How The Central Authority Works in Luxembourg

This article will provide guidance on How The Central Authority Works in Luxembourg.  Service of papers in Luxembourg means adhering to both the domestic laws of the state and international agreements that Luxembourg is a part of.  One of these international instruments is the Hague Service Convention or Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters.  Since Luxembourg is a civil law state, its legal system is mostly based on civil laws from France. The rules governing civil process are found in the ‘Nouveau Code de Procédure Civile,’ more often known as ‘the NCCP.’ New laws enacted on July 15, 2021, to expedite commercial and civil proceedings have altered the NCCP. Click here for How the Hague Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

The District Courts, formerly the Tribunal Arrondissement, hear all business and civil matters not expressly assigned to a higher court. Specific divisions within the District Courts hear cases about civil law. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can help serve your papers according to domestic law and international instruments. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

With our Undisputed Legal process servers’ vast expertise in this field, you can be certain that your legal papers will be served promptly and properly because a server must adhere to the regulations of both the court that issued the process and the court that accepted it, a foreign serving of process must consider delivery time factors. Certain conditions must be satisfied to perform service of process properly, and local laws and regulations determine these requirements. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked.

Understanding process service through the Central Authority

The State General Prosecutor is the Central Authority in Luxembourg.  As the Central Authority, letters of request may be forwarded through [A.] the General Prosecutor’s Office; [B.] district court prosecutors; [C.] bailiffs and, in certain cases involving labor law and rental leasing, and occasionally, the clerks of the justices of the peace.

All incoming requests to the Central Authority are passed to the bailiff for service. In cases where the requester’s state’s laws are relevant, this transmission means must be compatible with Luxembourg law. Foreign judicial papers served via a Luxembourg bailiff must be prepared in French or German or be accompanied by a suitable translation into one of these languages. To comply with Luxembourg regulations, all papers must be fully translated, including the document to be served.

In exceptional cases, the Central Authority may accept a document written in a different language as long as it can be shown that the receiver is fluent in the language and willingly accepts the document. Luxembourg does not, in principle, pay expenses related to notifications or services. There is a seventy-two euro fixed charge, plus travel expenses and VAT (17%), that the applicant must pay if the document is to be sent directly by a bailiff. The price is ten euros inside Luxembourg City.

The requester receives the invoice. While some bailiffs insist on payment before serving, others will serve the paper without delay but will hold on to the original until they have their money.

The European Parliament and Council’s Regulation (EC) No. 1393/2007, dated November 13, 2007, and repealing Regulation (No. 1348/2000) from May 29, 2000, about the delivery of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial disputes among the Member States.  Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of May 28, 2001, relates to cooperation between jurisdictions of Member States in the sphere of gathering evidence in civil and commercial disputes. 

Coordination within the European States

Officially abolishing Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000, Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 of November 27, 2003, deals with the recognition and execution of judgments in marriage and parental responsibility concerns and jurisdiction.

The European Judicial Network in civil and commercial cases was established to enhance judicial collaboration in these areas, and two members of the General Prosecutor’s Office have been appointed as contact points within its scope. Members of this network include liaison magistrates, central bodies and authorities established by Community acts, contact points chosen by Member States, and any other administrative or judicial entity charged with judicial cooperation, as appropriate. in business and civil cases.  Undisputed Legal aims to ensure that our local process servers are local to the area and up-to-date with the various requirements of different international instruments.

To ensure effective judicial cooperation among Member States and to find workable solutions to any problems that may emerge during the implementation of the community instruments, the contact points are responsible for disseminating all relevant information to the network members and the Luxembourg judicial authorities. As part of its role as a ‘Central Authority,’ the General Prosecutor’s Office is tasked with receiving and responding to requests for service from other states. in addition to the international notification of civil or commercial judicial and extrajudicial papers.

How process service is done in Luxembourg

Both Luxembourg law and the European Regulation on process service regulate the procedure for serving legal papers in Luxembourg. Process serving refers to the act of formally delivering a defendant or witness in another nation with a subpoena, summons, or complaint. Serving the papers properly means following the local court’s regulations and the nation’s laws where service is being made. The bailiff or a member of the Luxembourg judiciary often serves process in such cases.

[A.] District courts; [B.] Courts of appeal; and [C.] The Supreme Court of Justice is the three tiers of Luxembourg’s judicial organization. The independence and impartiality of Luxembourg’s judiciary are essential in upholding the law and safeguarding the rights of persons and businesses. Businesses may use Luxembourg’s advanced corporate law by forming limited liability corporations, partnerships, or even Luxembourg subsidiaries of international conglomerates.

