HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN ITALY

This article will provide guidance on how the central authority works in italy.  Italy, as a country, derives laws from many places. There is a strict hierarchy between them, so the authority of one source cannot be in contradiction with that of another. The primary source material consists of the Constitution of 1948. Roman law, the Napoleonic code, and subsequent legislation form the basis of Italy’s judiciary. In Italy, the Supreme Court of Cassation hears appeals from lower courts in civil and criminal matters. A post-WWII innovation, Italy’s Constitutional Court (Corte Costituzionale) decides whether or not legislation is by the constitution. Click here for a video on International Process Service.

Being a member of the Hague Service Convention, international service also falls in the Italian legal structure. The Rome Court of Appeal is home to the Federal Judiciary Office. Ufficio Unico Ufficiali is the Central Authority in Italy.  Each Tribunale and Corte di Appello has a unified court administrative office, the forwarding authority. At Undisputed Legal, we recognize the need for a  private process service agency to address the forwarding authorities in the country.  Once the request has been received by the receiving Central Authority, it is sent to the local Bailiff, who is an official in the local Tribunale or Corte di Appello.  Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency.

The Hague Service Convention in Italy

The document has been served in compliance with Article 5 of the Convention.  : As to the provisions of the Convention, Article 5(3), Italy is entitled to have the document translated into Italian. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Nothing is charged regarding the fulfillment of the service request as far as expenses are concerned. A prepayment of 6,000 lire is required for each service request, which calls for hiring a bailiff; this sum may be adjusted upon the return of the served document.

Our Undisputed Legal process servers are familiar with the international instruments for service. In Italy, these instruments include the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), the Hague Service Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, the Hague Evidence Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters, and the bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Treaty. The US and Italy are parties to these treaties.

The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters was ratified by Italy, making it a party to the process of service abroad. Anyone wishing to have U.S. papers served in Italy may send either the USM-94 form or the interactive Service Convention form, both of which are served by our Undisputed Legal servers.  Parties must complete the request form twice and send it with two supporting documents, including translations, to the Italian Central Authority. It is required that a lawyer or clerk of the court sign the request form. 

Regarding the applicant’s name, address, signature, and stamp, it is necessary to indicate whether the applicant is an attorney at law or a clerk of court. Any papers to be served by the Central Authority under the Convention must be in Italian, either written in duplicate or translated into Italian. According to the Italian Central Authority’s notification to the Hague Conference on Private International Law, documents may only be served in Italy by judicial officers employed by Italian courts. Although registered mail is an acceptable means of international service of process in Italy, it will only attest to delivery to an address and not to a person. 

Testimony from willing witnesses may be obtained via voluntary depositions. Any United States Consular Officer may administer such a deposition in response to the notice, a commission, or a court order. Consular participation is discretionary for every deposition. In certain instances covered by Articles 15–18 of the Convention, consular officials may perform depositions. Suppose the deponent is not a U.S. citizen. In that case, the U.S. consular officer or commissioner (via local counsel) must get authorization from the Italian court having jurisdiction over the deponent and arrange for an oath-administering official to perform the oath.  Whenever a US-based party seeks to have a consular officer preside over a deposition, the whole name, office address, phone number, and email address of the counsel, as well as an overview of the case and the reason for the deposition, are required. 

Civil Procedure Code in Italy

Documents must be served personally in Italy.  The court will not consider any papers not served promptly.  Sometimes, a recurring penalty payment may be used to ensure the person served returns the papers. The judge who issued the penalty order can set the recurring payment amount. A private process server like those at Undisputed Legal can ensure service is done appropriately.  Click Here for information on the Code of Civil Procedure in Italy.

Suppose the court thinks the request is reasonable. In that case, they may order the deed’s original, copy, or extract to be produced or sent under certain conditions and assurances (and, if required, a monthly penalty payment) that they think are appropriate. The judgment can be enforced temporarily if the original document is unavailable immediately.

Any process a bailiff serves should be deemed served on the person on the day it is delivered at their dwelling or place of business. Further, service at the public prosecutor’s office is considered complete when the minutes are drawn up. When the legal process is given to a corporate entity’s representative, proxy, or authorized individual, the corporation’s service will be considered personal.  If it is not practical to serve the process personally, it might be sent to the place of domicile or, if no place of domicile is identified, to the place of residence. 

