HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN FIJI

This article will provide guidance on how the central authority works in FIJI.  The Hague Service Convention is a multilateral convention developed at the Hague, Netherlands, on November 15, 1965. While most countries follow the Hague Service Convention, the Convention is not followed by Fijian process servers while serving civil and commercial matters. Click Here for information on the Code of Civil Procedure in Fiji.

When starting to serve documents in a country that does not follow the Hague Service Convention, it is suggested to work closely with a private process service organization, such as Undisputed Legal, that is knowledgeable in international legal matters.  The method of service can be either according to the state’s internal law for domestic actions upon persons within its territory or according to the applicant’s preferred method, provided that it does not conflict with the Fiji laws.  Our Undisputed Legal process servers can help identify the ideal Fiji service method and serve your papers accordingly. Click here for a video on International Process Service. 

Background

A more streamlined method for parties to serve each other in other contracting nations was set up under the Hague Service Convention. As part of the agreement, all signatory states are required to establish a single central authority for service requests. Direct requests for service to the central authority of the state where service is to be made may be made by any judicial official authorized to serve the process in the state of origin. The recipient state’s central authority takes care of the request’s service legally, usually through a local court, after it receives it. A certificate of service is sent to the judicial officer who requested it by the central authority after service is achieved. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Judicial officers or other authorities may serve documents per the Hague Convention in several ways, including the postal channel. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are committed to providing official and informal process services in Fiji as part of a larger network of legal assistance services. There are sufficient reasons to pick our Fiji process services; we take pride in our unique qualities, which attract customers who rely on our reliable process.

Our process servers at Undisputed Legal form a robust network to ensure timely and accurate delivery of your papers. In addition to providing address verification and skip tracing services, we are able to deliver any legal document, regardless of whether the address is certain or not.  Our expert process servers in Fiji have received extensive training and are intimately aware of all of the areas where they are assigned to ensure that your case moves forward without a hitch.

Understanding International Requirements for Fiji

A comprehensive knowledge of Fijian and international law is necessary for service of process in Fiji since the country is not a signatory to the Hague Service Convention. This procedure ensures that legal papers are delivered to a party in Fiji in accordance with the country’s domestic laws. It is a process that makes sure everyone who has a stake in a lawsuit gets the word out and has a chance to argue their side. Since the Hague Service Convention cannot be undertaken, papers must be delivered according to local service requirements in Fiji. Service has to be done at the Permanent Secretary’s Office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

 The documents must be in English or a local language translation in order to be served in Fiji. This makes sure that the receiver comprehends the materials completely. This method entails physically delivering subpoenas, complaints, divorce papers, and summons to the person or organization being sued.

Finally, a vital part of the Fijian legal system is the personal service of process. Parties may lay the groundwork for a fair and reasonable legal action by familiarising themselves with its rules and hiring a process server to ensure proper delivery of their legal papers. If a Fijian process serving agent fails to deliver crucial court papers to the defendant, the case might be postponed or dismissed. Consequently, utilizing a professional process service agency like those at Undisputed Legal becomes extremely important.  Process server services in Fiji are well-known and respected. Our success record in delivering defendants difficult to track down is supported by our skip-tracking services in Fiji.

Understanding the  Authority in Fiji

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation oversees the Republic of Fiji’s foreign relations. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sitiveni Rabuka assumed the ministry director role in December 2022.

With the stated goal of ‘the provision of policy advice to the Government of Fiji regarding the formulation and implementation of its foreign policies,’ the Ministry is responsible for the upkeep of Fiji’s diplomatic missions both in Suva and abroad, including those in Canberra, Australia, and Wellington, New Zealand.

Promoting and advancing Fiji’s foreign policy goals within the Diplomatic and Consular Missions at both Regional and International levels is an essential responsibility of the Ministry. Regional and international organizations hosted in Fiji are closely coordinated with the Protocol and Consular Division. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) and Fiji’s Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act (1971) serve as sources of information and guidelines for international cooperation in Fiji.

Summons in Fiji

Civil proceedings in the High Court may be initiated by writ, originating summons, originating motion, or petition as long as they comply with the requirements of regulations in Fiji. The process must be initiated by writ when the plaintiff seeks redress for a tort (other than trespass to land) or when the plaintiff’s claim is based on a fraud allegation. Alternatively, service can be done where the plaintiff is claiming damages for a breach of duty (whether the duty exists by virtue of a contract, a provision made by or under an Act, or independently of any contract or such provision), and the damages claimed include damages for death, personal injuries, or property damage or regarding cases when the plaintiff asserts a claim regarding patent infringement.

