HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN CANADA

This article will provide guidance on How The Central Authority Works in Canada.  Canada adopted the Hague Convention on September 26, 1998, and its provisions came into effect on May 1st, 1999, making it possible for international service of process to be completed in Canada. Click here for a video on International Process Service.

The Hague Service Convention for the International Service of Civil and Commercial Documents is an international agreement specifying the procedures that must be utilized to send a document with judicial or extrajudicial implications from one State Party to the Convention to another State Party for service in the receiving State Party. The Hague Service Convention allows for many informal routes of transmission in addition to the one official channel (via the Central Authority of the destination State). Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Both the formal approach of the Hague Service Convention and the informal mode of service by the agent is acceptable in Canada for serving foreign parties with legal documents.  A difficult task is serving legal documents in Canada. With so many different jurisdictions to consider, keeping up with Canada’s complicated legal system may be a real challenge. Undisputed Legal, on the other hand, cheerfully takes on such tasks. We want to guarantee the secure delivery of your papers since we know how unpredictable international service can be. 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.

Service of Process in Canada in accordance with the Hague Convention

The Central Authority in Canada receives the completed paperwork and payment. Once the papers are forwarded to the Central Authority,  the client will not get any updates until the evidence of service or non-service is provided back to the office.  This is where an effective private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can significantly help.  

In cases where service has not been made in accordance with the Hague Convention, Canada will not recognize the resulting verdict or judgment. However, service via agent may be appropriate in certain situations. Clients may save time and money by following the informal route instead of the official one.  Get in touch with us at Undisputed Legal if this mode appeals to you. We can provide further information on whether an informal service is an option for your case. We ensure that the service of your papers is done with care and is effective. 

A hussier or process server may greatly reduce the time it takes to serve someone in Canada. It is vital to know the necessary standards in order to acquire an affidavit that will hold up in court since translations and what sort of people may be employed to effectuate service vary by province. The Central Authority of the relevant province or territory should receive requests as quickly as possible. They may, however, also be submitted to the Federal Central Authority, which will transfer them to the applicable Central Authority.

Why are the Central Authorities important in Canada

Canada’s service of process requirements is highly jurisdictionally based. For example, specifically in the province of Quebec, an Article 5 request may be made directly to a huissier de justice who serves legal documents. A month or two of waiting time may be avoided in this way.  Further, although service by mail is legal in Quebec, Canada, it is encouraged to go via the proper channels in order to avoid any potential challenges. 

In the remainder of Canada outside of Quebec, service is provided under Article 10(b) by individual process servers. Getting the proper proof of service while using these process servers is essential. If necessary evidence is lacking, a lawsuit may be thrown out, or the judgment may be uncollectible.  Subpoenas, on the other hand, may only be served via the Hague Evidence Convention and not the Hague Service Convention. 

With diverse provinces, Canada needs separate translations for each. Most people will need a French or English translation of their paperwork. It is highly recommended that any papers used in Quebec be translated into French.  If the applicant agrees, the papers may be served in their original form, but the receiver may refuse to accept them on the grounds that they are not understandable. 

Forwarding authorities (Article 3(1))

‘Service’ encompasses both ‘service of papers’ and ‘notification’ in all Canadian provinces and territories, with the exception of Québec. Any requests for service or notice sent to a Canadian Central Authority per Article 5(1)(a) is processed in the same way as court papers for proceedings in the Central Authority’s jurisdiction would be processed. It is thus preferable to ensure that service of process adheres to local as well as international norms. At Undisputed Legal, we make sure that your papers are carefully served according to jurisdiction. 

Canada’s top law enforcement officials are typically those who can receive documents. However, since Canada is divided into provinces, depending on the area, other officials may be able to receive and forward your documents. This includes clerks of the courts and their deputies for a judicial or court district as well as the Attorney General, Ministry of the Attorney General, or Minister of Justice of a province or territory. A local process service agency like those at Undisputed Legal can be your best option to identify the forwarding authorities.   These effective officials are the Deputy Minister of Justice Sheriffs and Huissiers for the Northwest Territories. Quebec specifies members of the Board of Notaries of the Province of Québec (for non-litigious cases only) and local registrars. In certain circumstances, members of law societies of all provinces and territories may also be qualified to accept service. 

Service of process in Canada is typically accomplished by a process server in Alberta, a huissier in Québec, an enforcement officer of the Ministry of the Attorney General in Ontario, or a sheriff or deputy sheriff in any other province or territory by personally delivering a copy of the document to the address of the individual or corporation in question. At Undisputed Legal, we ensure that your papers adhere to the rules in different areas.  Considering the various court rules that service of process can require, Undisputed Legal’s specialized knowledge can make serving papers less complex to understand.

Delivering the original or a certified copy or abstract of the act, document, or notice to the person to be informed and getting a receipt, therefore [XpressPost] is sufficient for notification in Québec. Service or notice via a specific means requested by the applicant under 5(1)(b) shall be considered by Central Authorities in Canada to the extent that such a method is not inconsistent with the legislation of their jurisdiction.

