How Central Authority Works in Mauritius

Written by: Undisputed Legal Inc.

This article will provide guidance on How The Central Authority Works In Mauritius.  Mauritius is not a signatory to the Hague Service Convention. The Hague Service Convention is the largest international service of process treaty, and serving papers often adhere to its norms. However, the service of papers in Mauritius is not overly complicated for a private process server like those at Undisputed Legal.  Whether they have signed the Hague Service Convention or not, documents may be served in most countries by Mauritius process service requirements. Although the service of papers often takes longer to complete, it is typically done in a way comparable to that in the United States. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers! 

The system in Mauritius is adversarial. To ensure a fair, speedy, and cost-effective resolution, the Supreme Court may issue any order or direction it sees fit. However, our local process servers here at Undisputed Legal may serve documents quickly and effectively in Mauritius. Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency

Background: How can you serve Papers in Mauritius

Mauritius uses Letters Rogatory as its formal technique for international service of papers. In most cases, courts cannot call witnesses from beyond their legislative jurisdiction unless they obtain the backing of foreign judicial or, on rare occasions, legislative authorities. For United States litigants, it is important to note that applications under 28 USC 1782  have replaced mainly letters rogatory as the primary means of requesting the gathering of evidence in US court petitions. Collecting witness testimony is one scenario in which a domestic court may ask for assistance from an international court. Disclosure of documents or answers to queries crucial to a factual issue may necessitate this proof. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

When gathering evidence or serving pleadings in nations that have not signed the Hague Service Convention, litigants should follow the letter’s rogatory system. These documents are a request for international judicial aid concerning the service of process made by a domestic court to a foreign court.  The process effectively establishes a case in the nation of service, making the judgment enforceable. Legal papers must be translated into the official language of the country in which they are intended to be served in most cases. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

U.S. courts often send letters rogatory to their overseas counterparts to request international judicial assistance. Countries that prohibit alternative service methods may also be used to serve the process; however, their primary use is in obtaining evidence abroad. Even in criminal cases, letters rogatory may be used to serve court summonses. Courts in one state may use letters rogatory to serve process on other courts in another, based on the principle of comity. The requirements for procedural norms vary from one country to another. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Several locations worldwide allow sending documents by registered or certified mail with a return receipt. This service method may be used unless the foreign country’s laws prohibit it. Mauritius does not have any such prohibitions instilled for service via mail.  However, some Hague Service Convention courts have ruled that litigants should not use mail as a means of service because treaty obligations require treaty parties to honor formal objections to service made at the time of accession or later in compliance with the treaty. States that have objected to the method described in Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention cannot use registered mail for service.  Click here for information on How To Overcome Language Barriers in Process Service 

Hiring a local process server like those at Undisputed Legal could be the fastest solution if personal service is allowed in the country. According to FRCP 4(f)(2)(C), personal service is permitted unless prohibited by the laws of the foreign country. Another option is to get the document signed before a foreign notary public or the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. Nonetheless, It should be mentioned that other countries’ laws may not recognize this kind of service. This process might be open to challenge if the foreign country is considering carrying out a U.S. decision. It may be essential to consult with local process servers like those at Undisputed Legal early on to determine whether service methods are available and recognized as effective under domestic law in the country where the service is performed. Click here for information on How Timelines Are Important in Process Serving.

How are Papers Served in Domestic Matters in Mauritius

A plant with a summons is required to commence a suit before the Courts in Mauritius. Nevertheless, a petition for a prerogative order (such as an urgent writ of injunction) may also be initiated by a motion, supported by an affidavit, required by law, or in front of the Judge in Chambers.

The Master’s signature is required for the registration of a summons and plaint at the Supreme Court Registry. The Commercial Division requires all pleadings and commencement of proceedings to be submitted online using the electronic filing system. 

The deadline for serving the defendant or other party with the plaint and summons is fourteen days before the returnable date. Substantive proof of the cause of action and a proffer of evidence are required in the plaint with summons. The party’s attorney must sign for registered mail service or for it to be delivered by an usher with a request for delivery advice. Until judgment is reached in an action, each party represented by an attorney has the right to be served with any pertinent papers about the case and any related matters. Parties have the option to respond to the serving of the process in writing by addressing it to the attorney who issued the process.

