HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN JAMAICA

This article will provide guidance on how the central authority works in Jamaica.   The responsibility for managing Jamaica’s connections with other countries and trading with overseas markets falls on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith holds this post.  Since Jamaica is not a member of the Hague Service Convention, the Ministry cannot be termed the Central Authority. However, since the Ministry does handle international summons, our Undisputed Legal process servers retain close relationships with them. Click here for a video on International Process Service.

As stated in its official mission statement, the Ministry ‘is responsible for implementing Jamaica’s foreign policy, the management of Jamaica international relations and promoting its interests overseas.’ The immediate establishment of Jamaica’s foreign ministry, formerly the Ministry of External Affairs, followed independence from the UK in August 1962. To better represent the breadth of its function, the government added ‘and Foreign Trade’ to the ministry’s name in 1976, changing it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency

If you need assistance serving court papers to Jamaican citizens, a local process server like those at Undisputed Legal is your best bet.  The Hague Service Convention streamlines the procedure of serving proceedings; nevertheless, Jamaica has not ratified the convention. Jamaica is subject to the  United Kingdom Treaty for process service signed on September 7th, 1952.  Our Undisputed Legal servers are familiar with the requirements of the United Kingdom Treaty and have previously served papers upon signatory countries.  Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

process Service of papers in the Absence of the Hague Service Convention

To serve legal documents in Jamaica, one may either use the official procedure of Letters Rogatory or hire a private process server from Jamaica.  For jurisdictions that have not ratified the Hague Service Convention, the procedure for serving pleadings is the Letters Rogatory. A request for foreign judicial aid about serving of process would be made by the court in the requesting jurisdiction to a court in Jamaica.  It is not the usual responsibility of the Foreign Service to serve legal documents and process.  No Foreign Service officer may personally serve or authorize another person to serve legal documents or process on their behalf unless specifically authorized by the Secretary of State. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

Parties must follow the Jamaican norms of the procedure if the judgment is to be enforceable in Jamaica.  At Undisputed Legal, our process servers are local to the area and use the most recent version of the Jamaican Rules of Civil Procedure.  Once the summons has been served, the plaintiff must have the court’s copy sworn by a Justice of the Peace. They must deliver the sworn copy to the court’s office three days before the hearing. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

The affidavit of service discloses the identity and residence of the person who served the summons. The date of summons service is noted in the affidavit. The summons must be signed by the person who served it in the presence of the Justice of the Peace. The summons must include the location of service as well as the name of the person who will be served. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Attaching the summons to the entry of the dwelling home or property to be recovered or any other prominent aspect of the premises might serve the Defendant if personal service is not possible. It is necessary to include the number of times the Defendant was physically served and that the summons was attached to the property entry in the Affidavit of Service. Posting a duplicate of the summons to a defendant’s home or business door is permissible in any proceeding when the defendant keeps it closed to prevent serving.

The Defendant must be served with an Ordinary or White Summons at least eight (8) days before the court date. The Defendant must be physically served with the Judgement Summons no less than ten (10) days before the court date.  No police officer, except a district constable, may serve a summons. No summons may be served on a Sunday or public holiday.

How Do United States Citizens serve papers in Jamaica? 

Jamaica is a signatory to the Hague Apostille and Child Abduction Conventions but not the Hague Service Convention.  Since Jamaica is a former British colony and Commonwealth member, serving papers is easy, notwithstanding its absence from the Convention.  American process servers like those at Undisputed Legal are conversant with its thriving common law system. 

United States process may be served by mail, Letter Rogatory, or private process server if forum court regulations allow.  Enforcement of a judgment must be considered in all circumstances.  Most U.S. courts accept postal service on overseas defendants if the foreign jurisdiction does not ban it.  Letters rogatory is also an option: although expensive. On average, serving a Letters Rogatory can take USD 2,275 to be delivered to the Department of State.  The time taken is excessive for this method. 

 Providing service under Jamaican law does not need a Letter Rogatory. Private process servers like those at Undisputed Legal are faster than Letters Rogatory and more reliable than mail.  A local process server like those at Undisputed Legal might follow local standards to avoid a court rejecting an enforcement action and guarantee proper service.  We make sure the proof of service shows compliance with both jurisdictions. For service in Jamaica, a private process service agency is the best option.

Filing a document by personal service, publication, or transmission is possible.  via FAX (unless it is a claim form) to the database where the claim is being processed. The day a document is received at the registrar is the day it is filed.  A certificate of truth must accompany every statement of the case. A certificate of truth must typically be signed personally by the lay party.

process Service of a Jamaican claim form

A claim form may be served out of the jurisdiction where the claim is brought under any enactment enabling service out of the jurisdiction by the provisions of that statute.

An application for permission to serve out of the jurisdiction may be made without notice. Still, it must be supported by evidence on an affidavit stating the grounds for the application.  It is important to provide in what place, within what country the defendant may be found, and where the application is made with the grounds for the deponent’s belief that the conditions are satisfied. The affidavit must also state the grounds on which the deponent believes there is a dispute between the claimant and the person on whom the claim form will be served, a real issue that is reasonable for the court to try. The court may not permit it unless satisfied that Jamaica is the proper place to bring the claim.

An order granting permission to serve the claim form out of the jurisdiction must state the periods after service of the claim form within which the defendant must file an acknowledgment of and file a defense.  A claim form to be served out of the jurisdiction must be amended to state the periods after service of the claim form within which the acknowledgment of service and the defense must be filed.

