HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN IRELAND

This article will provide guidance on How the central authority works in Ireland.  Under the Hague Service Convention, individuals or entities in Ireland can be served legal documents by submitting a request to the central authority in the requester’s country. The central authority in Ireland receives and arranges for the service of documents in accordance with the Irish legal procedures. In Ireland, a ‘central authority’ is a government agency or entity that manages and supervises legal requests and documents exchange between Ireland and other countries. A central authority is essential for international legal cooperation, especially in cases involving cross-border issues such as service of process, taking of evidence, or execution of foreign judgments. 

The central authority in Ireland is crucial for implementing international treaties and agreements like the Hague Service Convention and the Hague Evidence Convention. These treaties establish procedures for serving legal documents and obtaining evidence internationally. The central authority follows Irish law to process requests from foreign jurisdictions correctly. The central authority has a similar role in the Hague Evidence Convention, which deals with obtaining evidence from one country for use in legal proceedings in another. Check out our video on serving legal papers internationally; click here.

What are the significant authorities in Ireland?

The Courts Service is an Irish State Agency created by the Courts Service Act of 1998. Its purpose is to oversee various administrative functions of the courts and provide assistance to the judiciary. Accordingly, the Courts Service manages and administers the courts in Ireland. The responsibilities include court management, judge support, public information on the court system, and provision of court buildings and facilities for users. The Courts Service does not have a role in administering justice, as that responsibility lies with the courts and judiciary. Judges have complete independence in performing their judicial duties under the Constitution. 

The Rules of the Superior Courts (No. 3) 1994 provide for the State’s obligations under the Convention. The ratification of the Convention took place on April 5, 1994, and it came into effect for the State on June 4th, 1994. Ireland made declarations and objections upon ratification. The Master of the High Court in Dublin is the designated Central Authority for Ireland. Additionally, as per Article 6, the Master of the High Court is responsible for completing certificates in the form of the model attached to the Convention. 

In Ireland, the Central Authority, a practicing Solicitor, a County Registrar, or a District Court Clerk are the authorized individuals or entities for the purpose of Article 3 of the Convention. It should be remembered, in addition, that the Taoiseach is the most powerful role in Irish politics, established by the 1937 Constitution of Ireland. The Taoiseach is Ireland’s Prime Minister. The Prime Minister of Ireland is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann. The office-holder must maintain majority support in the Dáil to stay in office.  Our Undisputed Legal process servers in Ireland have deep roots in the community and access to a wealth of resources and relationships. This familiarity helps us swiftly identify and attend to our clients. Our process servers are familiar with the Irish legal system, its norms, and the logistical considerations involved in dealing with it.

What is the central authority?

The Hague Convention allows for the service of legal and similar documents in civil and commercial cases outside of the country of origin.  Many countries are part of the Hague Convention on serving legal and non-legal documents in civil and commercial cases. 

Each state has a Central Authority to receive and transmit service requests from other states. The Master of the High Court in Ireland serves as the Central Authority. The state authority or judicial officer must send a request to the authority in the receiving state, following the conventions. The Rules apply to the service of various legal documents in a Convention country when the service needs to be done outside of the jurisdiction. This includes summons, notices, petitions, affidavits, citations, pleadings, and other forms. The service can be done with or without leave as long as the request is made to the Central Authority in the prescribed form.

The Central Authority must either serve the document itself or arrange for it to be served by the appropriate agency. This can be done through a method prescribed by the state’s internal law where the service is taking place or through a specific method requested by the applicant, as long as it is not incompatible with the applicant’s own law. To complete the service, it may be necessary to involve local process servers, forward the documents to the appropriate court, or take other required actions.

Any party involved in civil or commercial proceedings under the Superior Court Rules and any competent authority or judicial officer (including a solicitor) can submit a document for service by lodging it with the Central Authority.  The request for service of the specified document under the Convention should include [A.] two copies of the document to be served and [B.] translations of each document in the official language(s) of the State addressed, if not already in that language and [C.] an undertaking to pay the costs of service, which may be sought by the Central Authority.

The Central Authority (Master of the High Court in Ireland), a practicing solicitor, a county register, or a district court clerk serve as the competent authority and competent judicial officer for the Convention. If a request is made to the Central Authority by someone who is not a competent authority or judicial officer, the Central Authority will forward the request and accompanying documents to the Central Authority of the state where the service is to be carried out, as long as it meets the requirements. We at Undisputed Legal are entirely accountable to our clients and will ensure that the requirements are met for service. We strive to keep our client’s interests first and ensure that our private process servers are licensed and comfortable with conducting local process services. 

Procedure of the Central Authority

The Central Authority will keep a list of Convention countries and their official languages and a list of the Central Authorities in each country. The document can be inspected at the Central Office during office hours, and copies can be obtained upon request. The Central Authority of the addressed State will send the certificate of service under the Convention to the requesting party. Certificates issued by the Central Authority are considered as evidence of the stated facts. Documents to be served under the Convention should be lodged with the Master of the High Court. Service requests must include two copies of the documents, a translation of the documents into the official language of the recipient state, and a commitment to cover the service costs.

