HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN EGYPT

This article will provide guidance on how the central authority works in Egypt. As a nation with a long history of centralization, the Arab Republic of Egypt is unique. Egypt’s grassroots movement began at the close of the 18th  century. The municipal administration system is still legally based on Law 43/1979. Click here to watch our introduction video.

Certain procedures must be followed when serving in Egypt to avoid having a judgment subsequently overturned (or never won). For example, each subnational judicial body is responsible for particular geographical units in Egypt. It is thus important to ensure that a qualified private process service agency like Undisputed Legal enacts the service of process.  No matter whether the court in the United States or Canada is hearing the case, the Hague Service Convention applies to the service of process in Egypt. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Legal system in Egypt

Originally fashioned in the 19th century, the Napoleonic Code of France inspired Egypt’s contemporary legal system. The present Egyptian version of the French system results from several adjustments and adaptations made throughout time. 

Egypt has three tiers of civil litigation: the first trial, the intermediate trial, and the appeal level. A single judge hears small claims cases, and the defendant has the option to appeal to a three-judge panel from the Court of First Instance for a new trial. Claims of a larger nature are first heard by a panel of three judges from the Court of First Instance, and a de novo appeal is available to a panel of three judges from the Court of Appeals. The highest court in Egypt’s common law system, the Court of Cassation, hears appeals from the Court of Appeals on matters confined to law.

Large economic conflicts are often settled via arbitration, as stipulated by the Arbitration Law (Law 27 of 1994); since court litigation takes a very long time, there is a crushing (and rising) backlog of civil cases and a poor system for enforcing court judgments.

How does the Hague Convention Apply to Egypt

It is important to convert the papers to Arabic.  Although Egypt has not indicated if it is necessary, it should be done in accordance with Article 5(3).  Even when the defendant has a perfect command of English, failing to provide translations may cause the Central Authority—or, worse, a local official—to deny the request. Consequently, a private process server like those at Undisputed Legal can effectively ensure that your papers adhere to Central Authority requirements. The Central Authority, which is the Ministry of Justice (Office for International Judicial Co-operation)—is the forwarding authority (Article 3(1)).

It is important to complete the USM-94 form. A court official or an attorney must sign it. Parties must be quite cautious that it is both thorough and brief. Often, a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can help verify if the court has authorized the signatory and submit the same to the Central Authority. Egypt denied requests to serve divorce petitions a number of years ago on the grounds that marital activities did not belong in the ‘Civil and Commercial’ category.  Therefore, the Hague Service Convention did not apply to divorce proceedings in Egypt.

Role of the Central Authority

A Central Authority is designated by each Contracting Party to initiate and process requests in accordance with the Hague Service Convention. The Egyptian Minister of Justice or an individual appointed by them often serves as the Central Authority for the Egyptian Arab Republic.

The Central Authority of the Requested State is obligated to notify the Central Authority of the Requesting State of the reasons for any rejection of assistance. Our process servers at Undisputed Legal are local to the area, and we ensure that cordial relationships are maintained with the local and Central Authorities in Egypt.

The Central Authority of the Requested State may accept an alternative form of a request for help in urgent cases, but all other requests must be in writing. The Central Authority of the Requested State must agree otherwise, but if it is not in writing, it must be reaffirmed in writing within ten days. The request must be made in the language of the Requested State.

The request will be swiftly executed or, if applicable, sent to the relevant authorities by the Central authorities. In order to carry out the request, the relevant orders must be issued by the courts of Egypt.  The Central Authority of Egypt has the authority to delay or condition execution upon necessary factors after consulting with the Central Authority of the State requesting it.  The Requesting State is obligated to adhere to the requirements if it accepts the aid with those terms.

In the event that the Central Authority of the Requesting State requests secrecy about a request and its contents, the Ministry of Justice should endeavor to maintain such secrecy. The Central Authority of the Requested State is obligated to notify the Central Authority of the Requesting State if the request cannot be carried out without infringing upon such confidentiality.  The Central Authorities of the two states will then decide whether or not to proceed with the request. At Undisputed Legal, we treat all documents with the utmost discretion. We ensure that your papers are delivered without any damage caused to your legal suit. 

