How The Central Authority Works in Malta

This article will provide guidance on How The Central Authority Works In Malta.  Malta is a signatory of the Hague Service Convention or the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. As such, the state is required to appoint a Central Authority, who acts as a liaison to receive papers in the country.  The Central Authority for Malta is the State Advocate’s Office.   Click here for information on the Code of Civil Procedure in Malta

International Process Service

The Hague Service Convention specifies that the papers must be written in English or Maltese, or translated into one of those languages. Under the Convention, serving papers does not incur any fees and service can be done with a Court Marshal. With the Maltese language requirement, a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can be helpful to ensure your letters of request are delivered carefully. Click here for How the Hague Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

The Maltese government prohibits papers being served inside Malta by diplomatic or consular officials of other contracting states unless the person serving the document is a citizen of that state. Our Undisputed Legal process servers can serve your papers within Malta by the country’s laws. Our process servers are local to the area and consequently, service can be accomplished with ease. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Understanding the Central Authority in Malta

The State Advocate’s Office was created under the Maltese Constitution to serve as the chief legal counsel to the government. While doing so, it serves the public interest, ensures that state actions are lawful, and carries out any other responsibilities or tasks that may be assigned to it by law or the Constitution.  The Office of the State Advocate is a government institution. As a result of their constitutionally protected autonomy, the State Advocate is free to carry out their duties without interference from higher authorities. When Malta is the State being served, the document will be sent to the person to whom it is addressed by attaching it to a judicial letter that is filed in the Registry of the Civil Court, First Hall. Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency

The Government’s chief legal counsel was the Attorney General until the formation of the Office of the State Advocate. Requests for the international service of papers in civil and commercial proceedings, as well as requests for the collecting of evidence in civil issues, are processed by the Office of the State Advocate, which is the responsible authority. As part of their duties, the State Advocate advises the government on proposed legislation, helps draft bills, and attends House of Representatives sessions to advise relevant ministers and draft amendments. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

Members of the State Advocate’s legal team also serve as liaison officers and points of contact within the legal systems of the European Union, the Council of Europe, and other international entities, and they are frequent attendees at meetings of specialized committees and working groups. The State Advocate’s office consequently is a major player in the delivery of international papers in Malta, and our Undisputed Legal process servers retain cordial relations with the office. We make sure that we deliver your papers to the specifications of the State Advocate’s office.  Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

Parliamentary Committees also get advice from the State Advocate, who also helps with any necessary writing for these committees. Furthermore, the State Advocate represents the Government, its Ministries, agencies, and organizations in litigation in all legal forums, both domestic and international. When a person desires to sue an organ of the state that lacks legal standing, the State Advocate acts as a physical embodiment of the state in addition to representing the government in litigation.  Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

When Malta is the State being served, the document will be sent to the person to whom it is addressed by attaching it to a judicial letter that is filed in the Registry of the Civil Court, First Hall. As such, all international papers are directed to the State Advocate. Our Undisputed Legal process servers deliver papers according to the specifications of the State Advocate’s Office and we can guarantee that your papers are cared for.

Service of Documents in Malta

When legal or physical papers are served on an individual, it indicates they have been served by the court. For foreign papers, a private process service agency is very helpful. For the sake of both the court and the parties, our Undisputed Legal process servers also provide clarity regarding the delivery of papers.

Court orders, writs of summons, petitions, answers, judicial protests, applications for judicial review, executive and preventive warrants, and judicial protests are all part of this category. The court and its marshals are tasked with serving papers upon their submission in the court. The party submitting the paperwork to the court is required to provide the address and individual(s) to whom the document should be sent. If the document has more than one recipient, the person submitting it is responsible for making sure that each addressee has adequate copies.

Court marshals send a ‘pink card’ to the court upon receipt of non-case-related judicial papers delivered by registered mail, which indicates either the receiver’s signature or that the document is unclaimed. The original document (such as a court letter) would have the ‘pink card’ affixed to it. The Court Marshal also serves other papers that are submitted within the framework of judicial processes. For service within Malta, the receiving agency must attach the document to a judicial letter filed in the Registry of the Civil Court, First Hall. For service within Gozo and Comino, the receiving agency must attach the document to the Registry of the Court of Magistrates (Gozo) in its superior jurisdiction. The Court Marshal will serve the individual to whom the judicial letter is directed together with these other papers. 

The document can be served by delivering a copy to the person in question or by leaving a copy at their place of residence, business, or postal address with a family member, someone in their service, their attorney, or someone authorized to receive their mail. If it can be proven that the copy has truly reached the person being served, then no objection may be made based on the irregularity of the service.

