ARGENTINA PROCESS SERVICE RULES AND LAWS

This article will provide guidance on Argentina Process Service Rules And Laws.  When a party, a court, or an administrative body seeks to exercise jurisdiction over another party, process service is used to provide that party with notice of the pending legal action and an opportunity to react. Notice is given when a process server delivers a bundle of court papers (called ‘process’) to the party who is to be served.

BACKGROUND

The Hague Service Convention was approved by the member nations of the Hague Conference on Private International Law and is used by Argentine process servers to deliver legal documents in civil and commercial disputes. It was created so that lawyers could effectively and reliably serve papers on defendants and plaintiffs in another nation. Service of process in civil and commercial proceedings, but not criminal issues, is governed by the convention’s terms in Argentina. If the intended recipient’s address cannot be found, the Convention will not be of any use either.

Unless prohibited by local law, the Central Authority of the State addressed will either personally serve the document or arrange for it to be served by an appropriate agency in one of two ways: a) in the manner specified by that State’s internal law for the service of documents in domestic actions upon persons who are within its territory; or b) in the manner specified by the applicant.

The Central Authority has to serve the document in Argentina in accordance with Argentina Process Service. To be valid in Argentina, a document has to be written in, or translated into, the national language. The parties to a legal dispute now have a less complicated way to achieve service in other contracting nations thanks to the Hague Service Convention. An official designated by each contracting state to handle requests for assistance is mandated under the convention. It is permissible for a judicial officer authorized to serve process in the issuing state to submit a request for service directly to the competent authority in the receiving state. The recipient state’s centralized authority, usually a local court, will make arrangements for service after they have received the request. Once service has been accomplished, the requesting judicial officer will get a certificate of service from the central authority.

A translation must accompany papers into Spanish in order to be accepted for service or transmission in the Argentine Republic.

ARGENTINA’S LEGAL SYSTEM

Basic aspects of the Argentine civil process are easy to identify due in large part to its historical origins and progress and the fundamental ideological source of influence discussed above. The onus is on the parties to pique the Judiciary’s interest in the matter at hand by submitting an action plan that includes a clear statement of the facts and claims at issue, as well as an equally clear statement of the evidence supporting those claims.

However, the judge is responsible for overseeing the administration of the case. This involves the acknowledgment of powers of a specific scope to complete or integrate the evidence presented by the parties, as well as the need to push the process ex officio, notwithstanding the responsibility of the parties to do the same.

Generally speaking, the burden of evidence is with the party asserting the veracity of an event. Aside from that, the concept of cooperation and the dynamic burden of evidence are two relatively new ways of looking at the problem that is gaining traction.

In 1863, the ASCJ was established as the final court of appeal for extraordinary federal cases. It promptly adopted the ‘Marbury v. Madison‘ doctrine in an effort to become the Constitution’s guardian and to guarantee the supremacy of the document at the highest level of judicial review (without limiting the general power of judicial review vested in all judges).

REQUIREMENT THAT PARTIES FIRST ATTEMPT MEDIATION

When it comes to the issue of regulating and implementing a required pre-judicial mediation stage in Latin America, Argentina was an early pioneer and is currently a regional reference. To provide uniformity across all civil and commercial proceedings initiated in the national court system, Act N° 24.573 (the same reform that introduced the preliminary hearing in the NCCPC) established a regime applicable to such proceedings. Since a trial run had already been conducted as part of the 1991 National Mediation Plan, its implementation did not come as a surprise.

Act of Mediation and Conciliation No. 26.589 was enacted, marking the beginning of a reformation of the system fifteen years later. The rule codifies the mandatory nature of pre-court proceedings, makes clear that the judge has the authority to convene the parties in an effort to find a mutually agreeable resolution to the dispute (during the preliminary hearing outlined in article 360 of the NCCPC), and leaves open the possibility of referring the parties to mediation.

Argentina’s obligatory mediation regime was instituted, in part, to reduce the stress on the country’s judicial system. The legislative body instead aimed to construct palliatives to the systemic inefficiencies and lack of efficacy in our civil procedural system.

MAJOR FEATURES OF THE CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE

The Civil Code was written in accordance with prevailing beliefs at the time of its creation and was structured around a core set of concepts. As the exercise of a right does not constitute illegal conduct, the provisions stipulated in contracts should be recognized as if they were law. Nonetheless, limitations on this concept have been established by judicial precedent and are outlined in Article 953’s so-called ‘moral clause.’

The concept of fault was crucial to the development of civil liability. Without injury or external activity that may cause harm and the possibility to assign Mens rea, guilt, or carelessness to the perpetrator, there is no criminally actionable unlawful conduct. Owners of private property have the legal right to use, enjoy, and destroy their property without interference from anybody else, subject only to the constraints established by law and judicial precedent in accordance with Article 953 of the Constitution. 

In addition, the Civil Procedure in Argentina specifies that family law is based on the idea of the indissolubility of marriage. It distinguished between children born inside a marriage and those born outside it. 

The footnotes that accompany the articles of the Argentine Civil Code are a distinctive feature; in them. The Ministry of Justice requested that he annotate each item to indicate how closely it follows or departs from the rules of the nation and the main global powers now in effect.

FOREIGN SERVICE OF PROCESS IN ARGENTINA

Since July 1987, when Argentina joined the Hague Convention of 1970, international registration of Argentine trademarks has been mandatory. The execution of ‘letters of request’ in line with the method specified in the Hague Convention has proven to be an effective technique for gathering extraterritorial evidence.

In addition, Argentina officially said it would not respond to any letters of request seeking to implement the practice of pretrial discovery of documents, as it is called in common law nations.

