HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN ALBANIA

This article will provide guidance on How the central authority works in Albania.  Albania’s Code of Civil Procedure establishes the mandatory and uniform rules for resolving civil and other disputes. The court must examine and make decisions on matters submitted for examination, even if there is no specific statute or the statute is incomplete, contradictory, or unclear.

It may be difficult and time-consuming to figure out how to serve legal papers in a foreign jurisdiction like Albania. Accuracy, compliance with local legislation, and an in-depth knowledge of the legal environment are crucial in international law, especially in the service of process. Professional process service agencies like Undisputed Legal and their knowledge and support can become important. Click here for a video on International Process Service

Background

Court summons are issued through a writ, which includes details such as the court’s name, the summoned person’s name, the court session’s time and venue, the reason for the summons, the notification date, and the legal consequences of not appearing in court. The court can order electronic communication for summons if it is deemed useful and if the party or third party has given prior consent.  When a person is detained or serving a prison sentence, the court will send a notification to where they are being held, instructing the authorities to bring them to court if they wish to participate in the trial. The court must notify the person for each hearing unless they request the trial to proceed without their presence.

If the contract specifies an address for court notifications regarding any disputes arising from the contract, the court will use that address for notifications. Parties or third parties must inform the court of any changes to their address, electronic contact information, or the information of their representatives. Failure to meet this obligation will result in the claim for invalidity of notice being rejected. Our process servers at Undisputed Legal are well-versed in the laws and statutes of the jurisdiction, as well as the protocols and procedures for serving legal papers. This knowledge of Albanian legislation is essential for providing the service in accordance with that country’s requirements.

Highest Authorities in Albania

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority with original and appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court hears cases of both general and special jurisdiction. The Supreme Court is located in Tirana. The Supreme Court’s organization and functions are determined by specific legislation derived from the Constitution.

Special jurisdiction courts are a type of court that have limited authority and handle specific types of cases. There are two Administrative Courts of First Instance located in Tirana and Lushnja. The Supreme Court handles cases involving special jurisdiction, such as corruption and organized crime. The Prosecution system in Albania is part of the judicial system. The Prosecution is an independent body that coordinates and controls its actions while respecting the internal independence of prosecutors to investigate and prosecute in accordance with the law. The General Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecution Office in Tirana is attached to the appeal courts of general jurisdiction. Additionally, the system includes Prosecution offices attached to first-instance courts of general jurisdiction.

The High Council of Justice is a governing body responsible for overseeing the administration of justice. The High Judicial Council is responsible for developing and executing the strategic plan for the judicial system (Courts) and providing reports to the Assembly on its status. The role of the Prosecution Office is to inform the public and the Assembly about its current state and carry out other legally defined functions. At Undisputed Legal, we make sure to deliver documents to the right department so that service is complete and efficient. 

The Office of the High Inspector of Justice oversees and ensures justice within the organization. The High Inspector of Justice is a constitutional institution that verifies complaints, investigates disciplinary violations, and initiates disciplinary proceedings against judges, prosecutors, and members of the High Judicial Council, the High Prosecutorial Council, and the Prosecutor General.

The Inspector can initiate an investigation based on written complaints from individuals or organizations regarding disciplinary violations. The High Inspector of Justice investigates suspected violations in the work of courts, judicial administration, prosecutor’s offices, and prosecution administration. This is done primarily through public data and institutional and thematic inspections. The investigations are initiated by a written request from the High Judicial Council, High Prosecutorial Council, Minister of Justice, Prosecutor General, or as part of the annual inspection plan.

The High Inspector of Justice is an independent official who leads the office of the same name. Direct or indirect interference in the Inspector’s functions to verify complaints, carry out investigations and inspections, or interferences related to any particular entity causes liability under the law.

International Instruments in Albania

The Albanian Constitution fully affirms international law and international instruments. The Albanian Constitution requires the Republic of Albania to apply international law. Article 5 of the Albanian Constitution states Albania adheres to binding international law.

The Albanian Constitution hierarchically places international instruments immediately after the Constitution. The superiority of international law is explicitly stated in the Constitution. It states that ratified international agreements become part of the internal judicial system upon publication in the Official Journal of Albania.  They are usually implemented directly unless a law needs to be issued for their implementation.

International agreements ratified by a country take precedence over its domestic laws if there is a conflict between them. Articles 488-523 govern jurisdictional relations with foreign authorities. These articles outline the procedures and methods for extradition, both from abroad and abroad. They cover active and passive extradition and the use of rogatory letters. The articles also address the recognition of foreign court sentences in Albania and vice versa. Additionally, they specify the responsibilities of the Ministry of Justice. Serving legal documents may bring new obstacles with each new case. When it comes to finding an elusive defendant or serving papers in an unusual setting, our Undisputed Legal private process servers have the flexibility to adjust their strategy accordingly.