Service of process in a country like Canada might be challenging and time-consuming. Regarding service of process in international law, accuracy, conformity with local laws, and a thorough understanding of the legal environment are of the utmost importance. Professional process servers, such as those found at Undisputed Legal, may provide invaluable insight and assistance in these cases.

Translations in Canada

To the extent that it is not contrary to the legislation of their jurisdiction, Central Authorities in Canada will take into account requests for service via a specific manner under 5(1)(b). In Canada, no judicial nor extrajudicial papers are ever delivered informally (‘par simple remise’). Additionally, Translation regulations for both formal service and provision in a specific manner vary by province or territory.

All papers must be written in or translated to English for use in Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. All official paperwork in Manitoba, the NWT, Nunavut, Ontario, and Saskatchewan must be drafted in either English or French or accompanied by a certified translation into one of those languages. All papers must be written in or translated into English or French for New Brunswick and the Yukon. The Central Authority of New Brunswick or the Yukon may reserve the right to request papers to be translated into English or French, depending on the language understood by the recipient.

Source materials must be produced in French or translated into French for use in Québec. A ‘summary of the document to be served’ written in French may be sufficient in certain cases if approved by the receiver. Documents written in English or translated from a foreign language into English may be served or notified upon a recipient in Québec if the forwarding authority submits a written request to the Central Authority for Québec.

If the translation standards applicable in Québec are not met, the recipient in Québec may object to receiving the document and question the legitimacy of the service or notice. The service fee is USD100 Canadian dollars. In Québec, execution of service by a bailiff (huissier) costs USD100, while notice is free of charge.

Specifics of service OF PROCESS in Canada

  1. Alberta

Four weeks in Alberta are specifically required for service. It is necessary to apply to a Foreign Service of Process Order addressed either to a designated Applications Judge or a regular judge, who would also be a judge on the Queen’s Bench. The Clerk will be able to inform you who will be presiding over your case. The application will be dismissed if the court does not issue the injunction asked. If service is refused, the party will need to apply for authorization to serve it again.

It is preferable to serve dual applications concurrently to avoid the unnecessary setback of having an application turned down. The Request for Service Model Form will be completed by the Forwarding Authority and will request payment from the overseas governing body if necessary. There may be an additional cost associated with using the services of the Forwarding Authority. Documents will be sent to the international recipient by the Forwarding Authority. Documents will be served by the Central Authority, which will coordinate with whoever is responding to this.

Once the responder has been served, the foreign Central Certification Authority shall provide the Forwarding Certification Authority with proof of service. An Affidavit of Service must be filed to show that the respondent was served. After having the Affidavit of Service notarized or commissioned, it must be filed with the court.

  1. British Columbia

Service time in BC usually takes three to six weeks. The Order in Council Office, Ministry of Justice in British Columbia is the province’s and territory’s highest authority.  Typically, servicing takes between two and six weeks.    A certificate of service is then sent to the requesting Judicial Officer by the ‘Central Authority’ after service has been made. Three mandatory forms must be used in each legal proceeding [A.] a request for service overseas, [B.] a description of the proceedings (akin to a summons), and [C.]  a certificate of service.

Hague Service Convention signatories are free to allow foreign service in any manner permitted by domestic law.  In their filings with the Convention, countries who recognize these ‘alternative means’ of service must designate that they do so. Prior to the Hague Service Convention, service was primarily accomplished via letters rogatory, often frequently referred to as a letter of request or a request for international court aid.  This often included the document being sent from the issuing court to the department of foreign affairs (or embassy) of both the issuing and receiving states before being received by a court in the destination state.  This chain of transmission is still maintained in certain circumstances when one or both jurisdictions involved are not a party to either the Hague Service Convention or any other service convention.

  1. Quebec

Quebec usually takes four weeks for service.  Sheriffs or members of the Chambre des huissiers de justice du Québec are the only people authorized to serve legal documents in the province of Québec.

In addition to the Central Authorities, the sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, sub-sheriffs, clerk of the court or their deputy for the judicial district (except in Manitoba where there are no judicial districts) in which the person is to be served or the huissiers (only in Quebec) are competent to complete the certificate of service. Requests for service submitted by a foreign consul inside Canada must be received by the central authorities appointed in accordance with Articles 2 and 18 of the Convention.

Power of Attorney in Canada

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal instrument that authorizes another person (the ‘attorney’ or ‘agent’) to act in your place (the ‘grantor’ or ‘donor’) and to represent your interests to third parties. The scope of the attorney’s legal authority can range from being all-encompassing to being narrowly tailored to cover only certain tasks, such as making specific payments or investments, selling specific real estate, or transferring ownership of specific securities. 

