The French Republic became signatory to the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, also called the Hague Service Convention, on January 12, 1967, and its provisions entered into force on September 1, 1972.
(For general background on processes and the methods of service available under the Hague Service Convention, please click here.)
US attorneys seeking service in France would be wise to familiarize themselves with the mandatory character of the Hague Service 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 court requirements, the service rules of the receiving country must be observed, or enforcement of a judgment may become impossible.