No matter how large the stakes, the NCCP has vested exclusive authority over certain matters in the Magistrate’s Courts, including disputes with lessees and those concerning wages and pensions. Those dissatisfied with the judgments issued by lower-level District Courts may take their cases to the Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel). It is within the purview of the Court of Appeals to reconsider the applicable statutes and regulations after reviewing the case. If an appellant wishes to challenge a judgment rendered by the Cour de Cassation, the appellant must first go to the High Court. Questions of law and not of fact are under the purview of the High Court. The High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Prosecutor General’s Office are all parts of the Supreme Court of Justice (Cour Supérieure de Justice). 

It is proper procedure in Luxembourg to serve a summons on a defendant or witness by physically handing them a subpoena, complaint, or other legal document. Luxembourg law and the European Regulation on the Service of Documents regulate the procedure for serving a summons in this country.  It is common practice in Luxembourg for a bailiff or other court official to serve summonses. 

Within standard civil procedures, the bailiff must serve the defendant with the writ of summons, also known as an assignment or citation. Parties are obligated to be represented by an attorney licensed to the Luxembourg Bar as an Avocat à la Cour in civil actions, except those heard in the Magistrates’ Courts, which are often handled in writing. Following proper notification of the opposing party’s counsel, the claimant must file the necessary paperwork with the relevant court to initiate proceedings. The court-ordered timeline specifies when each side’s solicitors must provide written arguments and evidence.

Under the expedited pre-trial procedure, the parties may submit two written pleadings (the writ of summons being the first written submission) before trial. Following the first three months, each side gets another month to address the other’s written submissions, réplique, and duplique. The courts of Luxembourg will maintain an exclusive jurisdiction provision unless it violates any necessary condition of national or international law. 

Luxembourg Pre-Action Protocol

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg law does not mandate any pretrial preparation. A claimant is not obligated to initiate communication with the opposing party or seek a settlement before bringing legal action. A bailiff will serve a writ of summons to get the defendant to show up in court and address the plaintiff’s claims in a civil lawsuit.

The plaintiff often requests that the bailiff serve the defendant with a writ of summons in standard civil proceedings. Except for first-stage civil proceedings that are unilateral (like an application in exequatur), the defendant is notified of the application by the court registry. The defendant shall be deemed served on the day when the document commencing the proceedings is delivered or mailed to his place of abode. 

Under Luxembourg law, a subpoena or summons cannot be validly served unless proof of service shows that the document was sent to the correct address. A bailiff or judicial official in Luxembourg must verify receipt of the legal document by the defendant or witness to serve it as evidence of service. Clients may be certain that Undisputed Legal will keep them apprised of the status of their documents and the service’s development. As a result, our customers are given more information, making the process more efficient. 

Multiple forms of acknowledgment of receipt, signed by the defendant or witness, or an affidavit of service, signed by the bailiff or judicial official, may be used as proof of service. To verify that the defendant or witness has been properly served, the evidence of service must be submitted to the court. Proof of receipt by the defendant or witness may be necessary when other means of service are used, such as service by publication or service by mail. Evidence of service in Luxembourg must be executed in compliance with the nation’s rules and regulations. Otherwise, the case may be dismissed for lack of adequate evidence of service. 

The pre-trial judge (juge de la mise en état) has extensive discretionary powers during the examination phase of a case. These powers include, among other things, the ability to set deadlines for the exchange of written pleadings, order the joinder or disjoinder of proceedings, decide to hear the parties, appoint a technical expert, and establish protocols for the transmission, delivery, and production of documents.

Role of the Notary Public in Luxembourg

An unbiased, independent, and highly specialized public servant, the civil law notary is charged with certain public obligations and holds a public office. The legal framework under which the notary profession operates is similar to that which governs liberal professions. This is all controlled by the Notarial Profession Organisation Act of 1976, as modified occasionally.

According to the seniority principle, the Grand Duchy appoints notaries. Notaries can appoint genuine instruments over Luxembourg’s territory and remain in their positions until they reach seventy-two years of age unless they step down, die, or are dismissed. There is a notarial office in every canton of Luxembourg except Vianden and the maximum number of notaries is capped at thirty-six. Professional confidentiality binds the notary.

As the governing organization of the notarial profession, the Chamber of Notaries is responsible for upholding the notarial code of conduct and ensuring that its members adhere to all applicable laws and regulations. To avoid legal repercussions, the notary must create genuine documents that address transactions involving property or facts and declarations with legal weight.

Notaries also provide parties with independent and objective counsel and ensure that the genuine document accurately expresses their will by applicable laws and regulations. The function of the notary public is held in high regard in Luxembourg law and European consumer protection legislation.

