HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN BOTSWANA

This article will provide guidance on How The Central Authority Works in Botswana. The Minister of State in the Office of the President of the Republic of Botswana is designated as the authority to complete the certificate in the form of the Model annexed to the Convention.  In Botswana, a ‘forwarding authority’ is any lawyer or solicitor listed on the country’s registry of lawyers. All the lawyers who have offices in Botswana qualify, as do those who have offices in South Africa but are also licensed to practice law in Botswana. Click here for a video on International Process Service.

Service is effected in matters before the High Court (which is competent in respect of claims exceeding P.2000.00 and in matters involving status) by the Deputy Sheriff (who is a court official) and in matters before the Magistrates Courts in the various districts of Botswana by the Bailiff. However, service through the court can often be less personalized, and clients often feel like they lack agency over their documents. Consequently, a private process server like those at Undisputed Legal can offer you accountability for your papers. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Summons in Botswana

A process server is important for action proceedings (those initiated by a summons and requiring the filing of pleadings and the attendance of witnesses) and application or petition proceedings (those initiated by a Notice of Motion and relying on affidavits). However, solicitors or their clerks may accomplish service in the latter situation. This is also applicable in the case of procedures by action other than the starting process. 

Service may be made to their agents or family members if the defendant cannot be located. Service via publishing in a designated newspaper is a common kind of ‘substituted service’ that the court may order if the ordinary modes of service are unsuccessful. Service is made via edictal citation in accordance with the directives granted by the High Court in each instance if the Botswana court has jurisdiction to consider the matter, but the defendant does not live within the jurisdiction.

Any director, secretary, or the entity’s registered office may accept the service of process by delivering it to the official designated for receiving such communications under the Constitution. If the parties cannot agree on a method of service, the court will decide on one and may order, for instance, that a rule must be published in a certain newspaper. Botswana has its own set of rules and laws regarding the service of legal documents inside the country’s boundaries, and Botswana courts must follow them. Your legal papers will be served in compliance with Botswana law, including all relevant federal, state, and local requirements, when you use the services of seasoned process servers such as those at Undisputed Legal.

Initiation of process service in Botswana

Procedures in court are formally initiated with the filing of a writ of summons, petition, or notice of motion (collectively ‘originating process’) with the Registrar or Clerk of Court, which is then dated and stamped with the Court’s official seal. The first schedule of the Writ of Summons must be followed, with any necessary modifications made in accordance with the High Court regulations or the Magistrate Court Act (Form 2 for High Court or Form 7 for Magistrate). The application must be accompanied by a Notice of Motion, which must conform to the Notice of Motion (Form 4 for High Court or Form 3 for Magistrate) in the first schedule with such modifications as are necessary.

The original originating process documents, as well as three (3) copies (or, if more than one defendant, an extra copy for each additional defendant), must be brought to the Civil Registry of the High Court or Magistrate court for date stamping, signing, and filing by the Plaintiff or the Plaintiff’s attorney or agent. Proof of service must be filed at the Civil Registry, and the defendant(s) must be served with copies of the originating process papers signed and dated by the Registrar/ Clerk of Court. Any competent adult who is not a party to the action and who is able to describe the nature and contents of the document may serve a petition, notice, summons, order, pleading, or other document upon which service is needed.

Any individual defendant whose principal home, place of business, or place of employment is within the territorial jurisdiction of any other originating procedure at the High Court Registry (in Gaborone, Lobatse, or Francistown). The time limitation for the defendant to enter an appearance should be fourteen Court days from serving the writ of summons or other procedures (including the day of service) to the defendant.

Unless otherwise stated in the summons, a government defendant may make an appearance to defend within twenty-one days after being served. In most jurisdictions, a defendant must be served with a writ of summons before legal proceedings may be considered to have commenced. It usually takes the court about two (2) days to process the papers that make up the originating procedure. This is when using a private process service, such as Undisputed Legal, could be useful. Undisputed Legal has process servers located all over the globe! We guarantee that your documents will be served in accordance with the law, no matter what jurisdiction they are served in, and our knowledge in this field is unmatched.

Forwarding Authorities in Botswana

In Botswana, a ‘forwarding authority’ is any lawyer or solicitor listed on the country’s registry of lawyers. All the lawyers who have offices in Botswana qualify, as do those who have offices in South Africa but are also licensed to practice law in Botswana.

Service is effected in matters before the High Court (which is competent in respect of claims exceeding P.2000.00 and in matters involving status) by the Deputy Sheriff (who is a court official) and in matters before the Magistrates Courts in the various districts of Botswana (Gaborone, Lobatse, Mahalapye, Serowe, Selibe-Phikwe, Francistown and Maun) by the Bailiff (who is also a court official).

Service may be made to the agents or family members if the defendant cannot be located. Service via publishing in a designated newspaper is a common kind of ‘substituted service’ that the court may order if the ordinary modes of service are unsuccessful. Undisputed Legal’s process servers are experts in the field. Any court operation, including those involving our private process serving organization, relies on timely service. Authorities, attorneys, and other pertinent parties in Botswana are known to our process servers. This knowledge of the local laws and their intricacies is useful to overcome any hurdles that may arise during document serving.