Individuals get to decide how involved the POA will be in their lives by giving them authority over money, property, or both. The POA document must be notarized and/or witnessed: The rules for witnessing and/or notarizing a POA differ by province or territory. If the POA is managing property in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or British Columbia, the party must get the POA notarized in accordance with the rules set out by the Land Titles and Survey Authority.

Powers of attorney may be divided into two broad categories: being [A.] an authorization for health care decisions  and [B.] A property power of attorney. If the party becomes unable to make choices about healthcare, this agreement designates a spouse, family, or trusted friend to speak on the party’s behalf. 

If the party becomes unable to manage their property and finances, the person chosen here will be responsible for making choices on the client’s behalf, such as who to pay bills to, how to invest your money, and whether or not they are due money.  It is important to note that the document and position titles for these two forms of power of attorney papers vary among Canadian jurisdictions and the signature requirements that may apply.

A General POA makes sense when the individual is not able to handle their legal and financial affairs, such as a prolonged period of out-of-country travel. Their tasks can include signing checks, selling property, or filing taxes.  By contrast, an enduring or continuing power of attorney continues to have effect beyond the moment of your mental incapacity. Attorneys selected in these agreements keep their authority to act if and when you become infirm, unable to speak, or otherwise mentally incompetent.  An enduring power of attorney is a document that a client may use to appoint a person to make financial and legal decisions on their behalf.  

What Makes A Power Of Attorney Enduring Or Continuing?

A general power of attorney terminates instantly if the individual is to become mentally unable or die. By contrast, lasting or continuing powers of attorney continue to have an effect beyond the time of the mental incapacity. 

Certain provinces may have different signing requirements for power of attorney documents, and the documents and roles may have different names. Undisputed Legal prepares the right paperwork and utilizes applicable terms depending on your province of residence. 

In Ontario, for financial and legal problems, a party can create a power of attorney for property and designate an attorney for property. For personal and medical care, a client can make a power of attorney and nominate an attorney for personal care. However, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan can create an ensuring power of attorney and designate an attorney.  You make a representation agreement and nominate a representative for personal and medical care. 

In Nova Scotia, a party can make an enduring power of attorney and nominate an attorney for financial and legal matters. The individual will make a personal directive and nominate an agent for personal and medical care.  In Quebec, a power of attorney only applies to property, allowing the attorney to act on the behalf while they are still capable. A power of attorney for personal care is called a Protection Mandate. 

Similar to executing a will, the individual will need two witnesses when signing the power of attorney documents (this may vary based on province). Witnesses must be present with you when you sign and must also sign the documents themselves.  In Manitoba, an Enduring Power of Attorney document must be witnessed by a lawyer, justice of the peace or provincial/superior court judge, qualified medical practitioner, notary public, member of the RCMP, a police officer, or an individual registered to solemnize marriages. 

The Land Titles and Survey Authority of British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia require a notarized EPoA for registration, a prerequisite to buying, selling, or otherwise transacting in real estate on another’s behalf. 

To revoke a power of attorney, a client can write a statement stating their intention to revoke the power of attorney, known as a Statement of Revocation. This statement must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, while mentally capable, and given to the appointed power of attorney. Only the original document may have the apostille stamped on it. The copy has to be in perfect condition to read the stamps and signatures. 

Furthermore, it must not have any marks or insignia outside the country. Undisputed Legal offers notarization and expert translation services for official documents. Be advised that the process of legalization does not ensure the authenticity or accuracy of a document or the information it contains. The legalization procedure aims to ensure that a document is genuine. If you are worried about potential legal consequences due to incorrect service, consider hiring a professional process server, like Undisputed Legal in Canada. We are always expanding our knowledge base to guarantee our service will not cause problems or roadblocks in court.

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 documents.

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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 CANADA

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 Canada 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. Rules of Court in Alberta, as set down in Alta. Reg. 124/2010.

2. Court Rules in different jurisdictions:

  1. Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/2009, British Columbia.
  1. Queen’s Bench Rules (Manitoba), Regulation 553/88.
  1. Case law in New Brunswick is governed by N.B. Reg. 82–73.
  1. Rules of the Supreme Court, S.N.L. 1986, c. 42, Sch. D., Newfoundland and Labrador.
  1. N.W.T. Reg. 010-96, which are the Supreme Court Rules of the NWT.
  1. The civil procedure rules of Nova Scotia.
  1. Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories Rules, N.W.T. Reg. 010-96, apply in Nunavut.
  1. Civil Procedure Rules of the Province of Ontario, R.R.O. 1990, Chapter 194.
  1. Prince Edward Island: Rules of Civil Procedure.
  1. Service in Québec is governed by section C-25.01 of the Civil Procedure Code, R.S.Q.
  1. Queen’s Bench Procedures Apply in Saskatchewan.
  1. Y.O.I.C. 2009/65, Yukon Court Rules.

3. The Federal Courts Rules, SOR/98-106, apply to both the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal.

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