Responsibility of the Central Authority

The Ministry of Justice is the central authority. Interpol Channels are also used for urgent cases. The Department of Foreign Jurisdictional Relations is part of the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO). The Ministry of Justice’s Department of Foreign Jurisdictional Relations is responsible for handling mutual legal assistance requests and coordinating with the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Special Prosecution anti-corruption and organized crimes in cases related to these offenses. They also work with Interpol Tirana. 

The Department of International Jurisdictional Relations at the General Prosecutor’s Office plays a crucial role in international judicial cooperation. It is responsible for overseeing and monitoring the execution of all requests and letter rogatories. This office manages legal assistance requests, extraditions, transfer of sentenced persons, criminal proceedings, and mutual recognition of final decisions in criminal matters.

This Directorate is a specialized unit for international cooperation. It serves as an institutional link that provides specific assistance in harmonizing the work of national, cross-border, and international law enforcement bodies.  This office has always channeled direct communication between foreign and local authorities. The office’s experienced employees in international jurisdictional relations and proficiency in multiple foreign languages enable efficient coordination and quick execution of requests. 

The Ministry of Justice, the GPO, and the Directorate of International Jurisdictional Relations are responsible for drafting, signing, and updating bilateral agreements like Memorandums of Understanding with counterparts in regional countries and international treaties in criminal justice.  The General Prosecutor’s Office participates in national working groups to negotiate and draught amendments to bilateral agreements. A private process server like those at Undisputed Legal, familiar with the area, can overcome these language and cultural limitations and deliver legal papers with more success. 

PROCESS Service of Summons in Albania

The court employee or postal service is responsible for sending written notifications to individuals who need to be informed about summonses or other legal actions, regardless of location. Notifications for private legal persons are typically sent to their headquarters. They can also be delivered to the representative or the designated individuals responsible for receiving legal documents. If none of these individuals are available, the notification can be given to another person working at the legal person’s headquarters.

The court employee writes the post office’s name on both the original writ and the copy when the postal service delivers the written notification via registered mail. The receipt should be attached to the original writ and included in the case file. If the person to whom the notification is addressed rejects it, is unable to sign, or does not know how to sign, a judicial or postal employee will make a note on the document and try to obtain a signature from a witness if possible. The notification is considered complete in this case. If the summoned person cannot be found in any of these locations, the notification is given to a family member who is at least sixteen years old. If no family member is present, the notification can be given to a neighbor who agrees to deliver it to the summoned person’s office or workplace. 

The recipient of the notification must sign the original or a copy, confirming their responsibility to deliver it to the intended recipient. The court employee should document the relationship between themselves and the summoned person, the actions taken to deliver the act, and the place and time of delivery. Keeping service records that are both complete and admissible in court is essential. Professional process servers like those at Undisputed Legal know the need to keep detailed records in the event that the service is challenged. We ensure that our clients do not have to worry about their documents. 

What happens if service is refused?

If the intended recipient’s family members or neighbors refuse to accept or are unable to sign for the notification, a notice is made on the copy of the notification. If possible, a witness present will also sign to confirm this. Anyone can designate an authorized recipient for notifications. The appointment act must be submitted to the court.

The court employee must register the authorized person in the national electronic portal managed by the High Judicial Council.  The notification will be made by posting a notice at the court where the dispute will be resolved, the residence or domicile of the person being notified, and the administrative unit where they reside. The notification will be published on the court’s official website and/or a national electronic portal.

Service of Foreign notifications in Albania

Notifications of acts from foreign state institutions are delivered to the designated authorities of that state according to the rules outlined in the domestic Code. Acts of a foreign state are announced through the Ministry of Justice, which then forwards them to the appropriate district court for announcement. Legal aid dispatching and notification can occur through a reciprocal agreement between two states’ competent governmental bodies, as specified in the agreement. Undisputed Legal servers are efficient and acquainted with international and local legal requirements and can ensure that your papers are delivered swiftly and in compliance with the instruments.

The Ministry of Justice returns non-compliant notification requests to the sending state with detailed instructions for necessary adjustments. The party requesting notification must pay for it, as required by international agreements unless exempted by law or those agreements.

If the recipient of an act does not understand its written language, they have the right to refuse the notification. They can then request that the act be translated into Albanian or another language they understand at the requesting party’s expense. The Albanian authorities have the right to refuse a request for announcement or transmission if it jeopardizes the sovereignty or security of the state or if it does not comply with the provisions of the Code. To prevent this from happening, hiring a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal is significant for risk mitigation.                     

What does the central Authority do and when they can refuse to comply

Where a request for service complies with the terms of the present Convention, the State addressed may refuse to comply therewith only if it deems that compliance would infringe its sovereignty or security. It may not refuse to comply solely on the ground that, under its internal law, it claims exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action or that its internal law would not permit the action upon which the application is based.