Argentina also has a reservation about Article 4 of the Convention. Thus, any requests written in English or French will need to be translated into Spanish before they can be processed.

Despite these restrictions, Argentine law permits discovery in line with the Hague Convention’s Chapter 1 rules (i.e., the production of evidence in response to a written letter of request addressed from the competent asking authority to the Argentine authority). The articles of the Hague Convention are typically supplemented by the regulations of the NCCPC or other relevant legislation regarding the process to be followed. The Hague Convention allows ‘letters of request’ to obtain testimony and documentary evidence in Argentina for use in ongoing or future litigation in the United States. Requests for the production of evidence in U.S. litigation must be made to the appropriate court and sent to the Central Authority.

The letter of request for documentary evidence must include both the location of the requested papers and the name of the person in possession of those documents. Any request must be submitted in Spanish or supported by a verified translation into Spanish. The request letter does not need notarization. Argentina’s Central Authority for receiving and serving letters of request from other Contracting Parties to the Hague Convention is the Office of International Assistance under the Legal Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Therefore, after the U.S. Central Authority has sent a letter of request to this agency, it will forward the letter to the court’s competent authority to provide the evidence in question.

The request letter is enforced in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Argentine procedure (the NCCCP or other provincial legislation). If the person to whom the letter of request is directed claims a privilege or restriction to testify under local or U.S. law, the Argentine court may refuse to execute the letter of request.

In addition, if a letter of request is [A.] insufficient or [B.] not within the court’s authority to execute, or [C.]  is deemed to violate local security or sovereignty, an Argentine court may refuse it.

Argentine courts complying with such a request would not be committing themselves to recognize the legitimacy or execution of a foreign decision just because the foreign court made the request.

Unlike the United States, Argentina does not have a formal rule governing the use of written interrogatories in court (equivalent to Rule 33 of the United States Federal Rules of Civil Procedure). However, a party may submit written interrogatories to the court and ask for an examination of the opposing party.  In the event of current litigation, such evidence is permitted. 

If the person who was subpoenaed fails to appear at the hearing or refuses to answer any question during the examination, the facts asserted against them will be presumed to be true (ficta confession).

The court will conduct an examination of the witness under oath. If the questions and sequence are irrelevant, the court may change them or even throw them out altogether. The party making the request is entitled to be present during the examination by the court.

ALTERNATIVE WAYS OF PROVIDING EVIDENCE

To gather evidence in a foreign jurisdiction, the disputing parties may agree upon a different approach. Neither the NCCCP nor the Hague Convention restricts the parties’ use of private mechanisms (outside the reach of local courts) to generate evidence in this respect.

Suppose the parties have agreed to arbitrate the dispute. In that case, the rules of procedure for that arbitration (whether those of the institution chosen for the arbitration or the rules agreed upon by the parties) will apply. However, the arbitral tribunal may ask the local court for help enforcing any judgment based on evidence if it lacks the imperium to do so on its own.

U.S. litigants need to keep in mind the relevant procedural statutes, such as the NCCCP, when attempting to obtain discovery in Argentina, as these statutes govern the execution of letters of request and other details of the procedure to produce the requested evidence, in addition to the Hague Convention’s procedures.

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.

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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, Suite 300, Washington DC 20037

FOR ASSISTANCE SERVING LEGAL PAPERS IN ARGENTINA

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 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. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade, and Worship has been designated the Central Authority by the Argentine Government according to Article 21, Paragraph 2.

2. Conventional and constitutional clauses that consecrate the inviolability of due process of law in Argentina (art. 18 CN, arts. 8 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights) guarantee the right to an adequate and reasonable opportunity to be heard and to refute the arguments and evidence of the opponent (as well as the evidence produced ex officio by the judge).

3. Act. 24.240, a consumer protection act, codifies this final principle legally. Additionally, the court is obligated (as of the reform in 2001) to order the submission of evidence if it is deemed essential to explain the veracity of the contested facts (principle of primacy of reality).

4. Supreme Court of Justice of the Argentine Nation (Spanish: Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación Argentina, CSJN)

5. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that established the principle of judicial review in the United States, meaning that American courts have the power to strike down laws and statutes that they find to violate the Constitution of the United States.

6. Act N° 17.454 approved the first ‘National Civil and Commercial Procedural Code’ (NCCPC)

7. ‘Legal compacts should aim for behavior that is not at odds with accepted norms.’

8. As established by Article 1067.

9. Vélez Sársfield provides background on the positions chosen and the reasoning behind them, sometimes by quoting or substituting relevant passages from the underlying treaty

10. v

11. The following information must be included in a letter of request: I the name and address of the U.S. requesting authority and the Argentine requested authority (if applicable); (ii) the names and addresses of the parties to the proceedings and their representatives; (iii) a brief description of the subject matter and nature of the pending or future proceedings, including a summary of the facts and all relevant information; and (iv) the evidence to be produced (or other judicial act to be performed).

A letter of request for a witness examination must also include I the names and addresses of the individuals to be questioned, (ii) the questions to be addressed to them, or a synopsis of the subject matter on which they are to be examined.

12. Section 132 of the NCCCP states that Argentine courts must execute a letter of request if the following conditions are met:

  1. a foreign competent authority has ordered the letter of request under Argentine rules of international jurisdiction; 
  2. the letter of request complies with the requirements established by the Hague Convention; and
  3. the letter of request does not affect Argentine public order.

13. The interrogatory must be worded affirmatively and plainly, referencing the contentious facts of the case, as required by Section 410 of the NCCCP.

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