How The Central Authority Works in Namibia

The political system of Namibia is a democratic republic with a unitary semi-presidential system. In Namibia, the head of state and administration is the president, elected to a five-year term. While Namibia maintains ties to countries like Cuba that supported its independence movement, Namibia’s foreign policy is mostly autonomous.  On 24 April 1990, Namibia joined the United Nations, becoming the 160th  member. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

However, Namibia is not a Member of the Hague Service Convention, which makes serving papers on defendants within the country just a little bit more stressful. However, our local Undisputed Legal process servers can ensure that your documents are served without hassle within the jurisdiction.

Hierarchy of Namibia authorities

The Minister of Justice is the authority responsible for receiving foreign service of papers in Namibia. By publishing a notice in the Gazette, the Minister of Justice can change the First or Second Schedule by adding or removing countries. Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency

Namibia has three branches of government: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The Cabinet, the executive organ of government, puts the country’s laws into action. All members of the Namibian Cabinet, including the president, prime minister, and deputy, are part of it. The National Council and the National Assembly serve as the government’s legislative bodies. In Namibia, the Supreme Court is the highest. Both lower and higher courts are also crucial for compliance with process service regulations, and our Undisputed Legal process servers will ensure that we serve your papers appropriately. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

There is a mix of centralization and regionalization in the Namibian government. Within the executive branch are ministries, offices, and agencies at the national level, as well as regional councils and the constituencies they represent at the regional level. The National Assembly is the lower house responsible for enacting laws, and the National Council is the upper house. The Supreme Court is the national court of justice, with lower and higher courts located around the nation. Namibia has both a modern system of government and a more ancient system of traditional leadership. This system of government, which includes land distribution, traditional marriage, and lower courts, applies only to members of officially recognized tribes who reside in their traditional territories. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

As a nation, Namibia is exempt from the Hague Service Convention. Private process servers can still serve papers in any country that has signed the Hague Service Convention. However, at Undisputed Legal, we understand that Process Services in Namibia are very comparable to those in the US, except for a slightly longer turnaround time. When compared to the official method, informal service is typically much faster. In specific cases, government employees, including off-duty police officers, may be allowed to complete the service using their official status. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

How to Serve Foreign Summonses in Namibia

The person or persons authorized to serve process or documents in a foreign country must be either [A.] the head of a Namibian diplomatic or consular mission there or [B.] an officer of that country’s diplomatic or consular services to Namibia, provided that neither the law nor the authorities of that country prohibit or object to such service. Since Namibia is not a part of the Hague Service Convention, we at Undisputed Legal make sure to remember the service of your documents according to the Central Authority.

Furthermore, for any court or document issued by Namibia that is to be served outside of Namibia, a certified copy of the original document and an official translation into the language of the receiving country are required for the process or document to be valid. When the process or document is to be served, and N$250 revenue stamps are attached, the Registrar will not require revenue stamps to serve on behalf of the Namibian government. However, it is the registrar’s responsibility to verify the authenticity of the process or document with the revenue stamps. Our Undisputed Legal process servers make sure that serving legal documents or court papers in another country is legal in their home country or that no laws prohibit it before doing so. Often, the court may require additional reasonable and necessary actions if it is dissatisfied with the service. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can help ensure that your papers adhere to court requirements.

The formal process by which one court requests judicial assistance from another is called a letter rogatory, sometimes called a letter of request. A domestic court may seek help from an international court to compel a witness to testify. Parties can use this evidence to answer questions regarding a factual issue or to make documents available to the public. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal will ensure that your papers are served by the requesting and receiving court rules.

What Are Letters Rogatory

The conventional method of requesting external assistance without an executive agreement or treaty is the letters rogatory. Letters rogatory are formal requests from judges (often from the United States) to foreign judiciaries for authorization to serve papers on a foreign defendant. This request would be unlawful without such approval, and the letter of request should be as specific as possible. It is often known practice to send letters requesting information through diplomatic channels. Even in urgent cases, the request can take over a month to process, even if a copy is sent via Interpol or another direct channel. Our Undisputed Legal process servers can serve your papers in any manner required for speedy and accurate service.