The court may order an alternative method of service provided a good reason is shown. The document may be served in a variety of ways, such as by printing it in a daily newspaper, attaching it to the door of the party’s last known residence or place of business, or any other authorized method.

The defendant has the right to obtain a copy of the plaint and any pertinent material, allowing them to review any document that the plaintiff intends to present as evidence. The defendant may enter a plea once all necessary documents, such as charges, responses to his inquiries, and other pertinent paperwork, have been submitted.  If the party intends to provide documentary evidence during the hearing—where the claimant, in their particulars, could examine the evidence—they must include an offer of evidence with their plea and any counterclaims, if any. A complaint, plea, or counterclaim must include all pertinent facts for its merits to be determined. The burden of evidence for any fact that the law presumes in favor of the party pleading should be on the opposing party, and no pleading may cite such a fact until the fact has been explicitly denied. The court or master may strike or modify a pleading without costs if compliance is not maintained. Consequently, ensuring that service is done fully according to the requirements of the

A document can be served upon a firm by[A.]delivering it to an individual listed as a director of the firm on the company registry; [B.] giving it to an employee at the firm’s main office or primary location; [C.]leaving it at the company’s registered office or location for servicing; or [D.]serving it by any service instructions issued by the court which has jurisdiction over the case.

Understanding the Court System in Mauritius

The Chief Justice has the authority to refer any civil case, action, cause, or issue to a judge for mediation before or during any proceedings, and direct parties are obligated to attend pre-trial conferences that address the subjects that may arise in the action or processes. In commercial matters, the burden of proof is to persuade the court based on a balance of probability. The defendant must pay the sum indorsed on the writ into court within 12 days of its service under section 2 to request leave to appear and defend the action. The judge will consider affidavits that reveal a legal or equitable defense, facts that would make the holder prove consideration, or any other facts that the judge deems sufficient to support the application. The terms regarding security or anything else are up to the judge’s discretion.`

All or some of the parties to a bill of exchange or promissory note can be served with a single writ of summons by the holder of the bill or note. This will initiate an action against the parties named in the writ of summons, and any subsequent proceedings against those parties will be treated similarly, to the extent possible, as if they had been served with separate writs of summons.

Regarding the giving of security for costs, the provisions of Article 16 of the Code Civil Mauricien and Articles 166 and 167 of the Code de Procédure Civile, apply to foreign nationals residing in Mauritius. These bilateral accords depend on the country that the State of Mauritius has an agreement with and keeping in mind the principle of reciprocity. Whether the defendant is a Mauritian citizen or not, civil and commercial actions against them must be heard by the Supreme Court. Alternatively, if a judge gives permission, the matters can be heard by the Intermediate Court or the District Court of Port Louis if they are within their jurisdiction. Declarations or plans with summonses, as applicable, must not be filed or served in Supreme Court actions.

If the Court in Mauritius requests proof that service has been made, the evidence must be provided in the manner specified by the applicable law in the country or jurisdiction outside of Mauritius. This is similar to how the initial process in an action is served in the country or jurisdiction where the service is to be made.

It may be permissible to file and serve, or issue and serve, outside of the jurisdiction of an originating process for real estate located within the jurisdiction that is the exclusive or primary subject of the lawsuit. The contract, wherever made, should have been created within the jurisdiction, and the action is based on a violation or alleged breach within that jurisdiction.

Service of Papers on Foreign Individuals

An action validly instituted against another person duly served within the jurisdiction might include any person outside of the jurisdiction as a necessary or appropriate party. This action must include an affidavit that states [A.] the plaintiff has a good cause of action; [B.] shows where the defendant is or probably may be found, [C.] whether the defendant is a Commonwealth citizen or not, and the [D.] grounds upon which the application is made is required to support an application for leave to file and serve, an initial process on a defendant out of the jurisdiction.

Even if the plaintiff does not have any way of knowing the defendant’s whereabouts, the court or judge may still permit to issue of the first process in cases where the plaintiff has already secured permission to commence the action before the district court. Before their appearance, the defendant has the option to serve a notice of motion to either set aside the service, discharge the order authorizing it, or extend the time limit for entering an appearance. This move does not need a conditional appearance.