A claim form to be served on a defendant in any country that is a party to a Civil Procedure Convention (to which Jamaica is also a party) providing for service of the court process in that country may be served if the law of that country permits through the judicial authorities of that country. Alternatively, service is done through the Jamaican consular authority in that country subject to any provision of the convention as to the nationality of persons who may be so served.

A claim form to be served on a defendant in any nation with no appropriate Civil Procedure Convention provisions may be served via the government of such nation, where that government is willing to serve, or through the Jamaican consular authority in that country.

 After a document is submitted, the Registrar is required to deliver it to the Minister in charge of Foreign Relations requesting the claim form to be served. A certificate officially issued by the minister documenting the proper delivery of a claim form to a designated time as specified in a request filed in compliance with this regulation serves as proof of that reality.

The certification of each translation submitted by this regulation is mandatory. This verifies the translation, and the certification must reveal the translator’s identity.

Notary in Jamaica

A Notary Public is designated as an official of the Supreme Court and appointed as ‘fit and proper’ by His Excellency, the Governor General for the island of Jamaica. The laws of Jamaica dictate their responsibilities.

Following an application to the Governor General, administrative procedures are carried out to allow the commissioning of a Notary Public by the Notaries Public Act.     One must first apply to His Excellency, the Governor General. The application must have a cover letter and two references or recommendations stating that the applicant is a ‘fit and proper’ person.  About the assignment of portfolio subjects for Notaries Public, the Ministry of Justice is involved.

Once the Ministry of Justice receives the application, it is processed in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Justice. The Minister of Justice then seeks the permission of the Minister of Justice before recommending the appointment to His Excellency, the Governor General. After the Governor General’s signature, the Registrar of the Supreme Court will notify the applicant and supply them with a copy of the Official Instrument so that they may have stamp duty applied and countersigned. The applicant will receive an official notification and the Official Instrument of office upon completion. 

Any attorney in good standing in Jamaica with ten years of practice may be sworn in as a Notary Public. Contracts, deeds, affidavits, protests, bills of exchange, and depositions may all be authenticated by a Notary Public. Appointments of attorneys-at-law who are proposed for the position of notary public are overseen by the Ministry of Justice by the Notaries Public Act. The requirements of each parish determine the appointment process. The Supreme Court maintains the public record of Jamaican notaries.

Power of Attorney in Jamaica

When a party creates a Power of Attorney (‘POA’), they authorize another individual to act on their behalf and in their name by transferring the authority to execute an action. The Power of Attorney grantor is termed the ‘donor’ while transferring authority and the ‘attorney’ to the recipient. It is important to note that the attorney in question is not an attorney-at-law but an attorney-in-fact, as the Legal Profession Act distinguishes between them. 

A power of attorney (POA) may be executed for various reasons, but the most common are convenience or necessity. A power of attorney may be helpful in a few situations. For instance, a POA to take care of business in Jamaica while clients are away, whether traveling or residing abroad, is exceedingly effective.  If a business’s organizational structure makes it difficult to execute particular papers, a power of attorney (POA) may authorize another individual.

Parties would want to delegate the task of submitting the court application to another individual. Properly signing and having it attested by a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public (if outside Jamaica) is necessary for a Power of Attorney (POA) to be valid. Getting the document stamped by the Tax Administration Jamaica is important for businesses. After that, it has to be registered at the Island Records Office to obtain a unique registration number. 

People and businesses often use POAs when dealing with real estate. The power of attorney must include explicit wording granting the attorney the authority to deal with registered land, directly or indirectly, under the Registration of Titles Act. In such instances, the power of attorney must be filed with the Titles Office and the Island Records Office. Without these procedures, the attorney may be unable to use all the rights assigned to him concerning the property. For instance, he could not transfer land ownership to another party. 

Because the attorney will be acting on the party’s behalf and doing things that would typically bind the donor and make the donor liable for those things, a power of attorney (POA) is a very important document that can have a significant and long-lasting effect on your life and livelihood, a client must, then, give serious thought to the individual you choose for an appointment and the authority you bestow upon them. The party must ensure that the authority bestowed to him is neither too extensive nor too restricted. 

Without the provisions of the Hague Service Convention behind it, the service of papers in Jamaica can often seem complicated. Letters Rogatory is an expensive method, and service via mail is not recommended. However, a private process service agency like those at Undisputed Legal can thus be an invaluable resource. Our private process servers ensure that your papers are cared for. We provide details of service as necessary and can vouchsafe that your papers arrive in time for any suit. Trust in Undisputed Legal for stellar process service. 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 will receive 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 JAMAICA

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 Jamacia 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. 3 U.S.T. 3426; 1951 U.S.T. LEXIS 519.

2. The sender state’s legal papers may be served by a consular official within his district, as stated in Article 17(g) of Part VI, ‘in a manner permitted under special arrangements on this subject between the High Contracting Parties or otherwise no inconsistent with the laws of the territory.’

3. The  Jamaican Rules of Civil Procedure – 2002

4.  Notaries Public Act of 1865

5. This refers to a letter of recommendation or reference from a notary public or an attorney with at least ten years of experience.

6. A Notary Public is appointed under the Governor General’s hand and seal after a duplicate Writ of Dedimus and Commission (the ‘Official Instrument’) is created and presented to His Excellency, the Governor General. If the Governor is pleased, the appointment is finalized.

7. The Supreme Court’s Notaries’ Roll is updated with the commissioned notary’s name. To have their name added, the notary must contact the Supreme Court’s registrar.

8. The term ‘person’ encompasses not just ‘natural persons,’ or actual humans, but also ‘legal persons,’ or entities like businesses, when discussing power of attorney documents. This implies that a business may appoint another business or an individual to work on its behalf and use its name.

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