The individual accepting the copy, whether a caretaker or a neighbor, must sign it and provide their full name, date of birth, capability, etc. If the recipient is a neighbor, they must also provide their address and a receipt. Upon delivery of the copy, the bailiff must leave a dated non-delivery notice at the addressee’s domicile or residence. This notice should inform the addressee of the nature of the process, the petitioner’s surname, and any other relevant information about the recipient.

 If no one can receive the process copy, the bailiff mentioned in the writ of service finds out that the addressee lives at the given address. Service is considered to have been made at the place of domicile or residence. A non-delivery notice will be left at the addressee’s domicile or home by the bailiff according to the rules of the previous Article. The notification should clearly explain that the interested party or someone authorized by them must get a copy of the procedure from the city hall as quickly as possible in exchange for a receipt or annotation.

If a person is not served with the process, the bailiff must indicate on the copy the details of the person or city hall to whom it was left or to whom it was given over. Including a copy of the served process in a sealed envelope is important.  The same applies to service at an elected domicile or upon a corporate body. The envelope will have the bailiff’s stamp.

Under penalty of nullity, the bailiff is obligated to transmit a copy of the minutes and the process that is the subject of the service to the addressee at their last known address via registered letter with the advice of delivery slip sought. 

Acknowledgment of Process Service

The prosecutor must sign the original and send a copy to the head of the local court service. The copy will then be handed to the interested party by the regulations in their home territory. The bailiff must provide a certified copy of the process to the addressee by registered mail no later than the first business day after serving the public prosecutor or on the same day. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

The actions taken to serve the public prosecutor will be communicated to the bailiff by the public prosecutor. If necessary, the public prosecutor will also provide the bailiff with the minutes or receipt confirming the copy’s delivery, which should be attached to the original. The appropriate court will have access to these papers upon request from the bailiff. The original bailiff process documents must include a reference to the procedures and formalities that must be followed to apply the requirements of this Section, together with the dates of these documents.

Details on the sending party’s home or principal place of business and their surname, denomination, or trade name must be included in the service. The addressee must be similarly described. The specific regulations that apply to each domain will decide the remaining details required to be part of the service based on the kind of process being provided.

The service must be performed using a cover or envelope, either via the postal service or by personal delivery to the recipient, with the option to annotate or get a receipt. Postal notifications are considered effective as of the emission date from the sender’s perspective.  Any notice sent by regular mail will be considered ‘emitted’ on the date shown on the postmark from the emission office.

Notifications sent by registered mail with a requested delivery slip will be considered received on the day the postal service affixes the slip upon delivery to the recipient. If the recipient signs the delivery receipt, it will be considered a personal delivery. The court clerk will ask the parties to continue with service (by a bailiff) if a notice letter is returned to their office without being delivered.

The court clerk will notify an individual residing in an overseas region by transmitting or delivering the notice to the Public Prosecutor. The public prosecutor will use the same protocol when dealing with service concerns: a bailiff. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are intimately familiar with service requirements and can help avoid missteps in dealing with Italian protocol.

Letter of request in Italy.

A letter of request from a US court can compel an unwilling witness to testify in a civil or commercial matter. The United States court requesting assistance should send a duplicate of the ‘Model Letter of Request’ provided under the Hague Evidence Convention directly to the foreign Central Authority. Any particular processes, such as verbatim transcripts, that the seeking court desires, should be specified in the request. It is the Italian judiciary’s job to oversee this process. In the Letter of Request, parties should indicate their intention to attend the hearing. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

To comply with the requirements of the Convention, the Italian Central Authority has informed the Hague Conference on Private International Law that requests to compel evidence must be filed in two copies and either written in Italian or translated into Italian. No requests for pre-trial discovery of documents (Article 23) will be granted, according to the Italian Central Authority’s statement to the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

In criminal cases, defense attorneys or defendants are expected to submit letters rogatory in compliance with Article 5(j) of the VCCR if they wish to seek judicial assistance in obtaining evidence or in effecting service of documents abroad. This is to the U.S. Department of State’s expectations regarding such requests. 