If the individual in question is a crew member or a passenger on a commercial vessel and does not have a permanent address in Malta, service may be completed by presenting a copy of the document to the ship’s captain or an agent authorized to do so. If the entity in question has its separate legal personality, service on it can be accomplished by delivering a copy of the document to either its registered office, principal office, place of business, postal address, or to an employee of the entity, the company secretary, or any of the individuals mentioned. In civil processes, electronic service of documents is not permissible.

For all legal purposes, a decree declaring service to have been effected on the day and time of the refusal can be considered as proof of service under Maltese law if the person to whom a pleading is addressed refuses to receive it personally from an executive officer of the courts and the court hears the executive officer of the courts. In addition, it is a contempt of court offense to wilfully evade, obstruct, or refuse to be served with any act, court order, or the execution of a warrant or order by a Court Marshal. Consequently, a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal should be involved to ensure service is completed without any further issues. 

Mail and Alternate Service in Malta

The Maltese postal service will deliver mail to any adult over the age of eighteen who is present and able to receive it. It is presumed that the addressee authorizes the person to take mail after they are detected on the addressee’s premises. Refrain from accepting the letter until you have the proper authorization. Once you have, it is your job to transmit it to the intended recipient. Upon delivery, the receiver will be asked to sign.

If the recipient is not present to accept delivery of mail that requires a signature, a notification is left at the address to inform the recipient that delivery was attempted. In most cases, this is completed after five days for domestic registered mail and ten days for international registered mail. If the letter is still unclaimed after these time frames, it will be returned to the sender with the appropriate ‘unclaimed’ marking after another five days. The letter is immediately returned to the sender with the marking ‘refused’ if the recipient refuses to accept it. The only way for the addressee or their authorized agent to retrieve mail from the post office is to bring the notice and some kind of identity (such as a passport or ID card) with them.

The charge for serving papers in Malta under domestic law differs from the fee for serving documents in Malta from another Member State. All payments must be paid in advance to the  Office of the State Advocate. Serving legal papers in Malta requires filing them with the appropriate court, which incurs a filing fee. The cost changes when different court documents are submitted. Expenses for printing papers and legal costs also add up. However, there is a set cost of fifty euros for papers to be served in Malta from another Member State. Our Undisputed Legal process servers have experience serving documents across the EU. Consequently, we can ensure that your papers adhere to all the requirements of the receiving jurisdiction.

Notaries in Malta

Donation, exchange, and partition are some of the many areas where the Notary Public in Malta exercises their authority. A notary’s duties as a public official also include maintaining objectivity and looking out for the interests of all parties involved in a deed under Maltese law. This specifically principally binds the notary who publishes a contract to verify the parties’ identities and legal ability to enter into a binding contract or provide the optimal legal form for the contract.  The Notary can determine if the seller has a good title to the property and if it is burdened by debts by ordering searches, both active and passive, on the property and any debts against it from the relevant government department. The Notary in Malta thus acts as a verifying and authenticating authority under law. 

Any public record that cannot be located via an up-to-date official search conducted at least twenty-one days before a notarial deed may be recorded. As an impartial public servant, the notary’s duties include receiving actions inter vivos and wills, attesting to their public faith, and being responsible for their safekeeping. A notary public may practice law in any jurisdiction within Malta and Gozo after being appointed to the position by the president of the Maltese government and having their appointment announced in the official gazette.

After reviewing and explaining the act to the parties, the Notary is the only one with the authority to personally determine if it complies with their will, or in the absence of such persons, to ask as to the identity of their agent. To verify this person’s identification, the Notary must see a government-issued photo ID, passport, or other acceptable official document. In the absence of this, the testimony of two witnesses known to the Notary—witnesses who may also be named on the deed—will suffice.

Notaries in Malta are available to sign petitions and other documents about issues that may be heard in a voluntary court, as well as to administer oaths involving ‘acts of notoriety’ in business and civil cases, as well as to witness declarations of death. Every time a contract is finalized, the Notary and all parties involved sign it at the same time. If a party is unable to sign the contract in person, they may designate another party to do so by signing a power of attorney. This will allow the designated agent to finalize the transaction and handle any related concerns.

Power of Attorney in Malta

Notaries may assist in drafting durable, special, or general powers of attorney that meet the unique requirements of each client.  The Maltese word for power of attorney is ‘prokura,’ and it is a legal document that grants another person the authority to act on someone else’s behalf. The mandatory can be granted broad authority to act on the mandator’s behalf in a general power of attorney, or narrower authority to act on behalf of the mandator by the specific terms specified in the power of attorney.

