ANDORRA PROCESS SERVICE RULES AND LAWS

This article will provide guidance on Andorra Process Service Rules and Laws.  The president of France and the Catholic bishop of Urgell (Catalonia, Spain) share the governing responsibilities in the legislative co-principality of Andorra. While the people of Andorra do not directly choose the prince of Andorra, this quirk of constitutional design still renders the French president an elected king. Andorra is a representative parliamentary democracy with a single chamber of parliament and a robust multi-party system. It is the prime minister’s job to lead the government.

Half of the council members are elected at large, while the other half are chosen proportionally from each of the seven administrative parishes. The induction ceremony for council members takes place fifteen days following the election. The General Council’s top two officials—the Syndic General xwssand the Subsyndic General—are selected during this meeting. After eight days, the Council meets again. The election of the Prime Minister takes place at this meeting.

Andorra has no postal service of its own; postal facilities are provided equally by the French and the Spanish postal services.

BACKGROUND

Andorran tradition holds that the Co-princes symbolize the state at its highest level since they are the same as the Cap de l’Estat. The Coprinces represent Andorra’s customary balanced relationship with its neighboring states and are a guarantor of the country’s independence and continued existence. They publicly declare that the Andorran government agrees to meet its treaty responsibilities.

The Co-princes, either on their initiative or at the request of the Syndic General or the Head of Government, mediate disputes between public officials and institutions and keep themselves apprised of state events. The Coprinces are protected from legal action with very few exceptions, including those outlined in the Andorra Constitution. Those who put their names on documents as countersigns for the Coprinces are held accountable for their actions.

After the General Council approves a law, the Syndic General presents it to the Coprinces for their approval so that it may be put into effect and published in the Official Gazette of the Principality of Andorra. The general Council must get approval from the Chamber by a vote of an absolute majority in order for the international treaties to be ratified, particularly concerning agreements that establish formal relations between the State and an intergovernmental body and concerning national defense and domestic safety.

SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE IN ANDORRA

Public entities have legal standing and local regulatory powers according to legislation via ordinances, rules, and decrees; the Local Councils are the organs of representation and administration of the Parishes. The Local Councils exercise the concept of self-government, recognized and protected by the Constitution, within the territory subject to their authority, pursuant to the Constitution, the laws, and tradition.

All communal, public, patrimonial, and private property within the parish is managed and administered by the Local Councils, which are also responsible for representing the interests of the Parishes and approving and enforcing the community budget. Democratic elections are used to choose the governing bodies.

The economic and scaling capabilities of the Local Councils necessary for the exercise of their jurisdiction are established within the context of the State’s ability to levy taxes. The use and exploitation of natural resources, customary tributes, and levies for community services, administrative licenses, commercial, industrial, professional activity establishment, and real estate are all areas that fall within the purview of these departments. The legislation may give the Parish authority over matters normally handled by the State. The Tribunal Constitucional is responsible for resolving any disputes that may arise between the general organs of the State and the Local Councils on the interpretation or exercise of authority.

The laws passed by the Local Councils should be enforced in accordance with the legal procedures in place. A subsidiary government may file an appeal with the appropriate administrative or judicial authorities against such actions. Objections may be filed to ensure they are in accordance with the law.

JUDICIAL AUTHORITY IN ANDORRA

Following procedures of law and judiciary in Andorra, justice is administered alone by independent judges who have the security of tenure and who are obligated only to the Constitution and the laws when performing their judicial tasks. In addition, all judicial authority is placed in one central Justice system. A Qualified Law shall govern its organization, operations, and members’ legal standing. A specialized court system will not be created. The law alone may decide the specifics of jurisdiction and procedure for the Administration of Justice. Every verdict must be publicly announced and based on the rule of law.

 A separate court will issue the final judgment in the first instance from the one overseeing the case, and that decision will always be appealable. When the rules of procedure apply, popular action may be used to defend the public interest in a jurisdictional court of law.

According to the legislation, Andorra’s judicial authority resides in the hands of the Magistrates, the Magistrates Court, the Criminal Law Court, and the High Court of Justice, as well as the presidents of those courts. Once a judgment has been rendered, it has the force of law (res judicata). It cannot be changed or overturned unless one of the exceptions in the law applies, or the Tribunal Constitucional, following the appropriate Constitutional appeal process, rules that the judgment was rendered in violation of certain fundamental rights.