The format of a letter rogatory depends on the intended recipient and the nature of the assistance being sought. Legal requirements govern the provision of aid in multiple countries. A judge’s signature plus an apostille or one of the other three forms of authentication is required for all rogatory documents before they can be utilized. If the requesting state has signed the Hague Convention that removes the need to legalize foreign public documents, then an apostille should be used.

If the Office of the Information Administrator (OIA) conveys the letter rogatory through diplomatic channels, the Foreign Ministry will generally refer it to the Ministry of Justice, subsequently conveying it to the competent court body. Legalization of documents from Namibia for use in an alternative country is a common practice that involves returning evidence through the same method of transmission used to make the request.

Any country with which Namibia has agreed with the reciprocal service of civil process in provisions of the Namibian Constitution may be declared a designated country by notice in the Gazette. If a magistrate in a selected country receives a process from an officer of a competent court for purposes other than the enforcement of a civil judgment, and the magistrate determines that the process was lawfully issued, the Magistrate usually will endorse the process for service. This endorsement is applicable regardless of any other laws regarding the service of process received from foreign countries.

A sworn English translation must accompany any procedure that was not originally written out in English for it to be approved.  Barring processes about the enforcement of civil judgments, the registrar of the High or Supreme Court or any clerk of the magistrate’s court, as applicable, may issue any process (excluding processes about the service of any process outside of Namibia) without the permission of the relevant court. Engaging a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal, intimately familiar with Namibia’s different requirements, becomes imperative.

Serving Papers in Namibia

Documents commencing the application or action process and any court papers or documents must be served on the constable. Delivering a copy of the process to an employee of the company or other entity at its registered offices or principal place of business in Namibia is one way to serve it. If no employee is available, another option is to attach a copy to the main gate or door of the office or place of business. By law, all ministers, deputy ministers, and other state officials must deliver an official copy to the Attorney General’s office or the relevant ministry or state institution.

Undisputed Legal keeps Namibia’s process service requirements up to date. it is the deputy sheriff’s responsibility to notify the recipient of the nature and contents of the document(s) being served and to note this in both the return of service and the signed receipt. The court has the authority to provide instructions regarding service upon request from the party seeking service. 

If a witness is to be examined in Namibia as part of civil proceedings in a foreign court, the High Court may make that order. The court or judge hearing the application in the High Court of Namibia has the authority to determine whether a witness within the High Court’s jurisdiction may be examined before a specific individual if it is determined that another court with competent jurisdiction outside of Namibia is interested in obtaining evidence related to pending civil proceedings.

The individual on whose behalf service was executed must submit the proof of service and the specified procedure or document to the registrar no later than five days after receiving them. If the court is dissatisfied with the service, it may take any appropriate and feasible action. The process that needs to be served, along with a copy of the translation, must be sent to the person who needs to be served by the registrar to a deputy sheriff. 

A sheriff, deputy sheriff, or individual designated to serve the Namibia Process Service or citation must provide an affidavit to a magistrate or justice of the peace, attesting to the fact that the process was served, the server’s oath was taken, and the server’s verification. Only then can the server return the copy of the process or citation? Before accepting payment for the cost of effecting service or any other fees, court taxing officers must verify their accuracy.

How is a Summons Executed in Namibia

 The registrar is required to acknowledge receipt of any summons that is to be issued.  Acknowledgment is made by stamping the summons’ front page with a date in the upper left corner and on any duplicates.

When a combined summons is issued, the registrar is required, at the end of Form 1, to sign the summons and attach the date stamp that shows the time and date of issuance. A duplicate of the original summons that is to be issued must be submitted to the registrar. This duplicate must be kept and added to the court file after being signed, stamped, and numbered. The High Court’s registrar, deputy, or assistant registrar for that specific court No High Court Division may issue a summons in the name of another.