Notaries in Italy

The Italian notary public a notario. They typically work in areas of fiscal law related to estate contracts, loans, mortgages, companies, families, and wills. The state authorizes a notary public to pronounce a document authentically. State seals used by notaries testify to this protected strength. But being a ‘public officer’ does not mean being bound by any government entity.

Any employee performing ‘public functions’ is a ‘public officer.’ Since the State has given a notary public faith and authority, they may draw ‘authentic deeds’ (also called ‘public deeds’). The Latin notarial ‘product’ is the ‘authentic deed’. Despite slight disciplinary differences, all Latin-speaking countries consider notaries to possess the same legal capacity to produce valid public acts. 

 The law requires the Latin Notary, a public official with the ‘authenticity’ position, to ensure that the agreements the parties have requested to notarize comply with the law and warn parties of the financial and legal consequences of their contracts and statements.

In addition to ‘notarizing’ or ‘authenticating’ a private deed, the Latin notary must verify the parties’ identity: they validate whether the client is authorized to participate in that transaction and have the appropriate legal capacity, powers, and authorizations.  A major part a notary plays is to check all facts and guarantee legal certainty before signing the deed or other documents.

The Italian notary must store the original deeds for customers to study or receive certified copies. They cannot take the originals from his office without a court order.  The law mandates using two languages in notarial deeds, one being Italian and the other a language that the non-Italian-speaking party can understand. This is especially true in real estate transactions when the non-Italian-speaking party is present in person. The presence of an interpreter for the conference is also mandated by law. There is an effect on transaction costs from these regulations.

Notaries often charge more since the completion meeting takes longer when the parties involved do not speak Italian. The principal is also liable for the costs of the interpreter. Notaries public in Italy are required by law to have power of attorney documents certified by the Procura della Repubblica, the provincial prosecutor’s office.  The notary’s signature will be officially attested by the Public Prosecutor, who will also put their office stamp and complete name and occupation on the legalization stamp.

Power of attorney in Italy

A procura is an Italian power of attorney. Its interpretation and structure are defined by the Codice Civile of Italy.  Procura generale and procura speciale are the two main forms of power of attorney in Italy. Using the Procura Generale, the individual entrusts the delegation with broad authority to handle any transactions involving the represented entity. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

One way to provide another person the authority to handle a particular transaction is via a Procura Speciale, also known as a Special Power of Attorney. Many different scenarios call for the employment of a special power of attorney. Some common uses include buying and selling vehicles and real estate and handling inheritances. Third parties or professionals must be granted the authority to apply for work permits for foreign workers on behalf of their employer or corporation throughout the Italian immigration procedure.

The ‘principal’ grants the ‘representative’ or ‘attorney’ the legal capacity to act on the principal’s behalf about one or more matters by the execution of a Power of Attorney instrument. Consequently, a party may choose another individual to handle any personal or commercial matter in Italy on their behalf by executing a Power of Attorney (or ‘PoA’). Clients can have the Power of Attorney drafted in Italy or elsewhere. 

When the principal dies or becomes mentally unable, an Italian power of attorney becomes null and void. The principal can specify a certain length for the Power of Attorney’s validity, such as until a certain date. In Italy, a principal may withdraw a power of attorney at any time, with few exceptions (such as when the attorney was appointed to look out for the principal’s best interests).

Executing a Power of Attorney for use in Italy while overseas is possible. Previously, anyone could do it in any of Italy’s consulates worldwide. Notarial authentication services, including those for Powers of Attorney to be utilized in Italy, are no longer provided by Italian Consulates and Embassies to non-Italian residents. Nonetheless, acceptable substitutes exist for foreign signatures on Powers of Attorney documents. 

Our goal at Undisputed Legal is to serve legal documents across international boundaries efficiently. Understanding the complex regulations, legislation, and procedures required to transmit legal documents to other nations, like Italy, is something our staff is well-versed in. Maintaining first-rate document servicing is our top priority. Italy’s rich history demands appropriate service from abroad. Undisputed Legal has extensive expertise in international document serving, and we prioritize the utmost care in sending documents while maintaining cultural sensitivity. 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.

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.

