HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN BAHAMAS

This article will provide guidance on How The Central Authority Works in Bahamas.  Service of legal papers in international civil and commercial issues is governed by the Hague Service Convention. As a member of the convention, the Bahamas follows its rules for the international service of legal papers. If you found this article helpful, kindly consider leaving us a review. Click the link to share your feedback, and we would greatly appreciate a five-star review.

The Hague Service Convention establishes uniform rules for the international service of papers among its member states. It requires, first and foremost, that a central authority be set up in each participating nation. It is via this centralized authority that requests for the service of papers from other member nations are received and processed, and service is then completed in conformity with the convention’s rules.

The Convention also stresses the value of having complete records. The central authority in The Bahamas provides certificates of service or equivalent papers to verify the successful completion of service. These certifications are essential in judicial processes as proof that papers were served in compliance with the convention’s criteria.

Using a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal may be preferable to serve legal documents in the Bahamas. We aim to have an expert understanding of the legal system and process serving practices in the Bahamas. Our private process servers are well-versed in the subtleties of The Bahamas law and will ensure that your papers are served in accordance with all applicable norms and procedures, even if navigating the legal system of a foreign country may be difficult. If there are any language hurdles that might cause problems in the preparation and service of legal papers, a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal could offer translation services. Click here for a video on International Process Service.

What does the Central Authority do

The standard practice entails providing personal service unless the Requesting State explicitly indicates a different method. The Office of the Attorney General, Central Authority, kindly requests the aid of a peace officer in the execution of document service under the Service Convention. A nominal fee of eighty dollars (USD80.00) is required for this service.

In the event that the address provided by the requesting State is found to be inaccurate, a peace officer will undertake the necessary steps to verify the correct address of the company. This verification process involves conducting a thorough search within the Registrar General’s Companies Department. To cover the costs associated with this meticulous endeavor, a nominal fee of one hundred and sixty dollars (US$160) will be charged. This calculation is predicated on the assumption that the individual in question would have made an initial effort to deliver the documents to the address initially provided. Subsequently, upon ascertaining the correct address, the documents would be served upon the company during the second attempt.   The estimated time frame for completion ranges from four to eight weeks. 

A State may refuse to cooperate with a request for service that conforms with the present Convention only if it believes that doing so would violate the State’s sovereignty or security. It cannot refuse to cooperate only on the basis that its internal law would not enable the action upon which the application is based or that it claims exclusive jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case. In the event of a denial, the Central Authority must notify the applicant as soon as possible and explain the denial. The Central Authority may insist that any document served to be written in or translated into the official language or one of the official languages of the State to which it is being served. The request should include the portion of the form attached to the Hague Service Convention that provides a synopsis of the material. 

Our Undisputed Legal process servers provide a degree of efficiency and dependability that is difficult to attain without them. We are aware of the significance of prompt service in maintaining the integrity and timeliness of judicial procedures. Through their knowledge and experience, we aim to ensure service is done as quickly and effectively as possible.

Office of the Attorney General in the Bahamas

The Ministry of Legal Affairs, in conjunction with the office of the Attorney General, serves as a pivotal pillar of the legal framework within the Bahamas. This dynamic alliance is entrusted with the responsibility of upholding the principles of justice, ensuring the rule of law, and safeguarding the rights and interests of the citizens. The Ministry of Legal Affairs, under the astute guidance of the Attorney General, plays a vital role in the formulation and implementation of legal policies and initiatives. 

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has been entrusted with the authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion autonomously.  The position of the Director of Public Prosecutions entails the crucial duty of initiating and concluding criminal prosecutions within the jurisdiction of The Bahamas, as mandated by the constitution and legal framework. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of all criminal cases presented before the esteemed Supreme Court and providing general supervision over magisterial prosecutions.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is pivotal in spearheading the portfolio and establishing policy and operational directives.  The esteemed position of overseeing the administrative affairs of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Ministry of Legal Affairs (MLA) is held by the distinguished Permanent Secretary.  In order to proficiently carry out the legal service functions of the Attorney-General, the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) is structured into two distinct departments, namely [A.] the Department of Legal Affairs and [B.] the Department of Public Prosecutions.