 The plaintiff has the discretion to initiate actions by writ or originating summons as they see fit. It is necessary to endorse a writ before it may be issued. Accompanied by a claim statement or, in the absence of an endorsement, by a brief description of the claim or the relief or remedy sought in the resulting action or if the purpose of the lawsuit is to reclaim ownership of the commodities, together with an assessment of their worth.

The plaintiff has the option to seek the issuance of one or more concurrent writs either simultaneously with the original writ or at any point before it becomes invalid. It is possible to issue two writs at the same time, one for service within the jurisdiction and one for service outside of it.  It is possible for a writ to be filed even if the defendant is not within the court’s jurisdiction or the act that caused the claim did not occur within its jurisdiction. 

The sealing of a writ by a Registry official constitutes its issuance. A federal writ must be marked with an official stamp applied by the person performing the sealing. In order for a writ to be sealed, the person submitting it must leave a signed copy at the Registry. If the plaintiff is suing personally, this copy must be signed by the plaintiff or their solicitor.  In the first instance, a writ (excluding a concurrent writ) is valid for twelve months starting from the date of issue for service purposes. On the other hand, a concurrent writ is valid for the unexpired period of validity of the original writ on the date of issue for service purposes.

In cases where the defendant has not been served with a writ, the Court has the authority to extend its validity for twelve months. This extension begins on the day after the writ would normally expire unless otherwise specified in the order; an application for extension must be submitted to the Court before that day or any later day that the Court permits.

 An official stamp indicating the duration for which the validity of the writ has been prolonged must be pasted onto the document prior to service if the writ’s validity has been extended.

Form of summons in Fiji

Initiating summonses are required to contain a statement outlining the questions the plaintiff wants the High Court to decide or direct them on, or, alternatively, a brief description of the relief or remedy sought in the proceedings started by the summons, with enough details to identify the cause or causes of action for which the plaintiff is seeking that remedy.

In the notice, it is required to include whether permission has been granted to serve a brief notice of motion. The motion notice must briefly describe the claim or remedy sought. The notice of an originating motion is issued when it is sealed by a Registry officer.  A declaration stating that no individual is necessary to be served or listing the names of those who are required to be served is required to be included at the conclusion of every petition. Respondents have twenty-one days from the service date to submit a response to the petition if they want to contest any facts stated in it or defend themselves against it.

The responsibility of determining when and where a petition must be heard lies with the Registrar. In lieu of physically serving a defendant within the jurisdiction, a writ for service might be issued via regular mail, delivering a duplicate of the writ to the defendant at his current or former known address. The service date will be considered the seventh day after the copy was sent to or inserted via the letterbox for the address in question. In these circumstances, involving a process service agency like Undisputed Legal can be very helpful to ensure your papers are delivered accurately and appropriately.

The writ is considered served on the defendant and is considered to have been served on the date of the endorsement if the defendant’s solicitor signs it as accepting service on behalf of the defendant. If a defendant accepts the service of a writ, although the writ was not properly served on them, it will be presumed that the writ was served on them on the date of their acknowledgment until shown otherwise.  However, ensuring that the service is done without ambiguity is preferable. Our local process servers can guarantee your papers are delivered to the recipients. 

Even though the defendant is not within the court’s jurisdiction or the alleged wrongdoing did not occur within its purview, it is still possible to serve a writ outside of the court’s authority without the court’s permission if the claims made in the writ are ones that the high court has the authority to hear and decide on according to any statute. The defendant must acknowledge service within forty-two days if a writ is to be served outside of the jurisdiction. 

A party must submit an affidavit that states [A.] the reasons for submitting the application; [B.] the deponent believes the plaintiff has a valid legal claim; [C.] the location or nation where the accused is, or is likely to be located, and [D.] the reasons why the witness believes that the plaintiff and the person served with the writ have a legitimate dispute that the plaintiff may legitimately request the court to resolve.

process Service Outside Fiji

A writ that falls outside the jurisdiction’s purview may be served on the person who needs to be served without physically being present, provided that the process follows the laws of the nation where the service is performed. In Fiji, our Undisputed Legal process servers understand the importance of international service without the Hague Convention to support the same. Consequently, our process servers are local to the jurisdiction and follow the rules of service here. 

A certificate certifying that a writ has been served on an individual personally or in compliance with the laws of Fiji must be provided. Service can be done via the diplomatic representation of Fiji in that nation, or by the national government or court system of that nation, or by any other body established for that nation,

Delivery of writs overseas can also be done by means of foreign consulates, judicial authorities, and foreign governments.  In cases where a writ is to be served on a defendant in a nation where a Civil Procedure Convention (apart from the Hague Convention) allows for the serving of the High Court process, the writ may be served either [A.] in accordance with High Rules by passing it on to the relevant national courts; or [B.] via the diplomatic representation of Fiji in that nation (subject to any convention provisions pertaining to the nationality of individuals who may be served in this manner).

