Jamaica is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The Governor-General of Jamaica serves as Jamaica’s head of state, representing Queen Elizabeth. Nominations for the position of governor-general are made by Jamaica’s Prime Minister and the Cabinet as a whole, and the monarch then officially names the person. The governor-general, on the recommendation of the prime minister, selects all Cabinet members.
Apart from their reserve powers to be used in particular constitutional crisis scenarios, the king and the governor-general play essentially ceremonial duties. There has been a long-running dispute in Jamaica over the role of the monarchy; today, both main political parties are dedicated to a republic with a president.
Bipartisan joint committees of Jamaica’s legislature wrote the country’s present constitution in 1962, which was ratified in 1963. In 1962, the Parliament of the United Kingdom approved the Jamaica Independence Act, which granted independence to Jamaica.
The House of Representatives (Lower House) and the Senate (upper house) make up Jamaica’s bicameral legislature (Upper House). Members of Parliament (also known as MPs) are elected directly by the people, and the governor-general appoints the prime minister from among the members of the House of Representatives based on his or her ability to command the trust of the people. The prime minister and the legislative Leader of the Opposition jointly propose senators, who are subsequently selected by the governor-general and are then sworn in.
HOW IS JAMAICA’S JUDICIAL SYSTEM ORGANISED
Jamaica’s judicial system is based on English common law and precedents from the Commonwealth of Nations. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the last court of appeal, however, the Caribbean Court of Justice was proposed by Parliament in the 2000s as a replacement.
Politically Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head. Her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-General of Jamaica. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.
DOMESTIC PROCESS SERVICE IN JAMAICA
A claim form is served personally on an individual by handing it to or leaving it with the person to be served. Personal service of the claim form in Jamaica is proved by an affidavit sworn by the server stating [A.] the date and time of service; [B.] the precise place or address at which it was served; [C.] the precise manner by which the person on whom the claim form was served was identified; and [D.] precisely how the claim form was served.
If the person served was identified by another person, there must also be filed where practicable an affidavit by that person that serves the purpose of proving the identity of the person served and stating how the maker of the affidavit was able to identify the person served.
If the server identified the person to be served by means of a photograph or description there must also be filed an affidavit by a person verifying the description or photograph as being of the person intended to be served as well as stating how the maker of the affidavit is able to verify the description or photograph as being of the person intended to be served.
DOMESTIC PROCESS SERVICE ON A COMPANY IN JAMAICA
Jamaica Process Service on a limited company may be effected [A.] by leaving the claim form at the registered office of the company; [B.] by sending the claim form by telex, FAX or prepaid post or cable addressed to the registered office of the company; [C.] by serving the claim form personally on an officer or manager of the company at any place of business of the company which has a real connection with the claim; [D.] by serving the claim form personally on any director, officer, receiver, receiver-manager or liquidator of the company; or [E.] in any other way allowed by any enactment.
Jamaica Process Service on a firm or partnership may be effected by serving the claim form personally on a manager of the firm at any place of business of the firm or partnership which has a real connection with the claim. It may also be done by serving the claim form personally on any partner of the firm. If the claimant knows that a partnership has been dissolved when the claim is issued, the claim form must be served personally to every person within the jurisdiction whom the claimant seeks to make liable.
Jamaica Process Service on a body corporate (other than a limited company) may be effected either by sending the claim form by prepaid post to the principal office of the body corporate or by serving the claim form personally on any principal officer of the body corporate.
PROCESS SERVICE BY MAIL IN JAMAICA
Jamaica Process Service by post is proved by an affidavit of service by the person responsible for posting the claim form to the person to be served. The affidavit must exhibit a copy of the claim form and state the address to which it was sent; and the date and time of posting.
Jamaica Process Service by electronic means is proved by an affidavit of service by the person responsible for transmitting the claim form to the person to be served. Electronic confirmation of delivery may be treated as proof of service for a document that is served electronically and may include a written e-mail response, a read receipt, a successful FAX transmission notification, or an automated response that a document was posted on an online shared drive.
ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SERVICE IN JAMAICA
Instead of personal service, a party may choose an alternative method of service. Where a party chooses an alternative method of service; and the court is asked to take any step on the basis that the claim form has been served; the party who served the claim form must file evidence on affidavit proving that the method of service was sufficient to enable the defendant to ascertain the contents of the claim form.
If the court is not satisfied that the method of service chosen was sufficient to enable the defendant to ascertain the contents of the claim form, the court office must fix a date, time, and place to consider making an order and give at least seven days notice to the claimant.
The court may direct that a claim form served by a method specified in the court’s order be deemed to be good service. An application for an order to serve by a specified method may be made without notice but must be supported by evidence on affidavit specifying the method of service proposed, and showing that that method of service is likely to enable the person to be served to ascertain the contents of the claim form and statement of claim.
INTERNATIONAL PROCESS SERVICE IN JAMAICA
Jamaica is not a signatory of The Hague Service Convention which means that the use of Letters Rogatory for service of process is the only other option. To exercise jurisdiction over another party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body, the method known as ‘service of process is used to provide adequate notice of an initial legal action to such parties, bodies, or tribunals’ (such as a defendant). Court papers (called ‘process’) are sent to a process server, who in turn serves them to the person they were sent to.