The organization’s role is to offer valuable support to foreign nations through mutual legal assistance. Additionally, as mandated by international treaties, the Central Authority diligently fulfills its obligations under various multilateral organizations, including the Caribbean Community, the Organisation of American States, and the United Nations. Additionally, it bears the responsibility of undertaking any necessary legal proceedings to carry out its mandate effectively.

Process Service in the Bahamas

Service of process is the legal term for the service of legal papers to a defendant, their attorney, or a corporation’s registered agent. Parties to a case, whether they reside in The Bahamas or another country, must be given proper notice of the complaint and the proceedings by adhering to the strict regulations regulating the service of process. The defendant might argue that he did not get notice of the claim and that any actions taken in the proceedings are thus unlawful, ineffective, or improper serving of process of the original writ or originating summons, which is a significant hurdle to prosecuting a case. Therefore, it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to provide adequate service.

Unless the court directs differently, the defendant must be physically served with the originating instrument (writ, originating summons, petition, or motion to commence a case). Having the paperwork personally delivered to the recipient is the norm. A copy of the served document, with the date, time, location, and name of the person served, as well as the name and address of the person who served the document, must be endorsed by a person who is not a party to the action. 

It is also possible for the defendant’s attorney to accept service on behalf of the defendant or for the defendant to enter an appearance, both of which have the same legal effect as if the defendant had accepted service personally. Under certain conditions, the court may approve service on the defendant’s local agent if the defendant is an international company.  Our Undisputed Legal process servers can help identify specific circumstances in international and local cases so that documents always achieve perfect service.

International Process Service

It may be necessary to serve the defendant outside of the Bahamas if there is no agent who can accept service here. The law of the Bahamas recognizes this as a regular occurrence and provides that service on a defendant in another country may be permitted under specific conditions.  A case must be brought in The Bahamas if one of the following six conditions is met [A.] the entire subject matter of the dispute involves land located in the Bahamas; [B.] the dispute relates to an obligation affecting land in the Bahamas; [C.] the defendant is domiciled or ordinarily resides in the Bahamas; [D.] the contract in dispute was made in the Bahamas; [E.] the action relates to the administration of the estate of a person who was domiciled in the Bahamas; or [F.]  a tort was committed in the Bahamas. Getting the court’s permission before serving papers outside of the jurisdiction is customary.

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas is a signatory to the Hague Service Convention and the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, among other international treaties, and accords regulating service of process in various jurisdictions. For information on how to serve papers in a foreign jurisdiction, it is best to refer to the relevant agreement. There are many different nations involved in each contract, so to be sure that one is applying the right laws in the right place, involve a professional private service company like Undisputed Legal.

Notaries in the Bahamas

A notarized document will usually only be valid inside the United States. It is not necessary to schedule separate appointments to get each document notarized. Each notary seal will cost USD50  at the Embassy or Consulate on the day of the appointment. It is necessary to have the signed and completed paperwork to the notary. A party must submit the full package, even if some pages do not call for a signature or seal.  The cost of a notary seal is USD 50 USD.   

A notary public in the United States performs comparable duties to those performed by a notary public at a U.S. embassy or consulate. A document notarized by a foreign notary may also be validated so that it can be used in the United States. This is a streamlined procedure that does not need the involvement of embassies or consulates in nations that are signatories to the Hague Apostille Convention.

The individual seeking the notarial service must present in person at an embassy or consulate of the United States. The notarizing officer has the burden of proving three things about the person seeking the notarization: the signer’s identity, understanding of the nature, language, and implications of the document to be notarized, and the signer’s freedom from coercion. Notary requests that support illegal or inappropriate activities may be denied execution by consular personnel at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In nations that are not signatories to the Hague Apostille Convention, consular officials may authenticate papers. The names of all newly registered and re-registered notaries public in The Bahamas are published annually. A supplemental publication would include the details of anyone who registered or renewed their license after the first publication was posted.