First, the High Court of Justice ensures that the Justice is operating independently and effectively in its role as the organ of representation, leadership, and administration of the organization.  Each judge, regardless of their level, will serve a six-year term that may be renewed after they’ve shown their competence and integrity in the courtroom.

The High Court of Justice appoints the Presidents of the Magistrates Court, Criminal Law Court, and Tribunal Superior de la Justicia.  

The State should pay for the damages for the issues brought on by the miscarriage of justice or the abnormal functioning of the Administration of Justice in line with the laws and regardless of the personal accountability of individuals who caused them. The Office of the Attorney Public is responsible for protecting the rights of people and promoting the general interest by defending and enforcing the legal system and ensuring the independence of the courts. All policing operations involving the courts are within the purview of the Judges and the Public Prosecutor.

The rulings of the Tribunal Constitucional are binding on all levels of government and private citizens because of its status as the highest constitutional court and jurisdictional power. To carry out its duties, the Tribunal Constitucional is bound exclusively by the Constitution and the relevant Qualified Law, which it has the authority to interpret and implement. On a two-year cycle, the Magistrate assigned to the position presides over the Tribunal Constitucional.

ANDORRA’S INTERNATIONAL RULES

The Hague Service Convention does not include Andorra as a signatory. The Andorran formal procedure is known as Letters Rogatory. Even though a country is not a party to The Hague Service Convention, private process servers are nonetheless able to deliver legal papers there. It takes about as long to complete service as it would in the United States, but the process is generally handled similarly.

This disadvantage stems from the fact that judgments “may” not be enforced in Andorra. Letters Rogatory are necessary to obtain evidence or serve pleadings in a country that is not a signatory to the Hague Service Convention. Writs of extradition are requests for international judicial assistance in serving of process from a court in the United States to a court in another country. 

In order to be legally binding, legal papers must be translated into the national language of the country where they will be served. Andorra requires any translated documentation to be in Spanish. The U.S. Department of State suggests it, although the translation is not required unless the formal approach is used. A demurrer based on a defendant’s inability to grasp the nature and significance of untranslated documents is feasible, albeit quite unusual. The defendant must have a thorough comprehension of the materials at hand. 

All requests of service of papers in the Principality of Andorra must be made in accordance with the formulary of the Convention, which may be obtained in French/English or French/Spanish/English at the Convention website.

The Central authority, the Ministry of Justice and Interior, is responsible for keeping a database up-to-date with basic information (aside from the final designatory and origin), and it is a fact that many documents or notification demands come with a document, as we said before, that is not properly filled out in the formulary.

The Andorran government has requested that the HCCH secretariat makes sure [A.] the original papers must come with the Catalan translation if the service sought within the meaning of Article 5(3) is to be provided by the Central Authority or [B.] if the document is sent directly to the interested party/destiny, the documents may be sent in any language that the requesting party deems valid to ensure that the interested person can read and understand what is sent to them and can make an informed decision about whether or not to accept it.

With respect to the service of process by diplomatic or consular officials of the Contracting States on people who are not citizens of such States, the Principality of Andorra has stated that it is opposed, in line with Article 8.

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed to (800)-296-0115, emailed ps@undisputedlegal.com, mailed to 590 Madison Avenue, 21 Floor, New York, New York 10022, or dropped off at any of our locations. We do require pre-payment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records. 

Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.  Our receptionist receives all documents.

DOMESTIC COVERAGE AREAS:

Alaska | Alabama | Arkansas | Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | District of Columbia | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Iowa | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Maine | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | North Carolina | North Dakota| Nebraska | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | Nevada | New York | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Vermont | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

INTERNATIONAL COVERAGE AREAS:

