HOW THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY WORKS IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

This article will provide guidance on how the central authority works in the Dominican Republic.  Sending paperwork abroad is no easy feat. A good process server must adhere strictly to the laws of the nation of service in order to execute service properly.  Both official service via Letters Rogatory and informal means of service are available in the Dominican Republic. Countries that have ratified the Hague Service Convention often choose this service since the Hague Convention allows for service that is both efficient and inexpensive. Unfortunately, the Dominican Republic is not yet a party to the Hague Service Convention. Therefore, that means service of process via that mechanism is not yet an option. Click here for a video on International Process Service.

As the number of member nations continues to rise, the prospect of future service under the Hague Convention is not out of the question. But until then, serving someone in the Dominican Republic formally requires the use of the Letters Rogatory. The team at  Undisputed Legal has been serving legal documents across the globe, including the Dominican Republic. Whether via Letters Rogatory or informal means, our staff is well-versed in the ins and outs of completing service quickly and effectively. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Legal Process using Letters Rogatory

Letters Rogatory are the exclusive means of official process serving in the Dominican Republic. While the process of service by Letters Rogatory might be lengthy at times, it is the most reliable way to guarantee that the judgments obtained will be enforced.

One country’s judicial system may ask another for help via the Letters Rogatory procedure. Before submitting them to the district court for a U.S. judge to sign, Letters Rogatory must be meticulously crafted and authorized by the Office of Internal Affairs (OAI) while serving in the Dominican Republic. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic receives requests for help via diplomatic channels.

The foreign judge is still required to decide whether to accept or reject the request for service after receiving the Letters Rogatory. Following approval of the service request, service will be carried out in compliance with applicable local laws.  Collaborating with a competent and knowledgeable process server like those at Undisputed Legal throughout this procedure is crucial to avoid denial of service due to inadequate information or incorrect formatting. 

Informal means of service would also be considered acceptable in the Dominican Republic. Directly contacting an agent to seek support could be the best option in certain cases. This kind of service is carried out in tandem with a local process server like those at Undisputed Legal and is completed by using procedures that are comparable to those used by domestic process servers. Service via an agent has several advantages, including a much shorter processing time compared to more formal techniques like Letters Rogatory, but it also has some major disadvantages.

When papers are served using Letters Rogatory or an informal mode, the need for translation is determined on an individual basis. Translation into Spanish (or another language) will be required to effectuate service in many instances involving the American court system since defendants are required to be able to comprehend the papers served to them under U.S. due process legislation.

The Dominican Republic’s Letters Rogatory procedure for document service is notoriously slow, typically taking up to a year. Yet, if parties hire a professional process server, they may cut down on needless delays and speed up the procedure. Legal papers are usually served more quickly when handled informally via an agent. However, it takes around a week to two weeks on average and might take longer in certain cases.

Undisputed Legal has professional process servers to assist you with document serving in the Dominican Republic. Your papers will be served swiftly and in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations thanks to our extensive expertise in effectuating service overseas, especially in the Dominican Republic. Click Here for information on the Code of Civil Procedure in Dominican Republic.

A Synopsis of the Dominican Republic’s Judicial and Administrative Structure.

There is a separation of powers in the Dominican Republic’s unitary state government, with the legislative, executive, and judicial departments carrying out their duties separately. The Superior Administrative Tribunal, which consists of Dominican Republic Accounts Chamber justices, decides on disputes between public officials, public agencies, and private parties. The Office of the Comptroller General, headed by an appointment of the president, is responsible for exercising internal control over the administration and public finances. 

Agencies of the Dominican government are both independent and decentralized. The latter group consists of the municipal councils, elected every four years by the people and run by a trustee or mayor responsible for carrying out the councils’ policies and ordinances.

Understanding the Central Authority in the Dominican Republic

Foreign individuals will be served with legal documents at the court prosecutor’s address that will be hearing the case. The prosecutor will then endorse the original document and send a copy to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The Foreign Notification Division of the Directorate of Consular Services is responsible for care unit operations. 

Foreign nationals and Dominicans alike may visit any of the Dominican consulate offices or use the MIREX website to make an online request to get the certification they need to work legally in the Dominican Republic or another country. Individuals may request a notification certification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is necessary to provide a  Proof of Identity for the Applicant as well as the receipt for the first tax payment. Supplemental materials or application assistance and payment can be made via mail.

Adherence to and execution of foreign rulings

After obtaining an exequatur decision from the Civil and Commercial Chamber Court of First Instance of the National District, judgments obtained in foreign courts with competent jurisdiction can be recognized and enforced in the Dominican Republic.  The foreign judgment is transformed into an enforceable title upon exequatur award. The exequatur can only be obtained when the judgment has been apostilled and, if needed, translated into Spanish.

The summons to appear before the justices of the peace should include [A.] the date, month, and year; [B.] the demanding party’s name, occupation, and address; [C.] the sheriff’s name, residence, domicile, and position; [D.] the defendant’s name and residence; [E.] a brief explanation of the claim’s purpose and its origin; [F.] the name and address of the justice of the peace who will hear the case; and [G.] the date and time of the appearance. For cases involving only personal or moveable property, the summons will be served on the judge of the peace residing at the defendant’s domicile. In the absence of such a dwelling, it will be served on the justice of the peace residing in the defendant’s employment.

The defendant’s bailiff will serve all summonses and ensure a duplicate remains at their residence. If no one is home to receive it, it will be left with the municipal trustee in the capitals of municipalities and the mayor in the fields. If the defendant does not appear by the specified date, the judge of the peace will rescind the original summons and charge the plaintiff with the expenses of the initial summons.

In circumstances of extreme urgency, justices of the peace may grant instantaneous summonses upon presentation of proper identification, sometimes even on the same day as the designated time. As a last resort, the parties can immediately appear before a justice of the peace who will know their differences.

If the defendant is not asked to appear in person or if they are unable to do so, their challenge to the sentence imposed by default as a last option might be considered. Within fifteen days of receiving news of the judge’s sentence, the bailiff commissioned by the court must file the same.

Notary Services in the  Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic provides citizens with notary public services through consular delegations abroad. These services are essential for any activity or function that requires documents or signatures that must be executed under the laws of the Dominican Republic or any other country.

The management of notarial acts at Dominican consular offices is open to all residents.  It is necessary to provide a Dominican identification card and the representative’s official identification, such as a passport. It is further important to provide the complete name, last name, date of birth, and address of the attorney, as well as details on anything the interested party would like to know. The time required ranges from one to two hours, according to staff availability, amount of prior requests, and urgency.

All in-person services for United States citizens must be scheduled in advance. Before booking, it is important to confirm the service and the document’s approval by the right authorities. The town hall, register, tax, or immigration offices may represent the Dominican, United States, or other governments.

Dominican consulate authorities can witness document signing during affidavit, affirmation, or oath and create certified copies of documents. Parties may get United States official documents ‘legalized,’ meaning they include a US public official’s signature, stamp, or seal by obtaining confirmation from the Legalization Office. 

Power of attorney in the Dominican Republic

When one person or organization (the ‘proxy’) appoints another (the agent) to act on their behalf in any legal proceeding involving Dominican or foreign institutions, this is known as a power of attorney. It is necessary to provide the identification of the proxy (valid government-issued photo ID, passport, or driver’s license). This also includes proprietary identification documents (e.g., driver’s license, passport, or ID card).  

A power of attorney draft that includes as much detail as possible on the representation’s aim, i.e., all the things the proxy wants the plaintiff to do on their behalf. Notarized by a notary public close to the buyer’s residence if we cannot receive the permit submission at our headquarters. It is also important to provide a title deed, bank account, financial certificate, or other document proving the power of attorney’s legal ability to act on behalf of the plaintiff with respect to any property, whether real or personal.

A designated Agent is necessary for a Power of Attorney to be signed by the beneficiary before a Notary Public of the location where the power is subscribed; the original power of attorney (in Spanish) must be legalized before the Attorney General’s Office. The Power of Attorney must provide the location and date of subscription. Notary public legalization must occur on the same day and location. Then, it is important to fill out the form with the help of two witnesses, one of whom must be a general present. Relatives of the Notary Public, plaintiff, or proxy are not admissible as witnesses. 

