Interesting fact: There are over 2,000 castles, keeps, and castle ruins in the Czech Republic, one of the highest densities in the world after Belgium and France.

The Czech Republic ratified the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Document in Civil or Commercial Matters, also called the Hague Service Convention, on January 28, 1993 though its provisions entered into effect on January 1, 1993.

(For general background on processes and the methods of service available under the Hague Service Convention, please click here).

US attorneys seeking service in the Czech Republic would be wise to familiarize themselves with the mandatory character of the Convention as set forth in Volkswagenwerk, A.G, v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694 (1988).

Canadian attorneys should consult provincial precedent. Canadian courts take a more nuanced view of the Convention, but effectively reach the same conclusion: its limitations must be observed.

Regardless of forum requirements, the service rules of the receiving country must be observed, or enforcement of a judgment may become impossible.

Hague Service Issues Unique to the Czech Republic

Service through the Czech Republic’s Central Authority is a speedy process when compared to most European states. On average, it takes less than four months to issue a return of service from the date the documents arrive abroad.

Translation Requirements

Although the former Czechoslovakia did not mandate a translation of the documents in to the Czech language as part of its accession to the treaty, the Central Authority has indicated that the documents should be translated into Czech for service.

Moreover, US notions of due process require that the defendant understand the documents served. A recipient who speaks neither English nor Czech may even require translation into a third language. US practitioners should explore this issue with our legal staff.

Central Authority

Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic
Vysehardska 16
128 10 Praha 2
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 221 997 925
Fax: +420 224 919 919

Prague street with Czech flag - legal facts and laws

Service through Alternative Channels

The Czech Republic objects to the transmission of documents through postal channels and through judicial officials as listed in paragraphs 10(a) of 10(b) of the Convention.