Albania | Andorra | Anguilla | Antigua | Argentina | Armenia | Australia | Austria | Azerbaijan | Bahamas | Barbados | Belarus | Belgium | Belize | Bermuda | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Botswana | Brazil | British Honduras| British Virgin Islands | Bulgaria | Canada | Cayman Islands | Central and Southern Line Islands | Chile|China (Macao) | China People’s Republic | Colombia | Costa Rica | Country of Georgia | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic| Denmark | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Egypt | Estonia | Falkland Islands and Dependences | Fiji | Finland | France | Germany | Gibraltar | Gilbert and Ellice Islands | Greece | Guernsey | Hong Kong | Hungary | Iceland | India | Ireland | Isle of Man | Israel | Italy | Jamaica | Japan | Jersey Channel Islands | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Korea| Kuwait | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg| Malawi | Malaysia | Malta | Mauritius | Mexico| MonacoMontenegro | Montserrat | Morocco | Namibia | Netherlands | New Zealand |Nicaragua | Norway | Pakistan | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Philippines | Pitcairn |Poland| Portugal | Republic of Moldova | Republic of North Macedonia | Romania |Russian Federation | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | San Marino | Saudi Arabia | Serbia| Seychelles | Singapore| Slovakia | Slovenia | South Africa | Spain | Sri Lanka | St. Helena and Dependencies | St. Lucia | Sweden | Switzerland | Taiwan | Thailand | Tunisia | Turkey | Turks and Caicos Islands| UkraineUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland | Uruguay | US Virgin Islands | Uzbekistan | Venezuela | Vietnam

OFFICE LOCATIONS

New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

FOR ASSISTANCE SERVING LEGAL PAPERS IN ANDORRA

Simply pick up the phone and call Toll-Free (800) 774-6922 or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to assist you. We can handle all your Andorra process service needs; no job is too small or too large!

Contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives”– Foster, William A

Sources

1. Also concerning:

  • Treaties that would add costs to the government coffers
  • Treaties that make statutory provisions, amend statutory provisions, or require statutory measures for execution.
  • Agreements pertaining to judicial or penological cooperation;
  • treaties, including diplomatic representation or consular services.

2. In order to promote the interests of the Andorran people, international development, and peace, the General Council must approve a treaty with an international organization with a two-thirds majority vote in order to delegate legislative, judicial, or executive power to that organization.

3. A Qualified Law shall determine the transfer of funds from the General Budget to the Local Councils and guarantee that a portion of these funds is allocated in equal quantities to each of the Parishes. The remainder is to be shared proportionally on the grounds of population, an extension of their territory, and other indicators in order to ensure the economic capacity of the Local Councils.

4. Everyone on it must be a legal resident of Andorra. The High Court of Justice is made up of five Andorrans who are at least twenty-five years old and knowledgeable in the Administration of Justice.

Each Coprince appoints one, the Syndic General appoints one, the Head of State appoints one, and the Magistrates appoint one. They serve for six years and can’t be elected again in the same position. A judge chosen by the Syndic General presides over the High Court of Justice.

Third, the Appointment of Magistrates and Magistrates, the Exercise of Disciplinary Authority over them, and the Promotion of Conditions for the Administration of Justice to Carry Out Its Duties with Available Means are all the responsibility of the High Court of Justice. For that purpose, it may provide advice on the creation of laws that will have an impact on the Judiciary or provide updates on the state of the latter.

This High Court’s authority and jurisdiction are governed by the Quality Law on the Judiciary.

5. To hold the office of Judge is incompatible with holding any other public office or engaging in any other business, industrial, or professional activity. The State Budget is solely responsible for judicial compensation.

While in office, judges are immune to censure, replacement, suspension, or removal, unless such action is taken in response to a finding of disciplinary or criminal liability, and then only through a process governed by the Qualified Law that affords them a fair opportunity to present their side of the story and mount a defense. When it comes to civil proceedings involving judges, the same statute applies to their culpability.

6. The High Court of Justice appoints members of the Office of the Attorney General on the recommendation of the Governor to serve staggered, six-year terms. The law will determine their standing legally.

Legality, unity, and internal hierarchy guide the work of the Attorney General’s Office, which is led by the State Attorney General.

7. The Coprinces pick one Constitutional magistrate each, and the General Council appoints two more from a pool of candidates with established legal and/or governmental expertise. They can’t serve for longer than two total eight-year terms. The Tribunal Constitucional will be renewed in part. The incompatibility system will be governed by the Qualified Law as described in the previous section

8. After consulting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Judicial authorities, the Government of Andorra has requested that the Secretariat update information regarding the translation requirement under article 5 due to the infinite variety of documents received over the past eight or nine months

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