Service of US process abroad is governed by a number of legal authorities, including US state and federal law, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, various bilateral and multilateral conventions (such as the 1965 Hague Service Convention, the 1975 Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and 1979 Additional Protocol and the 1963 Vienna Consular Convention) and the laws of the foreign state in which the defendant is located.
It can be a challenging exercise to ensure service is perfected pursuant to these various laws as well as in a manner that will not taint subsequent enforcement of a US judgment abroad.
In addition, not all US court documents can be served abroad. Most countries exclude evidentiary instruments such as subpoenas or discovery requests from Conventions such as the 1965 Hague Service Convention or the 1975 Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and 1979 Additional Protocol. Evidence for use in US actions must generally be sought via the 1970 Hague Evidence Convention, by letter rogatory or by direct application to a foreign court.
Click on a country in the “Country Index” on this page to learn more about service of process in that State.
If the country in which your defendant is located is not listed, please contact Legal Language Services at 1-800-755-5775 for specific advice regarding the method of service to be employed.