HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN PARAGUAY

Paraguay Process Service is a means of notifying another party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body of an initial legal action so that they might reply to it. Effectively, Paraguay Process Service is the act of delivering a collection of court papers (referred to as ‘process’) to the person to be served.

Order to show cause, petitions, discovery documents, motions, and more are all handled by Paraguay’s process servers. These servers also serve divorce papers, family court paperwork as well as subpoenas and citations.

BACKGROUND

The Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay is the country’s foundational legislation. As of June 20, 1992, the amendment has been passed by a National Constitutional Convention. After a military dictatorship that lasted for more than three decades and was one of the longest in Latin America, Paraguay’s constitution was drafted exactly three years after democracy was established.

New normative criteria have been included in this constitution. To wit: Spanish and Guarani are now recognized as the country’s two official languages. As a result, public schools are required to educate students in their native language in elementary and high school. Spanish immigrants brought their language and culture to the area, although it was used by indigenous Guarani people for centuries before they were colonized by the Europeans

Contrary to the previous constitution, which required the President of the Republic to proclaim Roman Catholicism, the current one does not create an official religion. Since its independence from Spain in 1811, Paraguay has adopted four constitutions. After fifty-name years of independence, the first was issued in 1870. In light of the growing influence of humanist thought in the latter half of the 19th century, this constitution was one of the most democratic ever drafted. The Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America, both drafted in 1787, laid the foundation for this ideology, which was later adopted by the French Revolution in their Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights, both drafted in 1789.

In 1967, the four political parties that had been in existence at the time approved the third constitution. The bicameral legislature was reinstated under this constitution. 

When it comes to serving legal documents in other countries, Central and South American countries offer a wide range of choices. Although several Central and South American countries have ratified the Hague Service Convention, they are not a party to the region as a whole. An alternative is provided by the Additional Protocol to the Inter-American Letters Rogatory Convention, which is a multilateral agreement to which countries are signatories. The inter-American service convention is a welcome alternative for international process service since only three nations in Central and South America have ratified the Hague Service Convention.

PROCESS SERVICE IN PARAGUAY

The Hague Service Convention does not apply to Paraguay. Regardless of whether a country is a signatory of the Hague Service Convention, private process servers may nonetheless serve papers. The way Paraguay Process Service is delivered here is quite similar to how it is pushed forward in the United States. However, the turnaround time is somewhat greater. Informal Paraguay Process Service, on the other hand, is usually far quicker than the official technique. Off-duty police officers and other government officials may be permitted to use their official status to finish the Paraguay Process Service in certain situations.

States that have not objected to Paraguay Process Service by mail under Article 10(a) of the convention and jurisdictions that accept it under relevant law are eligible for Paraguay Process Service by mail. THE Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters does not apply to Paraguay. ˇ

The Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, Department of Justice should also be contacted for Paraguay Process Service direction by U.S. federal or state prosecutors. In criminal cases, the defense may use the letter’s rogatory procedure to request court help in gathering evidence or serving Paraguay Process Service papers outside of the country of the defendant’s home country. By contacting the U.S. Department of State Authentication Office and then having the seal of the U.S. Department of State verified by the Paraguayan Embassy in Washington, D.C., documents issued in the United States may be authenticated for use in Paraguay. The Secretary of State of the state in which the document was issued must validate it before it may be accepted by the federal government.

INTER AMERICAN CONVENTION IN PARAGUAY

The Inter-American Convention has been signed by Guatemala, Uruguay, Panama, and Peru. International treaties like the Hague and Inter-American have been signed by several countries, including Mexico. Using Letters Rogatory and requiring translation of all Paraguay Process Service documents served, the Hague Convention has many similarities with the Inter-American Convention. Hague Convention and Inter-American Convention have noteworthy differences, though. The lack of clearly defined central authorities is one of these issues. With no clear structure of the Central Authority, it is difficult to know where to submit paperwork to ensure that Paraguay Process Service is provided.

Significant variations continue despite the Inter-American Convention’s attempts to standardize the service of process among its members. According to Article 2 of the Inter-American Treaty, this convention is only applicable to civil and commercial matters. Only Chile has said that it intends to broaden the scope of Article 16 to include criminal and administrative matters.

The Inter-American Convention is preferable to ordinary Letters Rogatory for serving process throughout Central and South America. Members of this convention have committed to work together to serve process, particularly in civil and commercial proceedings, under this agreement. When the Inter-American Treaty is a possibility, the Hague Service Convention is out of the question.

INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION: HOW DOES IT OPERATE?

The Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol may make it easier for countries to work together on law enforcement issues (IACAP). Treaty status is only granted to countries who sign both agreements, which the United States regards as limited to the serving of process. The Convention’s technique of serving documents via a foreign central authority replaces the previous practice of letters rogatory. 

There are provisions in the IACAP that allow for Paraguay Process Service use in criminal and administrative processes, apart from civil and economic problems This is the first time that Chile has said that it plans to utilize the IACAP. Legal routes, diplomatic or consular agents, and/or central authorities in the countries in which the letters are being sent may all be used to deliver rogatory letters to their intended recipients. Each signatory state must notify the Organization of American States General Secretariat of the Central Authority with the authority to accept and deliver letters.

LETTERS ROGATORY

According to tradition, formal letters rogatory are not necessary. When there is no treaty or other agreement, letters rogatory are used to seek judicial assistance from outside the country. The sovereignty of a nation may be violated if an act is carried out without the approval of a foreign court. This kind of letter is issued by the courts of one nation to the courts of another. Letters rogatory may be used to serve process or collect evidence if permitted by the laws of the foreign country.