 The Civil and Commercial Procedural Law specifies the methods for personally notifying witnesses or notifying them at their place of abode. At the request of the parties involved in the litigation, witnesses might show up to the hearing without prior notice

What Happens when a US citizen needs a Notary in Egypt.

A notary public in Egypt may be an invaluable resource for American citizens in a number of ways, including providing authentication and verification services that can be acceptable in Egypt. For example, if an American citizen wants to apply for a driver’s license in Egypt, the Egyptian government could want a letter confirming that the US embassy in Cairo is on board with the application.  There is a necessary issuance of a ‘no objection driver’s license letter’ from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.  Regarding this matter, this is the sole document that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo is willing to share. A notary public is helpful to authenticate and validate this information. 

Documents signed, issued, or certified by foreign officials or bearing their official seals may be authenticated to prove their legitimacy. A document issued or signed in one jurisdiction may be acknowledged in another via this process. Only official seals and signatures of host governments are kept at U.S. embassies and consulates.

A party must schedule an appointment to have notarial services performed by the American Citizen Services Unit of the Consular Section. Oaths, signatures on U.S. papers, certification of accurate copies for IRS and Social Security, and verification of signatures of Egyptian government authorities are all part of the services offered. If a document is intended for use in the United States, notarial services may be rendered for any individual, regardless of nationality. At Undisputed Legal, we ensure that your papers are complete and accurate to prevent any errors in the service. 

American papers cannot be authenticated at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Divorce, death, and birth certificates issued in the United States are often needed for usage in Egypt. For official business in Egypt, document authentication is a must. Official papers from Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are authenticated by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which verifies the signatures and positions of Egyptian officials.

The document must be sent to an Egyptian Consulate or Embassy in the United States for verification. In order to comply with regulations regarding the execution of official papers within their consular districts in the United States, these embassies and consulates must have official signatures on file. When you return the document to Egypt, you may take it to any authenticating offices spread out over the country run by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For every notarial signature, a party will have to provide fifty dollars (or its Egyptian equivalent).  The document is usually prepared on the very same day. Consular officers have the authority to deny notarial services as per [A.] non-authorization by the host country; [B.] use of the document in transactions that could be illegal under U.S. law; [C.] belief that the document’s intended use would be illegal, improper, or harmful to U.S. interests; or [D.] incomprehension owing to language barriers or other reasons. 

Ensuring your papers are cross-checked and verified is imperative since Egyptian notary requirements can be very strict. For example, notarized papers are accompanied by a certificate that verifies the execution of a notarial act. Page holes are punched in the paper by inserting eyelet grommets in the top left corner. The notarization and original document cannot be separated in this way. Separation renders the notarization null and void. 

A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can ensure your papers comply with these requirements. 

Power of Attorney in Egypt

Any Egyptian citizen wishing to represent themselves or their interests before Egyptian courts, competent authorities, police stations, business registration offices, real estate registration departments, or any other Egyptian government body must first get a power of attorney. When it comes to matters involving private parties, such as wills, contracts, or powers of attorney, a notarizing officer cannot serve as an attesting witness to the execution of any document. Whoever requests the notarial service is also responsible for providing any necessary witnesses for the document.

It is possible to create and revoke a power of attorney. A representative in Egypt risks having their power of attorney revoked and, in more serious instances, facing criminal penalties if they fail to comply with the legislation regarding a canceled power of attorney.

An Egyptian power of attorney for legal proceedings differs significantly from its counterparts in other countries and even from the appearance of a power of attorney (called a Tawkeel in Arabic) for legal proceedings between Egyptian residents of the same nation. It is mandatory that any power of attorney from a foreign national to an ARE representative be in Arabic. At Undisputed Legal, we ensure that we serve your power of attorney documents as international and Egyptian laws require.