DOMESTIC COVERAGE AREAS:

Alaska | Alabama | Arkansas | Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | District of Columbia | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Iowa | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maryland | Massachusetts | Maine| Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | North Carolina | North Dakota | Nebraska | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | Nevada | New York | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island| South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia | Vermont | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

INTERNATIONAL COVERAGE AREAS:

Albania | Andorra | Anguilla | Antigua | Argentina | Armenia | Australia | Austria | Azerbaijan | Bahamas | Barbados | Belarus | Belgium | Belize | Bermuda | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Botswana | Brazil | British Honduras | British Virgin Islands | Bulgaria | Canada | Cayman Islands | Central and Southern Line Islands | Chile|China (Macao) | China People’s Republic | Colombia | Costa Rica | Country of Georgia | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Egypt | Estonia | Falkland Islands and Dependences | Fiji | Finland | France | Germany | Gibraltar | Gilbert and Ellice Islands | Greece | Guernsey | Hong Kong | Hungary | Iceland | India | Ireland | Isle of Man | Israel | Italy | Jamaica | Japan | Jersey Channel Islands | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Korea | Kuwait | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg| Malawi | Malaysia | Malta | Mauritius | Mexico| MonacoMontenegro | Montserrat | Morocco | Namibia | Netherlands| New Zealand |Nicaragua | Norway | Pakistan | Panama | Paraguay | Peru | Philippines | Pitcairn |Poland| Portugal | Republic of Moldova | Republic of North Macedonia | Romania |Russian Federation | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | San Marino | Saudi Arabia | Serbia | Seychelles | Singapore| Slovakia | Slovenia | South Africa | Spain | Sri Lanka | St. Helena and Dependencies | St. Lucia | Sweden | Switzerland | Taiwan | Thailand | Tunisia | Turkey | Turks and Caicos Islands| UkraineUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland | Uruguay | US Virgin Islands | Uzbekistan | Venezuela | Vietnam

OFFICE LOCATIONS

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

FOR ASSISTANCE SERVING LEGAL PAPERS IN ITALY

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 Italy 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. Giudiziari presso la Corte d’Appello di Roma, Viale Giulio Cesare, 52, 00192 ROMA

2. The service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial disputes within the Member States is governed by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1393/2007.

3. The address is Viale Giulio Cesare 52, 00192, Rome, Italy

4. By 22 CFR 92.86, the United States Department of State may authorize U.S. consular personnel to serve subpoenas on foreign nationals who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States.

5. Under Article 15, an American consular officer in Italy may legally accept a U.S. citizen’s voluntary statement. The subject of Article 16 is the admitted testimony of Italian or foreign nationals. Any citizen may freely testify before a Consular Officer or a commissioner (such as a private American attorney) designated by an American court

6. In the second case, the bailiff must submit a duplicate of the procedure to the municipal hall immediately or no later than the first day that the public is allowed to use the services provided by the municipal hall. Anyone from the mayor’s deputy to the town clerk will be responsible for acknowledging receipts and referring to the delivery list.

7. According to the Official Journal of 18 July 1984, modification JORF of 18 August 1984, which went into effect on 1 October 1984 (Decree n°84-618 of 13 July 1984, Articles 5 and 31)

8. The court clerk’s office shall establish, advance, and collect the expenses incurred due to the overseas process notice by the Criminal Procedure Code, Article R. 93 (16°).

9. Italian central authority for matters about the Hague Evidence Convention: Ministero Degli Affari Esteri, Direzione Generale Emigrazione, Ufficio IX, 00194 Rome, Italy

10. Regarding criminal matters, U.S. federal or state prosecutors can refer to the U.S. – Italy bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters treaty of November 13, 1985 (Sen. Ex. 98-25, Exec. Rept. 98-36, 98th Cong., 2d Sess.) 

11. In most cases, the following court-issued papers must be legalized by the Public Prosecutor’s office

  1. documents such as certificates of completion of criminal records,
  2. certified copies of sentencing, translations of official documents, and 
  3. powers of attorney granted by notaries.

12. According to Article 1394 of the Italian civil code, the power of attorney may be terminated if the designated attorney has a conflict of interest while performing the obligations of the power of attorney. When the power of attorney expires, the designated agent is also required under Article 1397 to surrender the original instrument. The appointed person may be held financially responsible for any harm resulting from abusing the authority granted by the power of attorney, as stated in art. 1398.

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