In cases where a writ is to be served on a defendant in a nation where a Civil Procedure Convention does not exist, the writ may nonetheless be served if the government is ready and able to provide the service via that national government; or by means of a Fijian consular authority on the ground there, unless doing so would be illegal in that nation’s legal system.

Parties must submit a request for that service to the Registry with the writ itself and one copy for each person who needs to be served. A translation of the writ into the official language of the country where service is to be done, or into any of those languages suitable for the place where service is to be done, must accompany every copy of a writ lodged. 

With the exception of cases where the official language of the receiving country is English or where a Fijian consular official is serving a Fijian subject abroad, this paragraph does not apply unless the service is to be made and the relevant country’s Civil Procedure Convention specifically mandates the inclusion of a translation with the copy. The translator must attest that their work is accurate; the certification must include the translator’s complete name, address, and credentials.

 The individual submitting the request must guarantee they will pay for the Minister’s costs associated with the requested service. Once notified of the exact amount, they must pay the minister and provide the Registrar with a receipt. 

A court order authorizing the out-of-jurisdiction serving of an originating summons must provide a deadline by which the defendant must confirm receipt of the summons. Our Undisputed Legal process servers ensure that your documents are served with the appropriate acknowledgment affidavit so that your papers are beyond reproach.

Acknowledgement of service 

A defendant (whether acting as a trustee, personal representative, or in any other representative position) may accept delivery of the writ and defend the case personally or via a solicitor.  A solicitor or an authorized representative of the defendant may acknowledge service of the writ and provide notice of intention to defend the action on behalf of a body corporate defendant in such an action. 

An acknowledgment of service may be properly filled out and either handed in or sent by mail to the Registry from whence the writ was issued to confirm service of the writ. A single acknowledgment of service has to be prepared and sent for all defendants in an action if more than one defendant acknowledges served by the same attorney simultaneously.

The receipt of the acknowledgment of service at the relevant office is considered the date of service. When referring to a corporation, the defendant’s registered or major office is meant to be understood when the defendant’s residence is mentioned. In cases where the defendant accepts service from one solicitor while that solicitor is representing another with a presence in the jurisdiction, the first named solicitor must indicate that they are acting as an agent for the other solicitor, along with their name and address.

 An official from the Registry is required to, upon obtaining confirmation of service, put an official stamp indicating the date of receipt on the acknowledgment and if the defendant has stated an intention to dispute the proceedings or request for a stay of execution in respect of any judgment obtained against him in the proceedings, mention this in the acknowledgment and write it in the cause book with a note. 

The time restriction for recognizing service references to a period of fourteen days after service of the writ (inclusive of the day of service), or, in cases where the original deadline has been extended by or via these Rules, to the new extended deadline. A defendant cannot notify the court of their intention to defend an action after judgment has been obtained unless the court gives them permission.

Notarisation in Fiji

When a document is notarized, it becomes legally binding and may be utilized for official or legal matters.  This encompasses the use of a document in a legal proceeding. Some notarial services are available from the Fiji government, and many papers may be legalized abroad by Fiji consular authorities.  They may also serve as a witness for signing.  Finding a local Fijian authority to certify it may be necessary if a true copy is for local usage. After the notary public verifies the party’s identity using a valid photo ID (passport, driver’s license, national identity card, student card, etc.), they can provide certification. 

A legally enforceable declaration of facts is called an affidavit in courts and other legal procedures.  Under oath or affirmation, parties must sign the statement if they are submitting an affidavit. Oaths and affirmations may be administered by our consular officials in accordance with a number of laws enacted by the Commonwealth, as well as by individual states and territories.

A religious declaration (an oath) or a non-religious statement (an affirmation) may be used to authenticate the veracity of the party’s statement stated in the affidavit.  In a legal sense, they are both equally valid, and the decision is ultimately up to the party. Consular personnel are delegated the exclusive responsibility of verifying the signature and understanding of the declarant, as well as witnessing their signature, and are not held legally accountable for the contents of an affidavit.

Apostille or authentication certificates are required by certain foreign authorities before that nation may accept a document.  Here, the word ‘legalization’ describes that process.  The process of legalization ensures the authenticity of the signature, stamp, or seal.  Once a document is legalized, it may be used in another nation. 

A variety of Fijian papers may be requested by the receiving authorities if you want to study or work abroad.  Some examples of such documents include transcripts, degrees, and other forms of identification.  Notarization is all that’s needed for some, whereas legalization is required for others. Our Undisputed Legal process servers retain close relationships with notaries in Fiji, and we can help ensure that your papers are impeccably served. 