Pre Trial procedures in Botswana

The higher court in Botswana is the Court of Appeal, followed by the High Court, which is above the Magistrates’ Court. Despite being a court of first instance, the High Court hears appeals and reviews from lesser courts and tribunals (such as the Magistrates’ Court and the Land Tribunal). Specialized tribunals, such as the Worker’s Compensation Commissioner, the Income Tax Appeals Committee, and the Industrial Court, hear cases that need expert expertise.

A traditional court system and a common law court system coexist in Botswana. Although the Magistrates’ Court, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal hear appeals from cases decided by the Customary Courts, the latter have no jurisdiction over tribal concerns.  The establishment of judicial case management in Botswana marks a shift from the usual structure of Rules in Roman-Dutch jurisdictions.

Pretrial procedures include many conferences between the parties and their solicitors and status hearings at which the court issues necessary directives for the continued progress of the case. Because of the potential for negative orders to be issued, the court case management system has major ramifications. Furthermore, once the High Court issues a final pre-trial order, which is the last hearing before the actual trial of a case, such an order cannot be unless a party can establish evident unfairness.

The judiciary functions as managers of all parts of pre-trial proceedings, remaining above the fray of litigation but simultaneously being the major driver of litigation via its unbiased and impartial examination of the facts and how the law relates to facts in dispute. A number of national and international processes have grown in recent years, and Undisputed Legal acknowledges this. However, we prioritize our clients’ comfort by staying well-informed about all the necessary legal requirements and their responsibilities. We are experts in local process serving and have a well-established network throughout Botswana.

Requirements for translation

According to Article 5(3) of the Hague Service Convention, all papers submitted to the designated authorities for service under the terms of the Convention must be in duplicate and written in, or translated into, English.  Action procedures and motion proceedings are the two sorts of civil proceedings that may be used to enforce a claim. Service of a writ of summons initiates action procedures, which are followed by the exchange of more papers and, ultimately, a trial when oral testimony is heard by the court. 

Service of a notice of motion, accompanied by an affidavit setting out the facts upon which the petitioner relies for relief, initiates the motion process. There is no trial, and no testimony is given during a motion procedure. The fundamental consideration in deciding whether to continue in action or on motion is the existence of possible significant questions of fact that cannot be addressed on paper without reference to oral testimony.

Court sessions are open to the public unless the sitting judge has good cause to conduct the hearing behind closed doors.  Court records in regard to resolved litigious cases are public records. However, the registrar has total discretion over who has access to court papers pertaining to pending cases, and such materials are only accessible to parties having a personal interest in the

Notaries in Botswana

In Commonwealth nations, Consular Officers are not authorized to execute Notarial actions such as certifying copies of documents under the Commissioners for Oaths Act 1889. It is recommended that clients seek the services of a local notary public or Commissioner of Oaths. Notaries and solicitors in the area may often perform the same services for less money and in less time. 

There is no need to carry any proof of identity while picking up the mail. It is necessary to schedule a time to pick up this letter from the High Commission in Gaborone. Every piece of information included in the Public Power of Attorney must be verified by the notary public to ensure its correctness. After all parties have reached an agreement, the Grantor and the notary public will sign the document after it has been printed on official notary paper. Additionally, the notary will maintain an official copy of the document in their archives for future reference. There are many possible problems and obstacles to the validity of legal documents served in Botswana without the assistance of experienced process servers, such as those at Undisputed Legal. If you choose a reputable process service, such as Undisputed Legal, you will lessen the risk of these outcomes and have faith that your task will be executed with integrity. By allowing individuals, businesses, and legal professionals to focus on other aspects of their cases, the outsourcing process of serving professionals offers convenience and relief from stress.

In  Botswana, process service is essential for the proper and legal notification of individuals or entities involved in legal proceedings. With their expertise, respect for local law, and ability to expedite the judicial process, Undisputed Legal can help ensure that justice is served fairly and efficiently. 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.

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 receives all the documents.

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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 BOTSWANA

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 your Botswana 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 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 Minister of State in the Office of the President 

P/Bag 001

Gaborone

Botswana

2. Delivery Techniques (Article 5(1)(2)): Article 5(1)(a) Formal Notice

3. Gaborone, Lobatse, Mahalapye, Serowe, Selibe-Phikwe, Francistown and Maun

4. In magistrates’ courts, service may also be accomplished via registered post in certain situations.

5. Except in the event of arrest, writs of summons, petitions, notices, summonses, orders, pleadings, and other papers must not be served on a Sunday or between 19:00. And 07:00 on any other day, and no such service shall be legitimate if performed.

6. Under Order 6(12) of the High Court rules

7. Summons (represented party): BWP150; Resolution (company): P20; Civil Application (estimated): BWP270.

8. Article 5(1)(a) Formal Notice

9. Service is made via edictal citation in accordance with the directives granted by the High Court in each instance if the Botswana court has jurisdiction to consider the matter but the defendant does not live within the jurisdiction.

10. The British High Commission in Botswana is able to do Notarial acts due to the country’s status as a member of the Commonwealth.

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