Notaries are involved in preparing many legal documents, including real estate (such as deeds, gifts, and swaps), mortgages, marriage contracts, and the establishment of businesses. Before the execution of a  compromise de vente,’ parties may acquire legal counsel on the potential effects on current or future real estate holdings in the event of a divorce, the death of a spouse, or the dissolution of a legal partnership (‘PACS’) before entering into a marriage or forming a PACS. Alternatively, parties may approach a notary before establishing a will that would be invalid due to improper legal standing.

Power of Attorney in Luxembourg

A public notary may attest to the validity of a power of attorney (POA), a legal instrument that can appoint a representative in several contexts. This document is often used in Luxembourg and other countries by individuals who need proxies to carry out certain actions on their behalf.

Two primary parties enter into the power of attorney document; one requests the drafting of the POA in Luxembourg and determines its content in terms of duration and purpose, and the other will carry out the tasks and activities outlined in the POA in Luxembourg according to the instructions given. A third party acts as an attorney-in-fact, representative, or agent. It should be noted that a public notary’s authentication is necessary for a power of attorney in Luxembourg to be legitimate.

In Luxembourg, a power of attorney may be granted to third persons by the provisions of the Civil Code. There are several ways to classify such a document, depending on factors like its length, its ability to take action, and the tasks it can do.

The Grand Duchy recognizes a basic power of attorney may only be used once for a single case; once used, the instrument is no longer legally binding.  Thanks to the durable power of attorney, the agent may continue to represent the principal in one or more situations, even after the person dies away. The limited power of attorney defines the duration for which an agent or attorney may act on behalf of a principal. In contrast, the unlimited power of attorney does not have a set expiry date. Finally, limited power of attorney can only be used for specified transactions, including purchasing real estate in the Grand Duchy or establishing a bank account in Luxembourg.

Investors and businesses often use the financial power of attorney in Luxembourg. The financial industry uses it so trading agents may act as trustees for clients’ accounts and portfolios. Anyone, even businesses, may give another person the power of attorney. The representative, who may be a person or a corporation, is likewise subject to this.

A party may delegate authority to another person or entity to handle your financial and asset matters by signing a Power of Attorney. If the party signs a power of attorney and then becomes mentally unable to manage their affairs, the power of attorney will remain in force if it is an ‘enduring’ power of attorney. When parties cannot make choices about their health care or personal matters, parties may consider giving someone else the power to do so. A Power of Attorney for Personal Care acts as this instrument in some jurisdictions, 

The Hague Service Convention offers a simplified and effective way to serve legal papers in Luxembourg by doing away with the need for diplomatic channels and other intricate and time-consuming processes. Foreign summonses will be accepted by the Central Authority in Luxembourg, which will thereafter take the appropriate actions to serve the summonses in compliance with Luxembourg law and the Hague Service Convention. 

Regarding legalizing foreign public papers, documents carrying the Apostille seal are considered genuine in any country that has accepted the Hague Convention. The country of origin is usually the only one that recognizes a document. In the past, obtaining a document’s validity for use in another country was a time-consuming and laborious procedure that culminated with the Consulate of the relevant country after many agencies in the issuing country.

At Undisputed Legal, we handle all your paperwork and ensure it is comprehensive and unquestionable. You may trust that the documents will be served in compliance with Luxembourg’s rules and regulations because of our extensive knowledge of those matters. Even when the parties are in separate countries, this helps ensure that legal processes go well and that your paperwork won’t be rejected. 

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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, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

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 Luxembourg 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 State Prosecutor General Cité Judiciaire Plateau du St. Esprit L-2080 Luxembourg

2. The fixed charge is five euros inside the cities of Diekirch and Esch-sur-Alzette. If the bailiff has to submit several copies of a document, they will charge half of the regular price for each extra copy (which is 18 euros) and half of the fixed fee for each extra section

3.  For each km traveled, the cost of travel comes to 0.72 euros.

4. Furthermore, an additional 1/10 of the set charge (7.2 euros) is applied if the bailiff is unable to serve someone and is required to verify the address

5. To top it all off, there’s a 12 euro fixed cost plus a 2 euro stamp duty per page when the document has to be registered in Luxembourg.

6. 65 Rue d’Eich, L-1461 Luxembourg.

7. Under the Hague Convention of March 18, 1970, on the Obtaining of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, the General Prosecutor’s Office has also been designated as the ‘Central authority’ tasked with receiving letters rogatory from the judiciary of another Contracting State and forwarding them to the appropriate authority for execution. Thus, they also must authorize, when necessary, the diplomatic or consular agents of a contracting state to investigate, without limitation, any matter involving a procedure before a court of a state they represent that pertains to individuals other than citizens of that state.

8. The correct form and method of delivery must be observed by the bailiff or judicial official by the regulations and processes set out by the local court. A sufficient amount of time must be granted to the defendant or witness for them to reply to the summons. 

9. According to several sections of the NCCP, a wide range of civil claims may be filed with the court registry via applications

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