While in Egypt, it could take a few days to complete the process (drafting the text, getting the necessary visa approvals, and finally signing before a notary public beside an attorney). To avoid any complications, it is highly recommended that the principal be present at all signings and that a power of attorney includes the name of an official translator. The translator should have the profession of translator written on their national ID card (bitaqa).

Commercial power of attorney processes are more cumbersome, time-consuming, and costly. Firms usually engage the services of a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal to handle these documents. Almost any notary may execute a business power of attorney. The Power of Attorney grantor should verify its contents and translation since Egypt has stringent regulations on the interpretation of the power of attorney documents. When it comes to business powers of attorney, Egyptian company registration paperwork is pre-made and required.

In accordance with Law No. 72 of 2017 or Law No. 159 of 1981, the names of the founders must match on all official documents, including powers of attorney and identification (for non-citizens, this includes national IDs or passports power of attorney executed prior to the arrival of the agent at the destination of the Egyptian counsel will be valid unless the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Arab Republic of Egypt authorizes the signing of the council. The Egyptian lawyer in this nation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Arab Republic of Egypt should both sign off on any power of attorney executed before competent foreign authorities.

When dealing with an Egyptian company as the legal personality, it is necessary to attach a document (such as the commercial register) to the power of attorney that specifies the representative’s special status, as well as another document that confirms the representative’s authority and the company’s approval of this. Licensed private process servers like those at Undisputed Legal are usually acknowledged and accepted by courts. A good way to avoid problems with the law in a foreign land is to have reliable professional conduct of said service. 

Our Undisputed Legal provides a specialized and efficient alternative to the delivery of legal papers. This is especially true in complicated cases or when the person served is hard to find. Place your trust in us, and we will ensure that your papers will be served to perfection. 

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to ps@undisputedlegal.com, or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment 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.

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 EGYPT

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 Egypt 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. Decree (No. 43 of 1979) promulgating the law of the local government system.

Establishes local government units, including governates, administrative districts, towns, quarters, and villages. Defines their scope and administrative responsibilities. Provides procedures for the selection and/or election of governing officials.

 2015-03-12 (EGY-2015-L-102504)

2. There is no statement of application in Article 15(2), which is opposed to Articles 10(a), 10(b), and 10(c).

3. Egypt’s Ministry of Justice, Lazoughly Square, Cairo, Egypt

4. Help Restrictions (Article 3)

  1. the request pertains to a crime that would not be considered a crime under civilian law; 
  2. carrying out the request would compromise the security or similar vital interests of the requested state; or 
  3. the request is not in accordance with the treaty, the Central Authority of that state may refuse assistance.

The Requested State’s Central Authority and the Requesting State’s Central Authority must meet to discuss the possibility of providing help, subject to any restrictions that may be deemed necessary, before any aid is denied.

5.     The party bringing the lawsuit must specify who witnesses will be testifying, what information will be presented, and why it is crucial to hear this evidence. Who needs to hear a witness’s testimony is something the court determines. In its ruling, the court should provide an explanation for why it did not see it essential to hear from any witness. If the need arises during the hearing, the court may issue a summons to any witness and direct them to testify at a subsequent hearing. Anyone who voluntarily shows up at the hearing to provide evidence or testimony is welcome to do so by the court. Articles 277, 279, 280, 374, and 384 of the Egyptian Criminal Procedures Law control the procedures and techniques of calling witnesses to appear before the court.

6. It is important to be aware that the decision regarding the driving privileges of U.S. citizens in Egypt is not regulated or controlled by the U.S. Embassy.  

7. For incorporation, amendment, and representing firms, the power of attorney shouldn’t be personal but generic. Proof of identity and power of attorney must include the agent’s full name designated by the founders.

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The information contained herein has been prepared in compliance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works. The articles/Images contained herein serve as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, educational, and research-as examples of activities that qualify as fair use. Undisputed Legal Inc. is a Process Service Agency and “Not A Law Firm” therefore the articles/images contained herein are for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice.