HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN BRAZIL

This article will provide guidance on How The Central Authority Works in Brazil.  On 29 November 2018, Brazil ratified the 1965 Hague Service Convention for the International Service of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. Regarding requests for legalization or notarization of judicial and extrajudicial documents, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP) has been appointed the Central Authority. Once a request is received by the Central Authority, it is processed for compliance and then forwarded to the Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça) for formal approval.  Please click here to watch the video on International Process Service.

Previously, foreign service of documents upon persons abroad required a letter rogatory or specific procedures established in bilateral agreements, which often take months to process. For many different reasons, hiring a process server in Brazil is crucial if a client needs to send legal papers to a Brazilian person or business. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

 The right to be informed of legal procedures brought against oneself is a basic concept of due process and a legal requirement. To guarantee that all parties have an equal opportunity to reply to and participate in legal processes, legal papers must be served properly to all parties concerned. The legal process in Brazil must adhere to the country’s special norms and regulations on the serving of legal papers inside the country’s borders. By hiring experienced process servers like those at Undisputed Legal, you can be certain that your legal documents will be served in accordance with Brazilian law, including all applicable federal, state, and municipal regulations. 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.

Brazil’s Legal System and How the Hague Convention Factors in

Civil law is the foundation of Brazil’s legal system. Cases involving appeals of the ruling are within the courts’ constitutional authority.  The Letter of Request must include a case synopsis from the nation making the request as well as details and names of the people under investigation (if relevant.) The Letter of Request should also accompany a copy of the enacted laws (penal and criminal code articles.) It is important to submit a formal written request with the specified details and send it to the Brazilian Central Authority. 

Some of Brazil’s objections to the Convention’s optional clauses and its policies about its preferred modalities of service are noteworthy. All papers transmitted to Brazil must be translated into Portuguese to create their legal consequences (Articles 5 and 7 of the Convention), with the exception of the standard forms appended to the Convention (request for service, summary of proceedings, and certificate of service). 

In the event that the Brazilian Central Authority is required to provide early notice of when and where the evidence was collected, the Brazilian court with jurisdiction over the case must issue its ruling. The Brazilian Federal Government must carry out the request without delay or, when if necessary, it will be communicated to the relevant government personnel. 

The requesting country’s language must be used when submitting a request, and it must be accompanied by a rendition in Portuguese. Evidence submitted by Brazil in response to a request for legal aid from another country must be used exclusively for the reason described in the request itself. In Brazil, Portuguese is spoken as the national language. To guarantee that legal papers are produced and served in a culturally respectful and legally binding way, it is best to hire a professional process server like those at Undisputed Legal. Our local servers are fluent in the local language and are knowledgeable about cultural norms and customs.

Central Authority in Brazil

The Central Authority or the National Secretariat of Justice, Ministry of Justice and Public Security is the first recipient of a Letter of Request before it is sent to the Central Authority of the requesting State. The execution of the Letter of Request must be witnessed by court officials. No declaration of application is made with respect to rights and obligations arising under the law of a jurisdiction other than the State of origin and the State of execution. Letters of Request should contain specific questions for witness questioning or merely a list of issues to be addressed. The more specific, the better, especially since the courts may reject the Letter of Request for being too vague.

Cooperation in international law boils down to formally requesting assistance from a foreign jurisdiction in the form of judicial, investigative, or administrative action in an ongoing legal matter. In a world where trade, migration, and information sharing are all expanding rapidly, a proactive and cooperative state is increasingly necessary for justice to function effectively. To meet the pretensions for justice for the individual and of society, judicial interactions are no longer conducted only inside a single sovereign state; rather, they are required to collaborate and solicit the participation of other states. Many areas of law pertaining to Brazil have garnered significant attention, including those dealing with product exports, intellectual property registration, and the resolution of commercial disputes. This is where engaging the services of a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can be helpful. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are spread out across the world! Our experience serving legal papers is unparalleled, and we aim to ensure that your papers comply with the law, regardless of jurisdiction.

Other International Instruments 

 Brazil is a signatory to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and its Additional Protocol. A plaintiff making a service request under the Convention must use the U.S. Marshall Form USM-272/272A  under the Inter-American Convention. Three copies of the summons, complaint, or other papers are to be served, and the original must be submitted with the request.  Translation of USM 272/272A into Portuguese is not legally necessary but is recommended for use with Brazilian authorities. It should be noted that the Inter-American Service Convention mandates that the Form be authenticated by the signature and stamp of the Central Authority of the state where the court is located, as well as the seal and signature of the clerk from which the process originates.

The plaintiff may then have the request served on the defendant by having it sent to the Federal Supreme Court for exequatur. Once the request has been served, it is sent back to the Federal Supreme Court, and from there, it is sent back to the original court via the opposite approach. International treaties that aim to make it easier for nations to provide legal aid to one another include the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and its Additional Protocol (IACAP).  Replacing the old letters’ rogatory method, the IACAP offers a means for the service of papers by a foreign central authority. The U.S. Central Authority for the IACAP is the Department of Justice.  The U.S. Central Authority’s service operations are outsourced to a private contractor that reports directly to the Department of Justice.

Undisputed Legal process servers know what they’re doing and have the tools to do the job quickly and accurately. Prompt service is essential to the smooth running of any court procedure, and our private process service agency is no different. Our process servers in Brazil have preexisting connections to authorities, lawyers, and other relevant parties. This familiarity with the local law and its nuances is helpful for overcoming any obstacles that may occur during document serving.

Notary And Power of Attorney requirements in Brazil

There are some major variances when it comes to the Notary/County Clerk/Apostille phases, but the primary procedures for drafting and authenticating a POA overseas for use by a foreign person are often similar regardless of the country or domicile of the giving party.  The authentication procedure may vary depending on the laws and customs of the nation where the client resides. In the US, a document should be in English to get through the authentication procedures applicable in the US. 

If one lives in a state like New York, the county clerk will need to see the notarized power of attorney. An accreditation from a county clerk may cost anything from USD20 to USD50. Given the time commitment involved, attorneys will often hire a service to appear before the county clerk on their behalf. The attorney must submit the County Clerk’s authentication of the POA to the Department of State to get an Apostille. An Apostille is an official certification that a document has been authenticated by a state in the United States. To facilitate the use of papers issued in one country in another that are party to the Hague Apostille Convention, the Hague Convention established the Apostille.

Service providers typically charge between USD 250.00 and USD 350.00 for the first Apostille and a discounted rate for additional Apostilled documents due to the potential long waits at the Department of State and the need to come back on a different day to pick up the final document. After the POA and its certified translation have been filed, you should have an authenticated copy or copies made. Certain registrars may need the original POAs. One may utilize the same Power of Attorney with many parties if they get it notarized, and some may not even need the original document provided by the registration agency.

Notary Publics

A notary public, or ‘Cartório’ in Portuguese, is a service that many Brazilians will need on a regular basis.  It is the job of notary publics in Brazil to intervene in legal activities and businesses when the parties want to define terms and formally record agreements between two or more parties. Notaries are also responsible for verifying copies of documents and notarizing signatures for later use, in addition to providing legal certifications of several types, depending on the client’s needs.

A client may also be required to produce papers as attachments to the signed document.  The notary’s declaration that the duplicate replicates the original is essential for preventing forgeries. Thus, ‘Autenticaço de Cópia,’ which translates to ‘Authentication of a Copy,’ is the Portuguese term for the process in which a notary public examines an original document with a copy to check for forgeries. At Undisputed Legal, we understand the importance of creating the appropriate paperwork to establish that the papers were served properly. Affidavits and service certifications are essential for establishing service reliability in court.

The only remaining step in executing a Power of Attorney is signing the resulting paper. In Brazil, a private Power of Attorney is called a ‘Procuraço Particular’ since the individual who creates it is not a government agency. The signature may be notarized per the preceding steps if necessary (based on who will be using the POA).

The notary is responsible for ensuring the accuracy of all the information included in the Public Power of Attorney. Once the terms have been agreed upon, the instrument will be printed on official notary paper and signed by both the Grantor and the notary public. The notary will also keep an official copy of the document in their archives for future reference. Serving legal papers in Brazil without the aid of seasoned process servers like those at Undisputed Legal is fraught with potential pitfalls and challenges to its authenticity. Using a reliable process service agency like Undisputed Legal, you can reduce your exposure to these dangers and ensure your work will be carried out without reproach. Outsourcing the service of process to experts provides convenience and peace of mind, as it frees up time and resources for people, corporations, and attorneys to concentrate on other elements of their cases.

Process service in Brazil is vital to guarantee the appropriate and lawful notice of persons or businesses participating in judicial procedures. Undisputed Legal can aid in the efficient and fair administration of justice by bringing the requisite knowledge, adherence to local laws, and efficiency to the process.

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 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.

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 BRAZIL

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 Brazil process service needs; no job is too small or too large!  Click Here for information on the Code of Civil Procedure in Brazil.

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. Department of Assets Recovery and International Legal Cooperation
National Secretariat of Justice
Ministry of Justice and Public Security
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Anexo II, Sala 322

2. Only the MJSP or the competent judge may sign the application. Service by letter, via diplomatic channels, or delivered personally to the Brazilian judicial authority shall not be recognized. 

3. Bank records may be required as supporting proof. Requirements including: 

  1. Bank’s name and location; 
  2. Account Number; 
  3. Name of Account Holder;
  4. Identifying information, bank statement generation timeline, account types
  5. account opening paperwork, statements, wire transfers, loan documentation, etc.)
  6. agreements, and the connection between the bank account and the offenses that were committed.

4. The next step is for the court to submit the completed USM272/272A and any supporting documentation to the U.S. Central Authority (the U.S. Department of Justice). The Ministry of Justice in Brazil will receive the request from the United States Central Authority when it has been properly notarized and consularized by the Brazilian Consulate.

5. Cartórios’ and ‘Tabelionatos’ are the names given to registration offices in Brazil. Depending on the nature of the case or the nature of the needs in Brazil, registration offices may be ready to offer a template detailing the parties and the powers that should be included in the POA.

6. Here are five of the most typical services a public notary in Brazil may provide:

  1. Legally binding signature verification by a notary.
  2. Companies and government agencies have stringent anti-fraud measures in place, and a notarized signature provides further confidence that the person signing the document is who they claim to be.
  3. In the Portuguese ‘Reconhecimento de Firma’ method, a person’s signature is registered with a notary known as a ‘Cartório de Notas’ who verifies the signer’s identity and collects three copies of his or her signature.

Once the signature registration is complete, the notary may notarize the signer’s signature on any document. The notary will place an official stamp next to the signature to testify to its authenticity and provide legal effect to the interested party if the signature on the document matches the registered signature.

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