Germany Process Service
Process service, also known as "service of process,” is the procedure employed to give appropriate notice of initial legal action to another party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body in an effort to exercise jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body, or other tribunals. Notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (called "process") to the person to be served, process service is performed by a process server.
Germany PROCESS SERVERs
Germany process servers serve civil and commercial matters pursuant to the Hague Service Convention, which is a multilateral treaty adopted in Hague, Netherlands on November 15, 1965, by member states of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It came into existence to give litigants a reliable and efficient means of serving the documents on parties living, operating, or based in another country. The provisions of the convention apply to the service of process in civil and commercial matters but not criminal matters. Also, the Convention shall not apply if the address of the person to be served with the document is not known.
Method of Service
The Central Authorities are empowered to execute requests for service directly by postal channels if the conditions for service in accordance with Article 5(1)(a) of the Convention have been fulfilled.
Formal Service (Art. 5(1)(a))
Formal service under Article 5(1) of the Convention, on the other hand, is only permissible in Germany if the document to be served and any attachments thereto have been prepared in German or have otherwise been translated into German. In such case, documents may also be served against the addressee’s will (substitute service). This particular form of service is frequently demanded.
Unless requested otherwise, the courts generally perform service in accordance with Article 5(1)(a) of the Convention via the postal service.
Informal delivery (Art. 5(2))
Court officials or bailiffs perform this type of service.
In simple service, under Article 5(2) of the Convention, the addressee may refuse to accept the documents without being required to provide any reasons for doing so.
Service by a particular method (Art. 5(1)(b))
Services by special request seldom occur. For more information on methods of service, see European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters – Service of documents – Germany.
Under German law, service requested within the meaning of Article 5(1) of the Convention requires that all documents to be served must be prepared in German or that a translation in German is attached thereto.
Documents prepared in a foreign language without German translations can be served in accordance with Article 5(2) of the Convention.
Germany has concluded no treaties with foreign States which deviate from the translation requirement within the meaning of Article 20 (b) of the Convention in the Convention’s scope of application.
Timeline for Execution
The service of documents is usually processed within three months including the time required for shipment.
The Hague Service Convention established a more simplified means for parties to effect service in other contracting states. Under the convention, each contracting state is required to designate a central authority to accept incoming requests for service. A judicial officer who is competent to serve process in the state of origin is permitted to send a request for service directly to the central authority of the state where service is to be made. Upon receiving the request, the central authority in the receiving state arranges for service in a manner permitted within the receiving state, typically through a local court. Once service is effected, the central authority sends a certificate of service to the judicial officer who made the request.
The Central Authorities are empowered to have requests for service complied with directly by postal channels if the conditions for service in accordance with paragraph 1 (a) of Article 5 of the Convention have been fulfilled. In that case, the competent Central Authority will hand over the document to the postal authorities for service. In all other cases, the local court (Amtsgericht) in whose district the documents are to be served shall be competent to comply with requests for service. Service shall be effected by the registry of the local court.
Formal service (paragraph 1 of Article 5 of the Convention) shall be permissible only if the document to be served is written in, or translated into, the German language.
2. The Central Authority shall complete the certificate (paragraph 1 and 2 of Article 6 of the Convention) if it has itself arranged for the request for service to be complied with directly by postal channels; in all other cases this shall be done by the registry of the local court.
4. In accordance with paragraph 2 (a) of Article 21 of the Convention, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany objects to the use of methods of transmission pursuant to Articles 8 and 10. Service through diplomatic or consular agents (Article 8 of the Convention) is therefore only permissible if the document is to be served upon a national of the State sending the document. Service pursuant to Article 10 of the Convention shall not be affected."
By a Note dated 19 November 1992, the Federal Republic of Germany made the following declaration:
"1. Notwithstanding the provisions of the first paragraph of Article 15, a German judge may give judgment even if no certificate of service or delivery has been received, if all the following conditions are fulfilled:
– the document was transmitted by one of the methods provided for in this Convention,
– a period of time of not less than six months, considered adequate by the judge in the particular case, has elapsed since the date of the transmission of the document,
– no certificate of any kind has been received, even though every reasonable effort has been made to obtain it through the competent authorities of the State addressed.
2. An application for relief in accordance with Article 16 will not be entertained if it is filed after the expiration of one year following the termination of the time-limit which has not been observed."
The Federal Republic of Germany takes note of the Declarations submitted by Ukraine on 16 October 2015 regarding the application of the Convention on Civil Procedure (1954), the Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (1961), the Convention on the service abroad of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (1965), the Convention on the taking of evidence abroad in civil or commercial matters (1970), the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (1980) and the Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (1996) and the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (2007) to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and of the Declarations submitted by the Russian Federation on 19 July 2016 in relation to the Declarations made by Ukraine.
In relation to the Declarations made by the Russian Federation, the Federal Republic of Germany declares, in line with the conclusions of the European Council of 20/21 March 2014, that it does not recognize the illegal referendum in Crimea and the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation.
Regarding the territorial scope of the above Conventions, the Federal Republic of Germany, therefore, considers that the Conventions in principle continue to apply to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of the territory of Ukraine.
The Federal Republic of Germany further notes the Declarations by Ukraine that the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol are temporarily not under the control of Ukraine and that the application and implementation by Ukraine of its obligations under the Conventions is limited and not guaranteed in relation to this part of Ukraine's territory, and that only the government of Ukraine will determine the procedure for relevant communication.
As a consequence of the above, the Federal Republic of Germany declares that it will only engage with the government of Ukraine for the purposes of the application and implementation of the conventions with regard to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.
Documents can be faxed (800) 296-0115, emailed email@example.com, or uploaded on 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 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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