It is the process server’s responsibility to ensure that every return of service or non-service makes it crystal clear as to the nature of the serviced process or document and, if available, the individual’s identification number, as well as their full name and last name to whom service was attempted or rendered. At Undisputed Legal, we ensure that we record the time and date of service or each attempt at service in the case of non-service, making the nature and timing of process service in Namibia clear.

Deliveries made to the registrar must constitute the initial procedure or record and an alternate version in case it is unavailable. A Notary Public must attest this document as an accurate reproduction of the original.  If legal proceedings are underway, the registrar will certify the copy using a certification or endorsement attached to the serviceable process. Should any other document require certification, a Notary Public admitted to practice in the state must sign the copy. according to Namibian law, with the help of a notarial certificate attached to the paperwork in question upon request.

Before the registrar receives and transmits any process or document to the registrar, it is required to certify the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Forwarding any records or procedures to the Foreign Ministry’s Permanent Secretary may be done in cases where an individual is required to do so by a process or document served outside of Namibia must show up before a judge or jury no later than seventy-five days after the date for which the document or process was submitted to the registrar. 

Except for processes about the enforcement of civil judgments, the registrar of the High or Supreme Court or any clerk of the magistrate’s court, as applicable, may issue any process (excluding processes about the service of any process outside of Namibia) without the permission of the relevant court.`

Apostilling and Legalising Documents in Namibia

As a result of the Hague Convention, which abolished the need to legalize foreign public documents, apostilles were granted. Due to Namibia’s status as a State party to the Hague Apostille Convention, the authority to issue apostille certificates has been delegated to the Executive Director of the Ministry of Justice and the Registrar of the High Court.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation is responsible for the legalization process that verifies the document’s origin if it is to be used in a state that is not a signatory to the Convention. The authenticity of a document may be confirmed with the use of an Apostille certificate. All official papers produced by government agencies or other public organizations in Namibia or any other state party to the Convention must display this seal. The authenticity of a public document’s provenance is a prerequisite to its usage in another nation.

Records originating from a state official or authority having ties to the state’s judicial system, such as a government prosecutor, court clerk, or process server. Documents signed by private individuals may be certified by official bodies, such as a notary public or a registered public accountant, to attest to the authenticity of a signature or to verify the document’s existence on a specific date.

The Registrar of the High and Supreme Court of Namibia and the Directorate is where parties may obtain apostilles.  Legal Services in the Ministry of Justice are the appropriate authorities to receive applications for apostilles.

The Ministry of Justice’s Executive Director or Deputy Executive Director issues apostille documents handled by the Directorate of Legal Services. To get an Apostille, applicants must include the original document’s attachment and fill out the signatory’s full name, last name, and capacity. No other form of identification will be accepted except for a certified copy issued by a Notary Public.

Certificates of Notarial Services and Records from the Supreme and High Courts. A Notary Public, the High Court, or the Supreme Court must send all public papers issued to the Directorate of Legal Services. Our Undisputed Legal process servers are local to Namibia and guarantee service by the requirements of the department or court. 

What do Notaries in Namibia DO

An attorney in Namibia who acts as an impartial witness to the signing of a legal document is a notary public, an official commissioned by the public. A notary public is often required to witness the signing of specific legal papers, such as property deeds, affidavits, trusts, powers of attorney, bills of sale, and other formal transactional paperwork. One of the primary functions of a notary is to prevent fraud.

Notaries often want picture identification from all parties involved before signing any paperwork. If the notary has reason to suspect fraud or is suspicious about the signatures, they are not required to validate the document. The document is notarized by adding the notary’s seal and a notarial certificate.

Becoming a notary requires financial investment in training, materials, a bond, and an oath of office. It is illegal for a notary to provide legal advice, and doing so may result in a fine. Additionally, they should refrain from taking action when it would serve their interests.