The enrolment of notaries public, the renewal and replacement of notaries’ licenses, etc., are all handled by the Office of the Attorney-General. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, or an officer appointed by him, often acts as the last link in a chain of evidence consisting of many cover papers requiring authentication. The Consulate Section authenticates a wide range of papers (such as those relating to births, deaths, marriages, divorces, criminal records, the status of businesses, adoptions, the transfer of school records, commercial transactions, and so on).

The “Apostille” certifies only the notary’s signature, not the document’s authenticity. Documents completed in one nation and submitted in another are subject to the Hague Convention, although domestic filings are not.

Power of Attorney in the Bahamas

The Bahamas Statute Laws (1992) regulate power of attorney.  The 1992 Powers of Attorney Act and Common Law govern powers of attorney.  Using a POA, the party can authorize another person to serve as the agent and undertake specified tasks on their behalf. Powers of attorney are often provided to manage financial and personal transactions, including safety deposit boxes and property leases. Powers of attorney might be broad or specific. POAs may be revoked at any time.

An EPOA gives the Attorney authority over your finances and property. Attorneys must be above 18. If registered with the Bahamas Supreme Court Registry, an EPOA may be utilized. EPOAs are statutory. The EPOA allows a person to issue a power of attorney that survives mental disability, a major advance. 

The EPOA must provide for “any subsequent mental incapacity” since you were considered sound mind when the power of attorney was conferred. The Powers of Attorney Act does not define the mental capacity required to execute an enduring power, but common law establishes that the person had the capacity to understand the power’s nature and effect at the time, with reasonable explanation.

The EPOA may also expire for complicated legal reasons like bankruptcy. The documentation and evidence of service that private process servers like those at Undisputed Legal thus give are crucial. We create the required certifications or affidavits to prove the correct service of process once the papers have been served. This evidence is essential for establishing the legality of service in court and moving your case forward.

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed to (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.

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, Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

FOR ASSISTANCE SERVING LEGAL PAPERS IN BAHAMAS

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 Bahamas 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. Authorities Responsible for Forwarding (Article 3(1)): Modes of Service (Article 5(1)(2)):

2. The duration of this time frame is contingent upon the following factors: 

1. The inquiry pertains to the provision of an accurate address for service. 

2. In the event that the individual or company is located on an island other than New Providence.

Hague Convention and the Bahamas

3. Office of the Attorney General Paul L. Adderley Building 18 John F. Kennedy Drive Nassau, N.P. Bahamas

attorneygeneral@bahamas.gov.bs

The staff members are proficient in the English language.

4. As the legal representative of the Government, the role encompasses a range of responsibilities. These include representing the Government in all civil proceedings, whether initiated by or against it. Additionally, they provide legal representation to statutory public corporations in civil proceedings brought against them.

5. Additionally, they diligently prepare annual updates for the loose leaf edition of the laws, meticulously documenting any amendments or newly enacted laws since the last revised edition. Furthermore, they efficiently coordinate the printing and publication of the revised edition and the annual updates, ensuring widespread accessibility and dissemination of the laws.

6. This assistance is provided per established treaties, the Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act, and the Civil Justice (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act.

7. According to subsection (3) of Chapter 57’s Notaries Public Act, a notary public is authorized by law to certify legal papers. There are three types of Notaries Public recognized under the Act:

  1. Anyone who, immediately prior to the commencement of the Notaries Act (1972), 
  2. Was the holder of a licence as a notary public under section 3 of the Notaries Public Act (now repealed); 
  3. Anyone holding or acting in a public office as specified in the first schedule to the act shall be ex officio notary public.

8. The holder may obtain a replacement license upon application and payment of the BS$20.00 charge specified in the Second Schedule in cases where the original license has been lost, destroyed, or altered in any way.

9. The Common Law comes from several sources, mostly common practice.

10. Legally, a power of attorney expires with mental incapacity or death.

 

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