The Master will verify that the request meets specific requirements, such as being submitted by a solicitor, and may send it back to the authorized party with a certificate to be transmitted to the intended recipient state. Different obligations apply when the requester is not legally qualified. In many cases, alternative methods like personal service or applicable posts may be allowed.

Judgment cannot be given in cases where proceedings have been initiated for service abroad unless the party seeking judgment complies with Order 13A in addition to the requirements of this rule.  Judgment cannot be given or entered by default in proceedings served under the Order until it is proven that the party has failed to appear. A default judgment can only be entered with court permission. To apply for leave to enter judgment in default, the claimant must submit a Motion on Notice. This Motion should be accompanied by an affidavit that verifies the claimant’s claim for relief and outlines the steps taken in the proceedings. Additionally, the affidavit should be supported by sufficient evidence.

The Court may grant permission to enter judgment even if no certificate of service or delivery has been received from the Central Authority. This is possible if the document was sent using one of the methods outlined in the Convention, at least six months have passed since the document was transmitted, no certificate of any kind has been received, and reasonable efforts have been made to obtain it from the relevant authorities in the recipient state.

To set aside a default judgment or extend the time for appealing, the application should be made through a Motion on Notice. The affidavits of the moving party should support this motion.  We at Undisputed Legal are thorough when it comes to keeping records of services that are court-admissible. In international legal actions, this evidence is crucial for proving that the service was genuine. We aim to provide an indisputable paper trail that can stand up in court locally and internationally.

PROCESS Service of summons in Ireland 

Service of a summons is not necessary if the defendant accepts service through their solicitor and provides a written undertaking to enter an appearance. Service of summons on the defendant is generally done [A.] through personal service on the intended recipient; [B.] by serving another person on behalf of the person to be served; [C.] the summons can be sent by registered prepaid post to the person’s last known residence or place of business in the State, or to an address in the State provided by the person to be served. However, proof of delivery is required for this method of service to be effective. If the defendant is within the jurisdiction and efforts have been made to serve them personally, the summons can be served by delivering a copy to them. 

In proceedings where both spouses are defendants, they must be served unless the Court orders otherwise. In legal proceedings involving an infant, service can be considered valid if it is delivered to the infant’s father, mother, guardian, or the person responsible for the infant’s care. However, the court has the authority to determine if alternative methods of service are acceptable.

In cases where land is being sought for non-payment of rent or overholding, there is no requirement to serve the summons to anyone other than the person or persons currently in possession of the land as a tenant or under-tenant. The person serving a summons must indicate the day and date of service on the summons within three days. The affidavit of service should include the date of the endorsement. An affidavit of service of a summons by prepaid registered post must include proof of delivery of the envelope containing the copy of the summons to the intended recipient’s address.

The Court can declare the service sufficient if there are just grounds. This order applies to originating documents and notices, except when another rule requires personal service.

Oppositions and declarations By Ireland: Article 21

According to Article 21 of the Hague Convention, it is necessary for each contracting state to designate a central authority by informing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and providing opposition to methods of transmission as well as other declarations. For example, a Judge in Ireland may give judgment even if no certificate of service or delivery has been received. Further, the Government of Ireland objects to [A.] the freedom under Article 10(b) of judicial officers, officials or other competent persons of the State of origin to effect service in Ireland of judicial documents directly through judicial officers, officials or other competent persons and [B.] the freedom under Article 10(c) of any person interested in a judicial proceeding to effect service in Ireland of judicial documents directly through judicial officers, officials or other competent persons but this is not intended to preclude any person in another Contracting State who is interested in a judicial proceeding (including his lawyer) from effecting service in Ireland directly through a solicitor in Ireland.

The forwarding authority is responsible for completing the Request for Service. The Certificate, which confirms whether the service request has been executed, must be completed by the Central Authority or another designated competent authority of the requested State. The Certificate is sent directly to the forwarding authority. If the Certificate is not completed by the Central Authority or a judicial authority, the forwarding authority may require it to be countersigned by one of these authorities (Art. 6(3)). The forwarding authority must complete the Summary of the document to be served and deliver it along with the documents to the addressee. According to Article 15, a judge in Ireland can give judgment even without a certificate of service or delivery as long as the conditions specified in the second paragraph of the article are met.

The Government of Ireland objects to two aspects of Article 10 of the Convention. Firstly, they object to the freedom of judicial officers, officials, or other competent persons from the State of origin to serve judicial documents directly in Ireland. Secondly, they object to the freedom of any person involved in a judicial proceeding to serve judicial documents directly in Ireland. However, this objection does not prevent individuals from another Contracting State, including their lawyers, from serving documents in Ireland through a solicitor.

Article 11 facilitates the direct transmission of document service requests between European Community Member States. Council Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007, effective from 30 December 2007, replaces the Hague Convention of 1965 for the service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters among the Member States of the European Community.  Legal risks related to incorrect service or failure to comply with international legal requirements may be reduced using a skilled private process service firm like Undisputed Legal. Because of our extensive expertise, you may be certain that all service criteria will be completed, lowering the possibility of any service-related legal problems or challenges.

