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Foreign Process Serving

As the world becomes more interconnected than ever before, you may find it necessary to hire a process server in Orlando to serve someone in a foreign country. While the process remains straightforward, you need to be aware of two different applicable laws that may apply.

How Long Do You Have?

According to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.070 (j), you have 120 days to serve the defendant. That can sometimes be tough if the person is in some countries. Therefore, make sure that you get started as soon as possible by working with a process server in Orlando, like Central Florida Process, who has experience working with international clients. Secondly, you may want to request that the court extend this deadline because on the 121st day, your case will be dismissed without prejudice, so you will need to start again.

Hague Convention

The Hague Convention was enacted on December 1, 1983, and as of 2019, 101 countries around the world have agreed to abide by it. All North and South America have agreed along with Australia, many Northern European countries and the southern tip of Africa. If the person who needs to be served is in a country that has signed the Hague Convention, then all applicable rules from that convention must be followed.

Serving Process in Hague Convention Countries

There are three common methods that are used to serve process in countries abiding by the Hague Convention. The first method is to send the documents to a Central Authority that will serve the papers. The problem with this method is that many people have waited more than 120 days to have the Central Authority act. The second method is to serve the person by mail. Some countries who have ratified the Hague Convention have passed laws forbidding a person to be served by mail. The third method is to hire a service processor to go to the country, track down the individual and serve them. Understand that the level of enforcement of the Hague Convention varies around the world, so learn about the country before choosing the appropriate method of service.

Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory

The second law that governs how process serving happens in some countries is the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory. You can serve by mail or an international carrier in any country who has not passed laws forbidding service by mail. Make sure that the serving letter is sent by registered mail and is restricted to delivery to one individual. You must also request a return receipt to prove that the letter was delivered.

If you need to serve someone in another country, it is important that you learn the laws in the country where the person resides. You also need to learn what occurs in those countries. Working with an experienced process server allows you to make sure that the best method is chosen without having to research for hours. Call Central Florida Process at 407-709-8707 to start the process today.