Interesting fact: Venezuela is a Federal republic with five branches of government: executive, legislative, judiciary, electoral, and citizen.
The Boliviarian Republic of Venezuela ratified the Convention of 15 November 1065 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Document in Civil or Commercial Matters, also called The Hague Service Convention, on October 29, 1993 and its provisions entered into effect on July 1, 1994.
US attorneys seeking service in Venezuela 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.
There are no viable options at this time. Venezuela specifically objects to the transmission of documents through postal channels as listed in paragraph 10(a) of the Convention.
Service through Venezuela’s Central Authority is likely to be a slow process, taking six months to a year to complete, although the assistance of a local counsel could expedite the execution of the Hague Service Request. Venezuela requires legalization of the documents to be served, even though the Hague Convention specifically indicates legalization should not be mandated.
Venezuela’s accession to the treaty explicitly mandates a translation of all documents into the Spanish language. Untranslated documents will not be accepted by the Central Authority.
Moreover, US notions of due process require that the defendant understand the documents served.
Ministerio del Poder Popular para Relaciones Exteriores
Officin de Relaciones Consulares
Esquina Carmelitas a Puente Llaguno
Piso 1 del Edificio Anexo a la Torre MRE
El Silencio CARACAS 1010
Tel No. +58(212) 80644449/8028000-Ext/ 6707/6713
Fax No. +58 (212) 8028000-Ext. 6705
LLS can assist you with service and can help you understand and meet the requirements for service or process, as well as a host of other legal procedure in Venezuela. Please call 1-800-755-5775 for more information.
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