Any signature attached to a document might have its legitimacy confirmed by a notary public when the notarization process is carried out. It is required by law that a notary public, who is also an attorney in good standing, draft and certify certain papers. Some benefits accrue to the parties with the documents drawn up this way. For example, when a document is signed in front of a notary, there is an assumption that all the statements made in it are true and understood by the people involved. The notary public is also presumed to have observed all the proper formalities. If this assumption is proven wrong, then the document is deemed invalid.

Power of Attorney in Namibia

In a Power of Attorney, an agent is someone who, after receiving authorization from the principal, binds another party (the Principal) to a legally binding conduct. What an agent does for a principal is called the substance of the Power of Attorney. When applying in person, the agent must provide both the original and an uncertified copy of their identification document. When applying, the Agent must provide a certified copy of their identification by email or regular mail. The validity of the ID cannot exceed three months.

The Principal must acquaint themselves with the gazetted fees charged by the Ministry for the service mentioned above, compare it to the fees charged by the Agent, and accept the fees charged by the Agent. The Agent and Principal will undertake to be bound by the laws of the Republic of Namibia. This means that they have to refrain from any corrupt practice or conduct in respect of the applications for services submitted by a Power of Attorney and about any conduct with the officials of the Ministry in general. 

The Agent will act on behalf of the Principal and can be liable as if they were the Principal for any wrongdoing. A power of attorney allows a party in Namibia to empower someone to act in your place.  Parties may use any power of attorney document supplied to them by their attorney, bank, company, etc.  For the US Embassy in Namibia, parties fill out their power of attorney documents before they come to the office but should not sign it in advance.

Proof of service in Namibia is something we at Undisputed Legal will always make sure to provide. If the process server’s affidavit is not included, it can be obtained electronically through the e-justice portal. The served document must be promptly sent to the individual who sought it, along with the evidence of service.  A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can guarantee that your documents are served to the right person each time and within time.

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 NAMIBIA

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 Namibia 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 authority to establish regulations to carry out the provisions of section 3 of this Act is to be considered an extension of the authority under the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944 (Act 32 of 1944).

2. Rules under the High Court Act, 1990 (Act 16 of 1990).

3. Any action taken under the Foreign Court Evidence Act, 1962 (Act 80of 1962) or that might have been taken under this Act is considered to have been brought under this Act

4. Namibian process servers can handle a wide variety of legal documents, including but not limited to: complaints, subpoenas, citations, small claims court proceedings, orders to show cause, divorce papers, and family court documents

5. Courts can only call witnesses from within their legislative authority unless they get help from other judicial or legislative bodies. A witness’s willingness to testify is oftentimes overwhelming. However, the court can compel witnesses to testify if they refuse to appear.

6. If the legal practitioner is a registered user of e-justice, service must be effected via that platform. Otherwise, the party initiating the proceedings may serve the necessary documents on the legal practitioner. Except for the issuance or execution of an arrest warrant, which can be lawfully carried out by the deputy sheriff between 07h00 and 19h00, no civil summons or order or any proceedings or act required in any civil action in Namibia can be validly carried out on a Sunday.

7. A judge or court will not issue such an order if they find evidence that would violate section 2 of the Second General Law Amendment Act, 1974 (Act 94 of 1974).

8. Returned to the Permanent Secretary for Justice with proof of service and an appropriate certificate duly sealed with the court’s seal for use beyond its jurisdiction are requests for service of civil process or citations.

9. The Ministry of Justice, Head Office, Justitia Building, Independence Avenue, 1st floor, Rooms 138-144, requires all applicants for public document apostille services to fill out an application form.

10. The fees for Namibian citizens who want to study abroad are N$100.00. The fees for citizens not mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (d) are N$150.00. For foreign nationals, the fees are N$200.00. For citizens of both Namibia and other countries, the costs for apostilles issued at diplomatic missions outside of Namibia are N$250.00.

BLOG DISCLAIMER

The information contained herein has been prepared in compliance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works. The articles/Images contained herein serve as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, educational, and research-as examples of activities that qualify as fair use. Undisputed Legal Inc. is a Process Service Agency and “Not A Law Firm” therefore the articles/images contained herein are for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice.