Texts/Treaties http://www.coe.fr.80/eng/legaltxt/treaties.htm;
Organization of American States (OAS): http://www.oas.org/ under Public Information/Documents/Treaties at gopher://oasunix1.oas.org:70/11/pub/english/treaties.
U.S. House of Representatives Internet Law Library Treaties and International Law: http://law.house.gov/89.htm.
S. Questions: Additional questions may be addressed to the appropriate geographic division of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of American Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225 or 202-647-5226. Questions regarding operation of the Hague Service Convention and the Inter-American Service Convention may also be addressed to the U.S. Central Authority, the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L St., N.W., Room 11006, Washington, D.C. 20530, tel: 202) 307-0983;fax: (202) 514-6584.