A special power of attorney is different from a general power of attorney. While a special power of attorney is limited to the precise actions listed, a general power of attorney gives the attorney broad authority to act on your behalf.  A general power of attorney in Maltese law allows the agent to do everything the grantor asks, whereas a special power of attorney specifies certain kinds of activities the agent may execute on the donor’s behalf. A Maltese special power of attorney should include specific language outlining the agent’s duties and responsibilities, as well as a possible expiry date. The power of attorney can be granted to a lawyer or another party to register a company; in real estate matters – when a Maltese or foreign citizen wants to buy a property in Malta and needs a legal representative.

A power of attorney may only be granted in Malta under certain circumstances. Both the person granting the power of attorney and the agent must be at least eighteen years old. Further, the donor must have full mental capacity for the Maltese power of attorney to be valid and both the donor and the agent must present their identification papers when the document is drafted. The power of attorney needs to be drafted and authenticated by a public notary in Malta. To be valid, the Maltese power of attorney needs to be signed by the grantor wherein the donor will need two witnesses to attest to the drafting of the power of attorney. Once drawn up and signed, the document will be registered with the Director of the Public Registry. The power of attorney may be either immediate (enforced immediately upon signing) or springing (enforced in response to certain events, such as the grantor’s infirmity).

Issues involving healthcare or property might necessitate the creation of a durable power of attorney in Malta. The principal’s ability to have their personal or company affairs conveniently handled in the event of their incapacity is a major reason why durable power of attorney in Malta has become popular. A donor may also confer limited or broad authority via a durable power of attorney. The names and addresses of the principal and agent will be filled out in the Maltese power of attorney. The paper will also outline the agent’s responsibilities and authority. A notary public is required to witness the grantor’s signature and the date on the power of attorney.

The formation of a Maltese business may be expedited with the assistance of an expert who is familiar with the local legislation, the proper agencies to contact, and the steps involved in registering a company via a power of attorney.  An agent or attorney-in-fact is a person or organization appointed with wide authority to act on their behalf via a general power of attorney. Among these authorities are the ability to purchase life insurance, manage commercial interests, make gifts, hire professionals, and conduct financial and business operations. To designate someone to manage money, many people include a general power of attorney in their estate plans.

The legislation establishes that if a mandatary abuses their position and is no longer seen as a fiduciary, they may be held financially responsible for fraud and damages.

Parties may get legal assistance on powers of attorney from Maltese lawyers and notaries. Notarized by the form provided by law and witnessed by at least two individuals

a mandate must then be recorded with the Director of the Public Registry. The power of attorney should be kept on hand in the form of certified authentic copies.

A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal may be a lifesaver when you need to serve your documents across international borders. Our private process servers can ensure that your documents are served according to your specifications in the receiving state with ease.

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

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 Malta process service needs; no job is too small or too large!  For instructions on How To Serve Legal Papers in Malta, Click Here!

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. 16 Casa Scaglia, 

Triq Mikiel Anton Vassalli, Valletta,

VLT 1311,

 Malta

2. Article 91A of the Constitution: “

  1. There shall be a State Advocate whose office shall be a public office and who shall be appointed by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister.
  2. A person shall not be qualified to hold office as State Advocate unless he is qualified for appointment as a judge of the Superior Courts.
  3. The State Advocate shall be the advisor to Government in matters of law and legal opinion. He shall act in the public interest and shall safeguard the legality of State action. The State Advocate shall also perform such other duties and functions as may be conferred upon him by this Constitution or by any law. In the exercise of his functions, the State Advocate shall act in his individual judgment and he shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority…”

3. Chapter 603 of the Laws of Malta, which establishes the State Advocate Act

4. In 2019, in accordance with the Venice Commission’s recommendations, the Maltese government established the Office of State Advocate by dividing the Attorney General’s role into advisory and prosecutorial functions (Act XXV of 2019). This was codified into Chapter 603 of the Maltese Laws. 

5. The Maltese Laws, notably Chapter 12 of the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure, govern the form of service.

6. However, it is not legal to leave a copy with anyone under fourteen years old or someone who is unable to provide proof of service due to mental illness. Unless shown otherwise, it is assumed that the individual giving testimony is competent to do so.

7.Section 33 of the 2005 Postal Services (General) Regulations governs this process

8. Central Bank of Malta Transacting Business Payroll for the State Advocate’s Office – Legal Fees and Document Service
Account reference: 40127EUR-CMG5-000-Y
MT24MALT011000040127EURCMG5000Y is the IBAN number.
SWIFT Code: MALTMTMT 

 9.Chapter 55 of the Notarial Professions and Notarial Archives Act,

.

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