PROCESS SERVICE OF U.S. Documents In Ireland

As local legislation outlines, a power of attorney is a legal device allowing someone to appoint another person to act on their behalf in a specific situation. In Ireland, the Powers of Attorney Act 1996 regulates the powers of attorney, granting solicitors the authority to act on behalf of their clients. Our private process servers at Undisputed Legal have significant local contacts and can offer a comprehensive presentation on the power of attorney legislation if you require legal representation.  

The power of attorney in Ireland has various applications for both business and personal use. This service is beneficial for individuals who are unable to be physically present in the country throughout the entire company registration process or for those who prefer to use a third party to buy residential real estate. There are two types of power of attorney: specific/general and enduring. In Ireland, the specific power of attorney is used when granting authority for a specific task or purpose, while the general power of attorney is used for broader authority over a range of matters. A general and enduring power of attorney is also applicable when the donor becomes incapacitated. The power of attorney is granted by the donor through a signed document that outlines the specific rights given to the solicitor.

A power of attorney becomes effective only upon registration. The attorney typically submits the application to the Registrar or Wards of Court. Approval is granted upon submission of medical proof. The donor can revoke the enduring power of attorney before registration, but after registration, revocation can only be done through an application to the High Court. This court announces the document and serves as the supervisory authority. The High Court can confirm the revocation of a power of attorney.  

The Consular Convention between Ireland and the United States of America, signed at Dublin on 1 May 1950, provides in Article 17 (1) (g) that a consular officer may, within his district, serve or cause to be served judicial documents or take evidence on behalf of courts of the sending state in a manner permitted under special arrangements on this subject between the High Contracting Parties or otherwise not inconsistent with the laws of the territory.

Notary and Apostille 

An Apostille is a certificate the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued to verify the authenticity of a public officer’s signature and/or seal on a public document. An Apostille is necessary for using an Irish document in a country that has joined the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961, which eliminates the need for document legalization. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is the only authority that can apply an Apostille to a document. Irish Diplomats or consular officers abroad are unable to perform this function.

Legalization of a document is required when it is intended for use in a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention. Legalization is a complex process that requires the authentication of a document. To use the document, a party needs to be authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Ireland and the diplomatic or consular mission accredited to Ireland of the country where you want to use it. The country where it is intended to be used will only consider an Irish document as duly certified when it is accompanied by an Apostille issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Ireland.

International service of process in Ireland is improved by using a private process service firm like Undisputed Legal. We aim to provide you with the best with our expertise, speed, and accuracy. We guarantee that the papers are served in accordance with the law, which is crucial to the smooth running of international legal procedures as a whole. Clients can contact us via fax at (800) 296-0115, email us at ps@undisputedlegal.com, or process your order online. We accept all major credit cards and debit cards for prepayment. A receipt will be issued promptly after successful payment processing. 

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OFFICE LOCATIONS

New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

FOR ASSISTANCE SERVING LEGAL PAPERS IN IRELAND

Simply 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 Ireland 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.

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Sources

1. The Four Courts, Inns Quay, Dublin. 

2. This appointment is in accordance with Article 2 of the Convention.

3.The documents were served according to the internal law of the State, which specifies how documents should be served in domestic actions on individuals within the country. Alternatively, the document was delivered to the defendant or their residence using a method allowed by the Convention. In both cases, delivery was made with enough time for the defendants to defend themselves.

4. The Court may, if satisfied, say that the application was filed promptly after the defendant became aware of the judgment. The defendant, through no fault of their own, did not have enough time to receive the document and defend themselves or to appeal the judgment, as applicable.

5. if a company, the defendant must comply with section 51 of the Companies Act 2014.

6. In land recovery cases, a summons can be served in two ways: personal service on the person within the jurisdiction or by delivering a copy of the summons to certain family members or associates of the person. The person receiving the copy must be at least sixteen years old, and the original or duplicate original of the summons must be shown to them. This service can be done even if the person served is not within the jurisdiction.

In cases where vacant possession makes it difficult to serve a summons in a land recovery action, the summons can be posted on the door of the dwellinghouse or another noticeable part of the property. However, before a default judgment is given, the Court must ensure that there was no person in actual possession or receiving rent and profits who could have been served in a different way.

7. Each contracting State shall, at the time of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or

accession, or at a later date, inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands of the

following –

a) the designation of authorities, pursuant to Articles 2 and 18,

b) the designation of the authority competent to complete the certificate pursuant to Article 6,

c) the designation of the authority competent to receive documents transmitted by consular

channels, pursuant to Article 9.

Each Contracting State shall similarly inform the Ministry, where appropriate, of –

a) opposition to the use of methods of transmission pursuant to Articles 8 and 10,

b) declarations pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 15 and the third paragraph of Article

16,

c) all modifications of the above designations, oppositions, and declaration

8. According to Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention.

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