 All parties involved, including the Proxy, the Plaintiff, and the witnesses, must sign in blue ink and use the same signature as on their identification paper. The Power of Attorney should include no changes, omissions, cross-outs, or other remarks. A Judicial Interpreter must translate a power of attorney from a language other than Spanish and then have it legalized by the Attorney General’s Office. It is important to ensure the principal and attorney provide valid copies of their most recent passport or identification card, showing both sides.

The principal has the authority to provide all the required paperwork, withdraw communications, sign any paperwork, and issue a discharge receipt for the procedures, information, and communications received to carry out the mandate that was granted. The survival request must include the name and basic details of the person who has passed away.

Consular offices may ask for additional criteria not included here based on the unique aspects of each notarial act. If consular staff have doubts about the service’s usefulness to the citizen, believe it would harm the applicant’s future interests, or question the public trust in the diplomatic office, they might refuse to handle the service. It includes a pre-printed (pre-stamped) and red-lined (with their direction) cover to return the documents. Here at Undisputed Legal, we take further precautions to make sure that the person being represented is apprised of this next step and the contents of the documents.  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, mailed to 590 Madison Avenue, 21 Floor, New York, New York 10022, or dropped off at any of our locations. We do require pre-payment 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 THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

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 Dominican Republic 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 highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, is comprised of four (4) lawmakers and two (2) current or former members appointed by the National Magistrates’ Council, which the President of the Republic heads.

2. This procedure was established by the Code of Civil Procedure of the Dominican Republic and Complementary Legislation, Art. 68, as amended by Law No. 3459 of September 24, 1952, 8th paragraph.

3. Originally enacted as Article 73 of the Dominican Republic’s Code of Civil Procedure and Complementary Legislation and then amended by Law No. 1821 of October 14, 1948.

4. If the person being summoned does not live inside the Republic, the duration will be:

  1. Thirty days in the Arctic, Canadian, and Newfoundland regions.
  2. The US, Cuba, Haiti, and PR all in one span of fifteen days.
  3. Central America (including Panama) and Mexico (including the other Antilles)—45 days.
  4. South American nations or territories bordering the Atlantic or Caribbean Sea, sixty days.
  5. South American states or territories bordering the Pacific and other American regions, sixty-five days.
  6. European countries and territories (not including Russia) and North African states and territories—sixty days.
  7. Russia and other regions of the world, 120 days.
  8. All Dominican residents have access to certification services and other consular management concerns via the Dominican Republic’s overseas missions. This ensures that they may perform any activity or function that requires these services when they are needed. Subject to the laws of any nation, including the Dominican Republic.

5. The judgment can be enforced if it complies with the following requirements: 

  1. The judgment is in accordance with Dominican law, 
  2. does not violate public order, 
  3. has been translated into Spanish by an official translator, 
  4. was issued by a competent court after the defendant was given a chance to present its defense, 
  5. cannot be appealed further, and 
  6. was served upon the parties to the action.

6. Once the Dominican courts have granted recognition and an exequatur, sentences handed down by foreign courts as a consequence of these processes may be implemented in the Dominican Republic. In the same vein, the Dominican Republic recognizes and enforces interim remedies issued by the arbitral tribunal.

7. After fifteen days have passed from the date of notice to individuals residing in the same municipality, the appeal of penalties handed down by justices of the peace shall no longer be considered. In addition to the fifteen-day period specified in articles 73 and 1033 of this Code, individuals whose abode is outside the municipality have the same deadline to submit their appeal.

8. The Legalization Office checks the signature, stamp, and seal to verify the document’s legitimacy. A Hague Apostille stamp will validate the document.

9.    Adherence to the Haya Convention or legalization at the Dominican Consulate and certification by the Ministry of Foreign Relations (Cancellery) are necessary for any power not already in the Dominican Republic. (Estudiar la política del país donde se posiciona el poder).

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