A proper international process of serving in foreign countries is an important aspect of modern business. The global economy has made the cases of international deals, disputes, and, as a result, court judgments quite common.
Having business partners all over the world is great for any business but it might also cause a lot of problems. Your competitors might copy your products, violating the patent. A supplier may send you defective goods.
A retailer can violate the common price-policy of the company. And some customers might simply forget to pay for the product you have sold him. All these are issues that any business, no matter, how big it is, faces every day. But in case all the mentioned above are satiated in different countries, those issues might turn into a massive headache.
US Plaintiff on the US Soil
It is quite natural for a US plaintiff to prefer a US Court to precede the case. On the one hand, being on native soil is a strong psychological aspect. On the other hand, it is only logical. Deep knowledge of local laws and mentality and a bigger chance to have a full understanding with the hired lawyer will have a huge impact. At the same time, the US courts are quite open to foreign jurisdictions. This factor makes it appealing for plaintiffs from all over the world.
After the plaintiff has pressed the charges, the defendant has to answer it. The defendant must be informed properly about the ongoing lawsuit and the necessity to answer the pressed charges. The unawareness may be a defendant`s tool. In other words, if the defendant was not served properly, it might cause a dismiss of the whole lawsuit.
That is why a properly held international process of serving in foreign countries is crucial.
The Hague Convention
The Hague Convention (The Hague Convention of the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents) was composed to make sure that the foreign defendants will be served properly a right on time.
It is aimed to make the process of international Judicial disputes more efficient and less time-consuming. At the moment 63 countries have agreed to hold international lawsuits according to the Hague Convention. Although there are certain peculiarities based on local procedures that appear in several states.
In other words, the Convention applies to all civil and commercial matters when a certain judicial or extrajudicial document has to be served abroad, but the procedure of serving might differ depending on which country the defender is situated.
For example, some countries consider sending judicial documents by mail acceptable. Others don’t consider this as a proper method for international serving. In this case, the defendant may use it as a tool to stall the lawsuit.
With the technologies evolving and businesses moving to the Internet, the procedure of international serving had to be adjusted accordingly. Cases of serving by e-mail became quite common nowadays.
It is important to mark that this method may only be acknowledged if the plaintiff has exhausted all possibilities to contact the defendant with any physical means. It might be possible only if the physical addresses and phone numbers provided by the defendant before appear to be false.
As we see the international process serving in foreign countries is quite a complicated procedure. Despite all the regulations of the Hague Convention that are aimed to arrange the process, it is still quite a time and energy-consuming. International lawsuits are extremely costly also. That is why it is an extreme measure. Modern regulations allow various legal solutions that much help to avoid international trials.
At the same time, a plaintiff should keep in mind that a proper international process serving and even winning the lawsuit is only halfway to success. Most of the time the foreign entity would have no assets in the United States.
Revealing those assets on American soil or abroad might turn into a costly and time-consuming procedure. That means that collecting on the judgment might turn much more complicated than winning in the court itself.
For at least during the actual process service phase of your lawsuit, you would probably be best to contact the staff at RCI International Process Service and Investigations who have agents in over 120 countries worldwide that they have worked with that get the job done and makes your staffs’ life a bit easier than trying to navigate the complex rules which vary between country to country.