This article will provide guidance on the Code of Civil Procedure in Iceland.  Iceland is a representational democracy and parliamentary republic. The prime minister is the government's chief executive officer, leading a cabinet of ministers. In contrast, the president of Iceland performs mostly ceremonial duties and acts as a diplomat. However, they can reject legislation passed by parliament and subject them to a popular vote.

Local government in Iceland is broken down into regions, electoral districts, and municipalities.  Historically, Iceland was divided into twenty-three counties. Iceland is split up among twenty-four sheriffs representing the government in various capacities.) tax collection, declaring bankruptcy, and civil marriage.


On January 1st, 2018, Iceland adopted a new court level, making the total number of courts in the country three instead of two. The new court, the Court of Appeal (Landsréttur), sits between the District Court and the Supreme Court as a court of second instance. The establishment of the Court of Appeal was among the many reforms made to the Icelandic judicial system.

The eight District Courts (Hérasdómstólar) spread around the nation are where all legal proceedings in Iceland begin. If certain criteria are met, the decision of a District Court may be overturned by the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court will continue to serve as the country's highest court of instance, but it will only hear appeals from the Court of Appeal in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the Supreme Court. The decision of the Court of Appeal is usually the last word in a matter. These reforms will strengthen the Icelandic Supreme Court's ability to establish legal standards. 

A second new government department, the Judicial Administration (Icelandic: Dómstólassla), also began operations on January 1st. Administrative duties for the courts and advocacy on their behalf before the government, the press, and other entities shall be handled by the Judicial Administration.


There are many requirements for the content and format of a summons in Iceland.  It is preferable to involve the help of a private Iceland process service agency like Undisputed Legal to ensure your documents are delivered with care and adhere to timelines. Numerous precedents show that cases were dismissed from court due to flaws in the filing of claims, the explanation of the case's facts, or any other issues covered in the document requirements. Pleadings must adhere to certain guidelines, and Undisputed Legal will ensure that your documents do not get dismissed by the different court jurisdictions that the international service of process has to go through.

Nevertheless, the same demands for extensive pleadings in both straightforward and convoluted matters will not be made. Since no one can move to dismiss in an ex-parte process, the judge's role will be somewhat different. Although the judge must address issues of proper pleading and reject claims without merit, he or she must be careful not to defend a defendant who chooses not to mount a defense. Pleadings in such a case must adhere to the critical criterion that the papers submitted and the pleadings in the summons be consistent.


Both the overall and specific jurisdiction of Icelandic courts is limited in numerous ways by Icelandic law. A number of these constraints have their origins in international treaties or preconceived notions in Iceland as to who should be subject to the jurisdiction of domestic courts in certain areas of law. 

Whether or whether complaints are subject to the jurisdiction of Icelandic courts may be determined by examining the applicable international civil process and venue terms in the relevant agreements. Even so, provisions excluding complaints from the jurisdiction of Icelandic courts must be narrowly construed, especially when domestic parties are involved. It should be noted that a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal is experienced in serving papers across the globe. We are very familiar with the domestic legal requirements of Iceland and the Hague Service Convention.

The party presenting a document is responsible for providing the required number of copies and providing copies to the other parties in the case, as directed by the court.  After the matter has been resolved, the original or a copy of any documents supplied by either party may be returned to the requesting party; if the original is returned, a copy may be retained. Original papers must not be disclosed while a case is pending unless all parties agree to do so or if the court determines that they may be released on condition that photocopies be substituted for the originals.


The summons must specify [A.]  the party's name, ID number, and domicile or place of residence, [B.] the names of the party's representatives, if any exist, their position, and domicile or place of residence; [C.] the person or persons who are to plead the case for the plaintiff; and [D.] the plaintiff's claims in action, including monetary damages in Icelandic Krona (ISK), compensation for specific damage suffered

A summons is validly served if the process server or a notary public attests to having personally delivered the summons to the defendant or someone with legal authority to accept service on the defendant's behalf, or a copy of the summons is sent by registered mail, is delivered, and the individual delivering the papers attests to having personally delivered the letter to the defendant or someone with legal authority to accept service on the defendant's behalf.

Whether the defendant appears in court at the time the case is filed, it will not matter whether or not a summons was served on or presented to them or if there was a defect in the service or the service was conducted with insufficient notice. If service of summons is to be made, the plaintiff must supply the person doing the service with the original summons and one copy for each defendant. Each copy must be accompanied by an open envelope that clearly states that the contents are a summons in a particular case, names the defendant, and includes the latest date for service that will allow the necessary notice time between service and the registration of the case. Having verified that the duplicate's wording is identical to the original, the person affecting the service will place the copy in an envelope and seal it. The original of the summons must be filed in an envelope labeled with the plaintiff's name, address, and case number. The party performing the service is within their rights to require upfront payment from the plaintiff before agreeing to do the service.

A summons must be served between the close of business at the end of the eighth hour and the close of business at the end of the twenty-second hour on a business day. However, if doing so would compromise the statutory notice period between service and case registration, an alternative day or time may be chosen for service. Defendants must be personally served with a summons at their permanent or temporary residence, place of employment, or domicile. 


Service of process in Iceland refers to the judicial or quasi-judicial act of conveying formal notice of a lawsuit or other legal proceeding to a party (like a defendant) or a body with jurisdiction over the party (like an administrative agency) in order to obtain a response from the party being sued or served. Our Undisputed Legal process servers in Iceland deliver court papers to the addressee, providing legal notice.