The defendant is required to appear within the time frame specified in the order issued after the substituted or other service has been made or after the notice has been published through advertisement or any other means.  The plaintiff may be directed by the court or judge to proceed with the action under any conditions they see fit, provided that the defendant has not appeared in court. If a defendant who has been served with initial process in Mauritius leaves the country without leaving an attorney or agent to appear on his behalf, the court or judge can direct that all subsequent orders, summonses, notices, or process be served at the defendant’s last known residence or place of business in Mauritius instead of personally. This will allow the plaintiff to continue with the case as laid out.

The Ministère Public must also be served with any subsequent orders, summonses, notifications, or procedures.  If the person who needs to be served a document is not in Mauritius but is on another island under the jurisdiction of the state of Mauritius, a copy of the document can be served at the Attorney-General’s Office. However, if the person in question does have an attorney or agent in Mauritius, they can be served on their behalf. The Attorney-General is obligated to send the copies served on them for service on the island. For islands without an usher, the Attorney-General is authorized to appoint a person to execute service in each instance.

Notary in Mauritius

Anyone who is a member of the Association of Notaries and acts as a neutral witness to individuals signing papers is called a notary. Among their many responsibilities, a notary in Mauritius is responsible for witnessing signatures, detecting instances of fraud, and taking oaths. While some notaries work for themselves, others find work in fields that need them to have notarial knowledge. The involvement of a notary public is essential in the acquisition of real estate, whether it be a home, plot of land, flat, or any other kind of property right (usufruct, leasehold, or corporate ownership).

When a deed of sale is registered, the State appoints a notary to collect and return certain fees to the Registrar-General’s Department—Conservator of Mortgages. These fees include land transfer tax, registration duty, and other stamp duties. Advising their customers is the responsibility of notaries. During the ‘reading’ of the deed, they will make sure that the buyer and seller understand the full scope of their obligations by outlining the consequences of the contract’s stipulations. It is the responsibility of the notary public to make sure that the deeds are legally binding. 

Before a deal can go through, a notary should make sure that the seller owns the property and can give it to the buyer without any problems. The absence of a mortgage, as well as other fixed and floating costs, on the property being sold, is one of the many items that notaries will verify. There are many different types of notarial services, such as document authentication and certification, witnessing signatures, taking affidavits, statutory declarations, oaths, affirmations, and more.

 Power of Attorney in Mauritius

An individual (the ‘mandant’) may designate another (the ‘mandataire’ or proxy) to act on their behalf and in their name via a legal instrument known as the POA or Procuration. A Power of Attorney (POA) or Procurement may be either comprehensive, granting a trusted mandataire broad authority to manage the mandate’s business generally, or specific, granting that same mandataire the authority to carry out a single, designated job.

The POA or Procurement must be explicitly granted to the mandataire in certain instances where the authority bestowed by the mandant includes the ability to sell, mortgage, or dispose of real estate.

People often need a POA or Procurement document when they are traveling, living overseas, or unable to do it themselves. The Power of Attorney Act applies to any power of attorney, whether authentic or drawn up under private signatures, that appoints an attorney or agent. In such cases, the appointed attorney or agent must deposit the document with a notary in Mauritius before it can be used.  Someone the donor trusts, such as a family member, friend, or trusted advisor, may legally represent their interests by executing an Enduring Power Of Attorney. 

Court of Protection approval is required to revoke a registered EPA. Procurement, or Powers of Attorney, have also seen an increase in use with the rise of the global business sector. Powers of attorney were first codified in Mauritius laws in 1928. Legal documents from countries that are signatories to the Hague Convention must first be apostilled in that country before they can be used in Mauritius. Once in Mauritius, a notary public must register and deposit the document in the Supreme Court registry, as per the Deposit of Powers of Attorney Act 1928. 

It may be necessary to navigate intricate administrative processes and legal requirements to serve legal papers in Mauritius. By communicating with local authorities, acquiring required permissions, and guaranteeing adherence to local norms, we aim to make serving legal papers in Mauritius easy. We understand that discretion is of the utmost importance in serving your papers, particularly when dealing with delicate issues. We at Undisputed Legal protect your privacy by adhering to rigorous standards. To ensure that the service goes off without a hitch, our servers are licensed and trained to discreetly, professionally, and empathetically handle any circumstances. At Undisputed Legal, we can serve your papers no matter where in the world you may want them to go. 


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