Prior to beginning the letters rogatory procedure, parties should confirm that the country in which process and evidence are to be served or taken is not a party to any multilateral treaties on judicial assistance, such as the Hague Service and Evidence conventions or the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol. With these agreements, requesting judicial assistance has become easier and quicker, decreasing the time and effort required to write usual letters of rogatory. It is necessary to make sure that the necessary Paraguay Process Service has [A.] an authenticated copy of the complaint with its supporting documents, and of other exhibits or rulings that serve as the basis for the measure requested; [B.] written information identifying the judicial authority issuing the letter, indicating the time limits allowed the person affected to act upon the request, and warning.

Three copies of the summons and complaint or other papers to be served should accompany the request for Paraguay Process Service. There should be at least three copies of the requested documents in addition to the original and two copies of the Paraguay Process Service request. Even if the form itself doesn’t need to be translated, any documents that need to be served in the foreign country, including summonses and complaints, must be translated.

An official signature from the Clerk of the U.S. District Court is essential and cannot be eliminated. As part of IACAP, the form must have the seal of judicial or other authority in the countries of origin, together with the signature and stamp of the Central Authority. To complete the form, the clerk of the court in the United States where the matter is now pending must sign and seal it with their seal and signature. The signature and stamp of the U.S. Central Authority will be performed by a Department of Justice contractor.

Arriving in the country where the service is to be carried out is the first step. The documentation must be completed in full if the Paraguay Process Service is to be completed accurately and thoroughly. If the documents are not complete, they will be returned. Even if the IACAP says that processing requests should be free of charge, it is possible under the IACAP to charge parties for expenditures incurred in providing service in accordance with local law. A fee of USD 25.00 will be payable to the government of various international countries. It has been ruled out in Mexico and Argentina that a charge is required. Countries that signed the Convention and Additional Protocol have yet to respond. If Paraguay Process Service is required in a country other than Mexico or Argentina, a certified check or money order for USD25.00 made payable to the foreign central authority must be delivered with the form and documents to be served. If there is no service fee on the account, the check will be reimbursed.

When a problem arises as a consequence of implementing the measure sought in a letter rogatory, it is up to the authorities of the State of destination to resolve issues of Paraguay Process Service. If they determine that they do not have the power to carry out the letter rogatory, they must ex officio send the papers and antecedents of the Paraguay Process Service case to the authority of the state that has jurisdiction. IACAP mandates that, in addition to the Central Authority, a judicial authority of origin sign and seal all necessary convention forms before they may be used. The translation of Paraguay Process Service documents served, such as summons and complaints, is required even if this Paraguay Process Service form does not need a translation. As proof of delivery, the foreign central authority will sign page 7 of the form. The International Association for the Advancement of Civil and Commercial Rights only addresses civil and commercial issues (IACAP).

The Convention and its Additional Protocol do not directly address the problem of Paraguay Process Service by letter. It is important to confer with local counsel to find out whether mail or other methods of Paraguay Process Service are available, and what influence the use of other channels has on later efforts to execute a U.S. ruling in a foreign country.

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Sources

1. Section 1 contains the Preamble, which summarises the fundamental purposes and principles of the Constitution; Section 2 includes articles 49 to 291; and Section 3 has 20 articles that provide final considerations, such as the derogation of the Constitution that had been valid until that time.

2. The Guarani language is spoken by 80% of the people of Paraguay, making it the only Southern American nation to be officially bilingual. The official language in the 1967 Constitution, which was written in Spanish, was not English.

3. After a coup on February 18, 1940, when General José Félix Estigarribia gained complete control of the country, the political charter of 1940 became the second constitution. A 1940 Executive Order 2242 ratified and implemented the Constitution, both written and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On August 4, 1940, a plebiscite was held to approve the new constitution.

4. U.S. Central Authority for the treaty is the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Foreign Litigation, based in Washington, DC; Inter-American Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol service requests may be directed to a contractor of the U.S. Justice Department, to be sent to the Brazilian Central Authority.

5. U.S. Embassy in Asuncion is located at 1776 Mariscal Lopez Avenue in Asunción, Paraguay, and may be contacted by phone at +(595)(21) 213-715 or through fax at +(595)(21) 229-581.

6. Answer to the 2008 Hague Conference on Private International Law inquiry on the practical application of the Hague Service Convention. The Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol is signed by the United States and Paraguay.

7. A year or more is typical for countries that have not joined the Hague Service Convention and instead rely on the Inter-American Convention.

8. Department of Justice is the US Central Authority for the IACAP. When the Department of Justice sends requests to the U.S. Central Authority, the requests are routed to a private contractor who handles the Central Authority’s service needs.

9. Central authorities of the countries involved in the Inter-American Service Convention receive requests for assistance. The court in the sending country must also sign off on the requests, but this must be done via the central authority. 

10. The exception to this rule is the border states. When a court in a border area of a state party responds on a request directly from the parties, it does not need authentication. Lawyers representing their clients in border states may request that the U.S. central authority get proof of service directly from the central authorities in those states. As a consequence, include a return address in your inquiry is very essential. This information should contain the name and location of the attorney. The U.S. Central Authority must authenticate a request from a border state to the Mexican Central Authority in accordance with the Hague Apostille Convention.

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