HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN PERU

Peru is a multi-party presidential unitary republic.  To sustain a liberal democracy, the nation has adopted the 1993 Constitution, which replaced an earlier constitution that favored federalism to give the President greater authority.  The country is thus also dubbed a unitary republic, which means that the central government has the greatest authority and may set up new administrative divisions if it so chooses. 

Unlike the United States, Peru does not have a written constitution, an independent Supreme Court, or a presidential system. Instead, it blends aspects from both the United States and the People’s Republic of China (a unicameral congress, a premier, and a ministry system).

BACKGROUND

In the Peruvian government, one will find three divisions: [A.] the legislature, formed by the  President of Congress, Permanent Commission, and a hundred and thirty members of Congress (based on population) [ B.] The Cabinet to the President, the Council of Ministers, which in fact controls domestic legislation and consists of the Prime Minister and eighteen ministers of the state; [C.] the judiciary.

The President is both head of state and administration, and he or she is chosen for a five-year term without the possibility of instant reelection under its constitution. The Cabinet consists of eighteen ministers, including the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President.  With the president’s approval, the Prime Minister holds cabinet sessions in which ministers advise them and serve as a spokesman on their behalf.

In Peru’s Congress, a hundred and thirty members are elected to five-year terms from twenty-five administrative districts, each decided by population. Legislation is passed by a simple majority of the members of Congress after being introduced by the executive and legislative branches.

In spite of the fact that the court is supposedly independent, political interference in judicial proceedings has been prevalent in the past. The Peruvian Congress also has the power to vote down ministers, reprimand them, start impeachment proceedings, and convict them.  In the 1993 Peruvian Constitution, the legislative branch has the power to impeach the president, essentially making the executive branch subservient to the legislative branch.

The Peruvian electoral system employs mandatory voting for people between the ages of eighteen and seventy, including dual nationals and Peruvians living outside of the country. Proportional voting is used to elect members of Congress directly from their districts. The President and Vice President are chosen in a two-round system in a general election. The National Jury of Elections, the National Office of Electoral Processes, and the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status are responsible for overseeing and organizing elections.

In both legislative and presidential elections, Peru’s multi-party system is used. For decades, major political parties have favored economic liberalism, progressivism (especially Fujimorism), right-wing populism, nationalism, and reformism. The Constitutional Province of Callao and Lima (LIM), Peru’s capital city, is the only two of Peru’s twenty-six administrative divisions that are not part of a larger region. The regional governor and the regional council are chosen by the people of the twenty-four departments and the province of Callao under the provisions of the constitution.

The executive branch is headed by the Governor, who also makes budget proposals and draughts executive orders, resolutions, and regional plans. With regard to the region’s finances and regional officials, the Regional Council has the power to remove the governor or deputy governor, or any council member from office if necessary. Regions are governed by a governor and a council for a period of four years. Planning regional development, carrying out public investment projects, encouraging economic activity, and overseeing government property are all tasks carried out by these governments.

Municipal councils, like the one in Lima, are in charge of running the province. Decentralizing authority to regional and local governments was one of the main objectives of the reforms. In the process of decentralization, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) had a significant impact.

The term ‘metropolitan area’ is used to describe parts of Peru where district boundaries are blurred. One of the most populous, Lima, is the seventh-largest city in the Americas.

PERU LEGAL SYSTEM

Both the court system in Peru and the arbitration system are often used to resolve economic disputes in the country. All issues are covered by the general jurisdictional Peru Process Service, which is open to the public. A private system of justice recognized by the Constitution, arbitration, is the opposite. A prior Peru Process Service agreement between the parties is required (an arbitration agreement), excluding those involving the Peruvian Government, which are required by Peruvian law.

Arbitration or the Peruvian Code of Commerce may be used to settle business issues, depending on whether or not they are also covered by international trade agreements or the Peruvian Code of Commerce. Legal Decree No. 768 (Code of Civil Procedure) governs the procedure in the Peru Process Service Judiciary system. 