The Central Authority will, in case of refusal, promptly inform the applicant and state the reasons for the refusal. Requests for transfer shall be made in writing and addressed by post to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Albania, as required and recorded in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands by article 21 of the Hague Service Convention. They can be transmitted in advance by email or post Language requirements. At Undisputed Legal, we ensure that we provide full and complete translations as well as immaculate documents. Our local process servers ensure that the papers are delivered efficiently and safely with their extensive knowledge of local laws and regulations.

According to Albanian Code of Criminal Procedure the request should be accompanied by [A.] the request of the sentencing state; [B.] a personal request of the sentenced person; [C.]  final court decision; [D.] execution order for the final court decision [E.] legal provisions (articles) applied [F.] report of the valuation of serving the sentence from the foreign institution; [G.] medical record of the sentenced person and [H.] any Supporting documents foreseen in Article 6 of the Convention.. 

Is US power of attorney valid in Albania?

The apostilled and authenticated Power of Attorney document is legally valid in Albania. The document can be used for the authorized purposes specified in the Power of Attorney. The process and requirements for document legalization can vary depending on the country’s regulations. It is also always recommended to seek advice from legal professionals or the appropriate authorities in the US and Albania. At Undisputed Legal, we ensure that your papers comply with domestic and international requirements.

The United States and Albania are signatories to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, which eliminates the need for consular legalization of foreign public documents. American citizens and business persons often need to legalize certain documents for acceptance in Albania. Procedures for document handling vary based on the document’s nature but align with global government requirements.

According to the United States Department of State’s Rules and Regulations for Authentication of documents, US authorities, business documents, and previously notarized documents must be ‘authenticated’.  At Undisputed Legal, we make it our job to ensure that your papers are delivered and are unimpeachable. This is significant since U.S. documents must have an Apostille to be valid in Albania. This certificate confirms the capacity of the government official who signed the document and the authenticity of the signature, seal, or stamp. Apostilled documents do not need additional legalization. 

The Hague Convention recognizes certain documents as official, and these documents can receive an Apostille. Official validating endorsements are placed on documents signed by individuals acting in a personal capacity. These endorsements include official certificates of document registration or existence on a specific date and official and notarial verification of signatures.  Process serving has its own set of obstacles with every new instance. When finding an elusive defendant or serving papers in an unusual setting, private process servers like those at Undisputed Legal also have the flexibility to adjust their strategy accordingly.  

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed at (800)-296-0115, emailed to 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 will receive all documents.  Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

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 ALBANIA

Pick up the phone and call (212) 203-8001, or click the service you want to purchase.  Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to assist you. We can handle all of your Albania process service needs; no job is too small or too large!  For instructions on How To Serve Legal Papers in Albania, Click Here!

Contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide New York City 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 Administrative Court of Appeal in Tirana.

– Special Court of First Instance in Tirana against corruption and organized crime

The Special Court of Appeal in Tirana is dedicated to addressing cases related to corruption and organized crime.

2. Functions of the Prosecution of general jurisdiction:

  • prosecution of criminal activity
  • acts as the state’s representative in court.
  • oversees and enforces criminal decisions
  • oversees the initial investigation and Judicial Police operations.
  • Implement the function of judicial cooperation with foreign authorities.
  • Fulfills additional legal obligations.

3.  The High Prosecutorial Council’s responsibilities include

  • Manages the appointment, evaluation, promotion, and transfer of prosecutors at all levels.
  • Determines disciplinary actions for all prosecutors at every level.
  • Recommends candidates for Prosecutor General to the Assembly in compliance with the law.  
  • Establishes ethical guidelines for prosecutors and ensures compliance.
  • Proposes and manages budget.

4. Article 116, point 1 of the Republic of Albania states that the following normative acts are effective throughout the country: the Constitution, ratified international agreements, laws, and normative acts of the Council of Ministers.

5. However, this does not apply if the summoned person is a minor under sixteen or lacks legal capacity.

6. Article 138 requires that records or a certificate be created when an act is notified. The record or certificate must include the place, date of notification, recipient of the act, their relationship to the intended recipient, signature, and any reasons for notification hindrance, if applicable.

7. Each Contracting State shall, at the time of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession, or at a later date, inform them  of the following –

a)  the designation of authorities, pursuant to Articles 2 and 18,
b)  the designation of the authority competent to complete the certificate pursuant to Article 6,
c)  the designation of the authority competent to receive documents transmitted by consular channels, pursuant to Article 9.

Each Contracting State shall similarly inform the Ministry, where appropriate, of –

a)  opposition to the use of methods of transmission pursuant to Articles 8 and 10,
b)  declarations pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 15 and the third paragraph of Article 16,
c)  all modifications of the above designations, oppositions and declarations.

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