Documents may be ‘notarised’ by a Fiji Notary Public for use abroad.  Legalization is not the same thing as notarization.  Notarising is the process by which a Notary Public authenticates a document by checking the identity of the signatories, witnessing their signatures, and stamping or sealing the document.  If a solicitor has completed the necessary training, they may be called a Notary Public. 

By affixing an authentication certificate or an apostille to the original document you provide, the party can make the document legitimate in the eyes of the law.  The original document’s signature, stamp, or seal, as well as the Notary Public’s signature or seal for papers they have notarized, may be confirmed with the apostille, also called an authentication certificate.

Power of attorney in Fiji 

By executing a Power of Attorney, an individual provides another party the authority to act on their behalf in making significant decisions. When an attorney acts under a power of attorney, the client’s name, not the attorney’s, is used. It is possible to tailor a power of attorney to deal with a single event, like the sale of a property or a certain asset, like a specified number of shares.

This is what a specific power of attorney is. Parties may also tailor a power of attorney to address specific circumstances and assets under a general power of attorney. One or more attorneys may be appointed by the client. The client has the option of appointing several attorneys and deciding whether they must work together or whether they will each have the authority to operate independently. 

A Power of Attorney (PoA) Attestation from the Fiji Embassy is required if a United States citizen seeks to authorize another individual to act on their behalf in all official matters inside Fiji, whether for personal or commercial reasons. To execute most financial transactions on another person’s behalf, an attestation of a Power of Attorney (PoA) is necessary. 

Notary public attestation is the first step in the Power of Attorney (PoA) attestation procedure, which culminates in legalization by the relevant United States diplomatic or consular office of the destination country. A power of attorney (POA) may be signed before a notary public when one or both parents cannot be physically present to apply for a U.S. passport for a child, but they still want to name another person to do so. Photocopies of both sides of each parent’s original, legal, government-issued picture ID must accompany the POA. The notarization service is provided at no cost since the U.S. Department of State requires it.

A person may get appropriate certification for their business papers via attestation services. Our well-known and customer-oriented services at Undisputed Legal are everything that we provide. We’ve honed our skills for over a decade after working in this industry. We provide service for your documents all over the globe. 

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 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 FIJI

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 Fiji 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. The process of submitting an application to the High Court or a judge thereof shall commence with the issuance of an originating summons unless otherwise provided for in these Rules or any applicable Act.

2. With the exception of those that are required or allowed to be initiated by petition

3. In cases where a solicitor is representing the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s address should be included alongside the solicitor’s name, firm, and business address within the jurisdiction, as well as (in the case when the solicitor is an agent of another), the principal’s name, firm, and business address.

In cases when the plaintiff is personally served with the lawsuit, together with the address of his place of residence, in the event that his place of residence is outside the jurisdiction or he does not have a fixed address, along with the address of a location within the jurisdiction where papers might be sent or delivered on his behalf.

4. Additionally, an officer of the Registry must obtain a form of acknowledgment of service in Form No. 2 from Appendix A, which must be served on each defendant with the writ

(Fiji – Fiji High Court Rules 1988.HTML, www.paclii.org/fj/rules/procedural_rules/Fiji%20-%20Fiji%20High%20Court%20Rules%201988.html. )

5. Form No. 3 or, if authorized or needed, Form No. 4 in Appendix A is to be used for any originating summons unless the summons is an ex parte summons, in which case Form No. 5 is to be used.

6. A form of acknowledgment of service in Form No. 2 in Appendix A, with the title of the action and its numbers recorded, must accompany each writ for service on a defendant. The writ must be sealed with the seal of the High Court.

7. The rules of Order 65, rule 4, and Order 10 (1), (4), (5), and (6) shall be applicable to the service of a writ, even though the writ is to be served outside of the jurisdiction.

8. Any nation that is a party to the Hague Convention may be used to serve a writ on a defendant via the agency with jurisdiction over that nation as established by the Convention or if it’s legal in that nation to do so via the national court system, or by means of the local consulate office of Fiji.

9. Service of an original summons, notice of motion, or petition outside of its jurisdiction is governed by the same rules as service of a writ, subject to Order 73, rule 4.

10. Per Order 73, rule 4, it is permissible to serve any notice, order or summons outside of the court’s jurisdiction with the court’s permission. However, in cases where the writ, originating summons, motion, or petition can be served outside of the court’s jurisdiction without permission under these Rules or any Act, the permission of the court is not necessary for such service.

11. A confirmation of service must include ( if the defendant is not available at the time of personal service)

  1. the address of his place of residence;
  2. if his place of residence is within the jurisdiction, the address of a place within the jurisdiction where documents can be sent or delivered on his behalf;

12. Within the time limits set out in Order 10, Rule 2(2), Order 11, Rule 1(3), or, in the event that the time limit has already been extended, within the period thus extended, in the event that the writ is served outside of the jurisdiction.

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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.