A lower court reviews a lower court’s judgment in the second step of an appeal court’s evaluation of a judge’s decision in the first instance of a business dispute (a higher judge or a superior court chamber). According to the amount of the cause and the location of the defendant’s residence, courts establish their Peru Process Service jurisdiction. First, a civil judge will evaluate the cause. Then, the Superior Court chamber will be in the upper court. If the ‘losing’ party files an unusual judicial review request (Cassation appeal) for the Supreme Court’s reconsideration of the case, the Supreme Court will review it. A third-instance appeal does not dispute the merits of the case, but rather the right application of the law in that Peru Process Service procedure (e.g. existence of grounds for invalidity of the proceedings, among others).

Judiciary proceedings are open to the public, save for those involving family or criminal concerns during the preliminary inquiry phase. Only the parties and their counsel have access to the Peru Process Service papers that are submitted in a trial. Nevertheless, the computerized system of the Judiciary will allow anybody with a file number to access the court judgments made via Peru Process Service. Unless the parties agree otherwise, Peru Process Service information exchanged during arbitration is strictly confidential. 

The Peruvian Judiciary system demands, as a precondition to bringing a suit, the execution of an out-of-court-directed settlement process (conciliation), which is projected to last one month. Parties must specifically agree on all aspects of the arbitration, such as the length of the procedure and the earlier stages (e.g. direct treats, voluntary conciliation, etc.)

PERU PROCESS SERVICE

There are a number of different ways to serve process, which is sometimes known as ‘serving process’ or ‘Peru Process Service.’ The Peru Process Service serves as 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. Peru Process Service is the act of delivering a collection of court papers to the person to be served.

A Peruvian process server may serve any form of legal document, including summonses and complaints, divorce papers, family court paperwork, subpoenas, citations, small claims court proceedings, and more. The Hague Service Convention does not apply to Peru.

Regardless of whether a country is a signatory of the Hague Service Convention, private process servers may nonetheless serve Peru Process Service papers. Off-duty police officers and other government officials may be permitted to use their official status to finish the Peru Process Service in certain situations. States that have not objected to Peru Process Service by mail under Article 10(a) of the convention and jurisdictions that accept it under relevant law are eligible for service by mail.

Peru is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. The United States and Peru are parties to the  Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and  Additional Protocol. The U.S. Central Authority for the treaty is the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Foreign Litigation, Washington, D.C.  Requests for service under the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol may be sent to the U.S. Department of Justice’s contractor,  Process Forwarding International (PFI), for transmittal to the Peruvian Central Authority.

INTER-AMERICAN SERVICE CONVENTION AND ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL

The Inter-American Service Convention and Additional Protocol are standing as a Peru Process Service alternative for the old letters rogatory method. Under the IASC, the Justice Department serves as the central authority for the United States. A commercial contractor serving as the U.S. Central Authority’s service provider transmits requests on behalf of the Department of Justice.

Forms USM-272 and 272A are used by parties to seek Peru Process Service assistance under the IASC. In addition to three Peru Process Service copies of the summons and complaint or other papers that must be served, the Peru Process Service request includes an original and two copies of the forms that must be filled out.

Letters rogatory are required as part of the Peru Process Service request, according to Article 3 of the Additional Protocol. Rather than requiring a formal letter rogatory, the US requirements for Peru Process Service establishes that the Form USM-272/272A meets this criterion. Form USM-272/272A must carry the seal and signature of a court or other authority in the country of origin, as well as the signature and stamp of the Central Authority, in contrast to the Hague Service Convention. Where it says ‘Signature and stamp of the judicial or other adjudicatory authority of the state of origin,’ the clerk of the court in the U.S. where the case is ongoing must affix their seal and signature on the form. The signature of the stamp of the U.S. Central Authority will be performed by a contractor for the Department of Justice.

Form USM-272/272A must include translations of all Peru Process Service documents delivered within the said form. As a good practice, it is recommended that Form USM-272/272A be translated into the language of the destination state, even if it is not obliged to be translated. Both the originating and the destination states’ Central Authorities must be contacted when submitting an IASC service request. Each IASC signatory, like the Hague Convention, has set up a Central Authority to receive Peru Process Service requests inside its boundaries and to carry out service in response to these demands.

The Central Authority in the destination state will provide Peru Process Service in accordance with local legislation after obtaining the necessary documentation.  Page 7 of the form will be signed by the foreign central authority as evidence of the Peru Process Service. Peru Process Service by mail is not provided explicitly in the Convention or Additional Protocol. If mail or other means of Peru Process Service are not available, or if the employment of other channels would affect subsequent attempts to have a U.S. decision locally enforced, litigants should seek advice from local counsel. 

In certain countries, the Convention request process takes around the same amount of time as the letter’s rogatory procedure. A request’s execution might take anything from six months to a year on average. Argentina and Peru, according to the U.S. Central Authority, have been able to process petitions more rapidly, on average within three months. With the Inter-American Service Convention (ISAS), serving court papers in numerous Latin American nations has become easier and more efficient. When it comes to Peru Process Service in contracting states, the IASC may be substantially speedier than the customary letters rogatory.

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Sources

1. There are 18 judges in the Supreme Court of Peru, which is also known as the Royal Audencia of Lima; 28 superior courts, 195 trial courts, and 1,838 districts

2. It is also possible for Peru’s President to ask the Congress of Peru for their confidence, as Alberto Fujimori did in 1992 and Martin Vizcarra in 2019.

3. Alberto Fujimori resigned before he was taken from office in 2000, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned in 2018, and Martin Vizcarra was removed from office in 2020 after the legislative assembly voted two partially successful impeachments.

4. Free Peru won the most seats in Congress in the most recent general election, which took place on April 11, 2021, although it came short of a majority.  President Pedro Castillo defeated Keiko Fujimori in a presidential runoff that took place on June 5, 2021

5. Unless otherwise specified, these laws are mostly binding. Regulations set by arbitral centres and the Peruvian Arbitration Law, as well as agreements between the parties, regulate arbitration (Legislative Decree No. 1071).

6. In the wake of the current Shelter-in-Place order issued by the federal government, only the parties and their attorneys are allowed to attend hearings in person, due to the distant nature of their participation. Judges have the option to hold sessions in person on rare occasions.

7. Arbitration proceedings involving the government, on the other hand, enable public access to their information once they have been finished.

8. One of the parties to a business dispute initiates any court action or arbitration. Trials usually begin with the filing of a lawsuit. There are two ways to commence an arbitration: either by submitting a formal request for arbitration to an arbitration center or by appointing a lone arbitrator or arbitrator court (an Ad Hoc arbitration). Arbitration rules are established by the lone arbitrator/Arbitration court, which must first be agreed upon by both parties before a case can be filed.

9. U.S. Embassy Lima

Avenida La Encalada cdra. 17 s/n

Surco, Lima 33

Peru

Telephone: + (51) (1) 618-2000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (51) (1) 618-2000

Fax: + (51) (1) 618-2724

Email: LimaACS@state.gov

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agency – Cusco

Av. El Sol 449, Suite #201

Cusco, Peru

Telephone: + (51) (84) 231-474

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (51) 984-621-369

Fax: + (51) (84) 245-102

Email: CuscoACS@state.gov

10. IASC’s goal was to standardize servicing of process processes among its signatories. Argentina, Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador El Salvador Guatemala Mexico Panama Paraguay Peru Uruguay The Hague Convention was signed by just three countries: Mexico, Argentina, and Venezuela.

11. Many IASC contracting nations’ Central Authorities are mentioned on the OAS Department of International Law website.  According to the US State Department, inquiries that do not go via official procedures are often returned unanswered.

12. No postal service is provided by the IASC. It’s up to the legislation of the destination state to decide whether postal service in a signatory state would be allowed.

13. Consular Affairs Bureau will help find out whether postal service is permitted in the intended destination state.

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