Any individual encountered by the process server during the delivery of a summons should be required to provide their identity and any other information necessary to establish the validity of the service. The process server must provide the defendant with a copy of the summons and inform him or her of the seriousness of the situation. The service certificate must be recorded on the original summons or a separate sheet of paper and attached to it. The original document will then be sent to the plaintiff.

The signature on the summons should be presumed to be that of the defendant or, if applicable, the defendant's attorney if the declaration required is included therein unless and until the opposite is shown. The burden of proving that the lawyer who signed the statement was authorized to do so by the defendant is not placed on the plaintiff.


Undisputed Legal provides international service of the process according to the requirements of the Hague Service Convention. The Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters is an international convention enacted in Hague, Netherlands, on November 15, 1965, by members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, including Iceland. 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 cases, but not in criminal ones, is governed by the convention. Undisputed Legal process servers are highly familiar with the requirements of the Convention as well as other domestic regulations in Iceland. 

If the address at which the summons may be served in accordance with the usual rules cannot be ascertained,  the authorities of a foreign state refuse or neglect to comply with a request for service, or the summons is not directed at a specific individual; it may be published in the Law Gazette. Suppose it is impossible to serve the defendant in Iceland because the defendant has a foreign domicile or place of abode or because it is otherwise established that the defendant is domiciled in another specified state. In that case, service shall be subject to the laws of that state and an international agreement if such an agreement has been made with the state in question.  The defendant is entitled to three full days' notice between the delivery of the summons and the registration of the case if the defendant possesses a domicile, permanent residence, or temporary resident in the court jurisdiction in which the case is to be registered.

When two or more court jurisdictions share the same physical site, the defendant has a domicile, permanent abode, or temporary resident in one of those jurisdictions. Still, the same rules apply if the case is to be registered in another. In this case, the jurisdictions of both the Reykjavik and Reykjanes district courts will be treated as if they were the same. On the contrary, if the defendant's domicile, permanent home, or temporary residency in Iceland is located outside the court jurisdiction where the case is to be registered, then one week must pass between the delivery of the summons and registration of the case.

If the defendant is a foreign resident, has a temporary residence abroad, or if the defendant's whereabouts or domicile are unknown, the defendant will be given a one-month grace period between the date of delivery of the summons and the date on which the case is officially registered.

When determining the notice period between the service of a summons and the registration of a case involving a legal entity, the shorter of the two notice periods shall apply if the representative of the entity does not have a registered domicile, permanent residence, or temporary residence in the same court jurisdiction in which the entity has its headquarters.


The judge's decision on how to serve or send notices to the parties must be followed exactly to the letter. This is where process servers like those at Undisputed Legal are usually preferred. The court will set a reasonable notice time for this purpose in each case. If a decision on the amount of time that must pass until the next court session is made during a proceeding, the decision need not be announced to any party present at the time the decision is made. When the defendant comes before the court when the plaintiff provides them a copy of the summons and registers the case, or when the summons is served or signed acknowledging that a copy of it has been received), the action will be considered to have been launched.

If the judge sees fit, they may extend the deadline for the defendant to provide written responses. Within four weeks after the case registration, the defendant may submit remarks comprising only the demand that the case is dismissed from court. If the court does not dismiss the case, the judge must provide the defendant with an extended time frame to provide written defense arguments. The complainant and the defendant can submit evidence and write responses to the allegations against them.

It is the responsibility of the Central Authority of the State addressed to either personally serve the document or arrange for it to be served by an appropriate agency, either in the manner prescribed by its internal law for the service of documents in domestic actions upon persons who are within its territory, or in the manner requested by the applicant, unless such a manner is incompatible with the law of the State addressed. Undisputed Legal process servers ensure that your letters of request follow the specifications of the Hague Service Convention. 

We also ensure that your papers follow the requisite translation needs of Iceland. This is a highly important requirement since unless the document is intended to be given solely to an addressee who accepts it freely, service requests will only be honored if the document to be served is written in Icelandic or if a translation accompanies the request.


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to, or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment 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.; All documents are received by our receptionist.


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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 Iceland 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.

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1. The Supreme Court of Iceland ruled on September 15, 1995, in Case No. 299/1995, that an Icelander's lawsuit against the U.S. Embassy in Iceland should be dismissed because, under the fundamental principles of international law, a state cannot be made subject, without its consent, to the jurisdiction of the courts of another state.

2. Supreme Court of Iceland of 21 October 2004 in Case No. 131/2004,   where a clause regarding the jurisdiction of English courts in a submitted security interest agreement was not deemed to prevent it from being the basis of a suit in Iceland.

3. A person must be at least twenty-five years old, have a spotless record, and be in good physical and mental condition to be appointed a process server. Before commencing their duties, process servers must sign a solemn statement, which will be kept by the district commissioner, affirming that they will perform their duties honestly and forthrightly. 

4. The publication of a summons in the Law Gazette (Lögbirtingablai) in line with Article 89 should also be considered adequate service.

5. If the defendant is served with the summons in person, it doesn't matter where the service takes place; it's still legitimate.

6. The defendant's right to insist on the entire term of notice between serving the summons and registering the case will be deemed irrevocably relinquished if there is no date and time on the declaration.

7. If a summons is issued, the basis for the action must be mentioned in the summons itself.

8. At registration, the plaintiff must provide a summons, any relevant papers supporting the plaintiff's position in the case or the grounds for any claims the plaintiff intends to assert, and a register of the documents provided. The plaintiff is welcome to submit written arguments about the case's merits. If the parties agree, or the judge has reason to believe that the plaintiff should not be forced to provide the additional papers described in paragraph 1 immediately, the court may grant the plaintiff a brief period to do so.