One must therefore resort to the formal process of Letters Rogatory or informal service with the aid of a Jamaican attorney or private process server. Letters Rogatory is a process that is used for serving pleadings in countries that are not signatories of the Hague Service Convention. The court in the foreign jurisdiction would issue a request to a court in Jamaica requesting international judicial assistance related to service of process. In a letter rogatory, a foreign court is asked to provide a certain sort of assistance by a local court. Letters rogatory are often used to obtain service of process or evidence. In order to get evidence from a witness, a court may turn to a foreign court for help. This evidence may be used to address inquiries about a factual problem or to make documents publicly available.
There are instances when foreign judicial or legislative assistance is required for a court to summon witnesses from outside of the jurisdiction of its own legislature. The use of letters rogatory to seek the collection of evidence has been largely superseded by applications under Section 1782 Discovery under 28 USC 1782 in US court.
Service of process in the United States (and most likely Canada) may be accomplished by mail, if allowed by the rules of the forum court, by Letter Rogatory, or by private process serving companies. Most U.S. courts, where service is allowable by mail, to begin with, allow mail service on foreign defendants only where it is not prohibited by the rules of the foreign jurisdiction. However, service by letter rogatory is a preferable route, since this is an official request from the forum court for judicial assistance from a Jamaican court.
Faster than a Letter Rogatory and more reliable in terms of the facts than regular mail. It is possible to verify that local regulations are obeyed by a Jamaican process server, therefore preventing a court from rejecting an enforcement action afterward. Check to see whether you can show that the evidence of service complies with both domestic and international laws.
Whether it’s a summons and complaint or a divorce petition, a subpoena, or an order to show cause, Jamaican process servers can handle any form of legal document that has to be served. Any country may still use private process servers to serve papers, regardless of whether or not the country is a signatory. When it comes to process service, procedures in Jamaica are quite comparable to those in the United States, but the turnaround time is much longer. In certain parts of Jamaica, customs and traditions contribute to a slower pace and less rigorous work practices. A month or more is not uncommon for official service to take although informal service is often considerably quicker. Process servers outside of their official duties are often off-duty police officers or other government employees who may act in their official capacity to execute the service.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NEXT?
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 of your 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 of 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
1. An office held by Patrick Allen since 2009
2. Andrew Holness has served as Prime Minister of Jamaica since March 2016.
3. A claim form may be served out of the jurisdiction with the permission of the court where – (a) a claim is made to enforce, rescind, dissolve or otherwise affect a contract or to obtain any other remedy in respect of a breach of contract and (in either case) the contract – (i) was made within the jurisdiction; (ii) was made by or through an agent trading or residing within the jurisdiction; (iii) was to be wholly or partly performed within the jurisdiction; (iv) is by its terms or by implication governed by the law of Jamaica; or (v) contains a term to the effect that the court shall have jurisdiction to determine any claim in respect of the contract; (b) a claim is made in respect of a breach of contract committed within the jurisdiction; or (c) the claim is for a declaration that no contract exists where, if the contract was found to exist, it would comply with the conditions set out in paragraph (a) or (b). Claims in tort (4) A claim form may be served out of the jurisdiction with the permission of the court where a claim in tort is made and – (a) the damage was sustained within the jurisdiction, or (b) the damage sustained resulted from an act committed within the jurisdiction. Enforcement (5) A claim form may be served out of the jurisdiction with the permission of the court where a claim is made to enforce any judgment or arbitral award made within the jurisdiction.
4. In this rule –
‘principal officer’ means the mayor, chairman, or president of the body, or the town clerk, chief executive officer, clerk, secretary, treasurer, or other similar officers of the body.
5. The affidavit must exhibit a copy of –
- a.the document served;
- b. any cover sheet or email to that document;
- c.the transmission record; and
- d. proof of electronic service of the document, and must state the –
- electronic means by which the document was served;
- ii. e-mail address or FAX number to which the document was transmitted; and
date and time of the transmission
6. An affidavit under paragraph (2) must –
- a.exhibit a copy of the documents served;
- b.give details of the method of service used;
- c.show that –
- the person intended to be served was able to ascertain the contents of the documents; or
- ii.it is likely that he or she would have been able to do so; and
- d.state the time when the person served was or was likely to have been in a position to ascertain the contents of the documents.
- The court office must immediately refer any affidavit filed under paragraph (2) to a judge, master, or registrar who must –
- a.consider the evidence; and
- b. endorse on the affidavit whether it satisfactorily proves service.
7. 3 U.S.T. 3426; 1951 U.S.T. LEXIS 519, June 6, 1951, Date-Signed September 7, 1952 Date-in-Force.
Under Part VI, Article 17(g) ‘a consular officer may within his district…serve judicial documents on behalf of the sending state 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.’
8. 22 CFR 92.86 states as follows:
Service of legal process usually prohibited. The service of process and legal papers is not normally a Foreign Service function. Except when directed by the Department of State, officers of the Foreign Service are prohibited from serving process or legal papers or appointing other persons to do. [32 FR 11776, Aug. 16, 1967]
9. U.S. Embassy Kingston
142 Old Hope Road
Jamaica, West Indies
10. USC Title 22 Foreign Relations, Chapter I Department of State, Sec 92.54. Letters Rogatory through diplomatic channels is mandated for formal service in all countries that are not parties to an international process treaty. Documents must be sent through diplomatic channels adhering to strict formal diplomatic protocol. The lengthy and expensive procedures are not to be confused with the procedures of The Inter-American Treaty on Letters Rogatory, which does not go through the diplomatic channel, even though these methods of service share a confusingly similar name.