HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN SAUDI ARABIA

A Saudi Arabian process service may serve summons and complaints, divorce papers, family court documents, subpoenas, citations, small claims court proceedings, petitions, discovery documents, motions, and more.

Formal Saudi Arabia Process Service might take up to a month or more, while informal service is often considerably shorter. Off-duty police officers and other government officials may be allowed to use their official status to fulfill the Saudi Arabia Process Service in certain instances.

DOMESTIC PROCESS SERVICE IN SAUDI ARABIA

Sharia law, as practiced in Saudi Arabia, does not impose a time restriction on bringing a claim. A claim’s ability to be filed in one court or another may be revoked, yet the claim itself may be heard in a different court entirely.

The court system comprises the Supreme Court, Appellate Courts, and the Courts of the First Instance. Claims are often filed in commercial courts to resolve business disagreements. The commercial court rules specify which claims may be presented before the court as business claims. Claims must be commercial in character or perpetrated by a person who is considered a merchant.

Banking and intellectual property (IP) conflicts are also taken into account by business courts. Because Saudi Arabia is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), any IP that is protected by the WIPO is likewise protected in Saudi Arabia.

The Civil Procedure Law outlines the Saudi Arabia Process Service rules that attorneys must follow in order to get licensed to practice law. In order to apply for the license, an applicant must be a Saudi citizen, have a college degree in legal studies or Islamic studies, and have at least one year of experience practicing law after getting a master’s degree. The candidate must have a clean criminal record and be of excellent moral character. Anyone may hire a lawyer to represent them if they sign a Power of Attorney, which is not covered by the Civil Procedure Law (Wakalah).

In order to represent another person, a lawyer must be licensed or practice under the supervision of a professional attorney. Foreign attorneys are prohibited from participating in civil proceedings under the Civil Procedure Law. Therefore, they will not have the right of the audience unless they represent the claimant. The government of Saudi Arabia sets no fees for court proceedings. Costs are paid to the appointed lawyers and solely funded by the parties to the action. It is customary for the winning party to ask the court to make the other party pay for their attorneys’ fees. The court typically makes an order for the specified amount. However, there are no fixed prices, and costs differ from one case to another.

It is common for law firms in Saudi Arabia to provide set Saudi Arabia Process Service fees and for payment to be made in three parts. The first 30% is paid at the beginning of the trial, the second 30% during the trial, and the last payment is made after the court issues the decision. Contingency fees are rare.

Where the client refuses to abide by the contract and does not pay the Saudi Arabia Process Service fees, the court will appoint an expert from the Saudi Bar Association to file a report and will grant the claimants an injunction based on it.

PRE-ACTION CONDUCT IN SAUDI ARABIA

To avoid pre-trial preparation, Saudi Arabia Process Service evidence is not disclosed. After a claim is filed, all legal proceedings begin. The court hearing will be delayed if a party fails to cooperate before filing a Saudi Arabia Process Service claim.

A lawsuit is started by submitting a claim in court. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice website now allows citizens to register a legal complaint. However, this strategy is not accepted by all courts. If a document is required to be submitted, the court has the authority to stipulate that it must be given physically. Commercial courts generally accept electronic copies of claims; however, there are exceptions under Saudi Arabia’s Process Service.

The court will set a hearing date and issue a subpoena to the defendant after the claim is filed. A court clerk may be used to deliver the subpoena if the court has the authority. If the subpoena was issued electronically, Saudi Arabia Process Service would be delivered to the defendant by the clerk who issued it, who will then provide a report to the court verifying receipt. In order to transmit subpoenas directly to a defendant’s registered mobile phone or email, the Ministry of Justice has established a new mechanism. The judge must be informed of Saudi Arabia Process Service.

Alternatively, the claimant may deliver the subpoena, although this needs the defendant’s cooperation. A subpoena may be obtained from the court clerk, given to the defendant, and signed before being handed to the judge by the claimant. Subpoenas may be delivered and reported on by other government authorities in the event that this method fails.

Depending on how the subpoena was served, the initial court date may have to be re-noticed to the defendant for the second hearing. It will proceed during the trial if the defendant shows up for the hearing or session.

MAIN STAGES OF THE PROCEEDING

Provisional consideration will be given to the case’s merits in urgent cases when a delay may have a detrimental impact. The court having jurisdiction will do so (Article 205, Civil Procedure Law). If the application for a provisional action were brought separately or as part of the original lawsuit, this judgment would not impact the merits of the case.

As soon as a disputed case has been heard by a court, a person may petition for an expedited hearing to address an urgent problem. At any point throughout the trial, the Saudi Arabia Process Service request might be made orally or in writing. There is no time limit on the court’s decision on whether to grant or deny the urgent request. 

Local court and legal proceedings are cost-free. If the successful party requests payment for attorneys’ fees during proceedings, the judge will consider the Saudi Arabia Process Service request and can either accept or reject it. If accepted, the judge will include the Saudi Arabia Process Service request in the final decision and will be calculated according to the market rate. The successful party can file a separate case requesting attorneys’ fees if the request is rejected. No interest is awarded on costs, except for cases heard by the banking disputes committee. Interest is not a concept accepted under sharia law.

ENFORCEMENT OF A LOCAL JUDGMENT

All court rulings will be upheld by the Enforcement Court. It is essential for an applicant to file an online application for electronic execution via the Ministry of Justice’s official website.  The application is sent to an enforcement agency for consideration. The original executive bond is brought to the execution judge (containing judgments and commercial paperwork). The debtor is notified of the verdict against it and ordered to pay via official channels.

A debtor’s services may be halted, bank accounts frozen, the debtor’s travel halted, and any receivables owing to the debtor held if the source of such receivables is government organizations.

Each court has exclusive authority to decide a case. When parties agree that their dispute would be handled by a commercial court, Saudi Arabia Process Service might nonetheless be dismissed if that court determines the issue does not, in fact, involve commerce. As an example, parties in a legal dispute cannot agree on a different court’s jurisdiction (e.g., if a legal issue is currently being heard in an administrative court, the parties can’t agree to bring it in a commercial court) (for example, if the jurisdiction is to the personal status court and the parties agree for it to be in the general court). Agreements made in these situations are invalid.

The geographical jurisdiction of the local courts is respected. However, in certain situations, the court retains jurisdiction. Cases involving Saudi Arabian property or family and personal status, to name only a few (such as divorce, custody, and alimony). Other than that, the court abides by the decisions of the parties. Courts in Saudi Arabia will have Saudi Arabia Process Service jurisdiction over disputes if both parties agree to it unless the case involves property located outside of Saudi Arabia.

SERVICE OF FOREIGN LEGAL PAPERS IN SAUDI ARABIA

The court cannot hear the case without validating the accuracy of the Saudi Arabia Process Service method, which is a critical step in every litigation. The defendant is told that a lawsuit has been filed against it or that an action has been done, and they need to be made aware. So long as the defendant has been notified of the lawsuit and has agreed to appear in court, the judge will not hear the case.

Arab nations have agreed to cooperate in judicial matters by signing the Riyadh Arab Agreement for Judicial Co-operation (the Riyadh Convention). GCC Convention for Execution of Judgments, Delegations, and Judicial Notifications was also signed by the country. ‘ However, in order to tell a Saudi Arabian resident about foreign litigation, the proper channels must be used. A notice must be sent to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs to notify Saudi Arabia’s consulate. A copy is subsequently forwarded to the Saudi Foreign Ministry, which forwards it to the closest court to the person’s home.

According to international legal standards, the foreign court that rendered the  Saudi Arabia Process Service judgment or order lacks jurisdiction to hear the case for which the foreign decision or order was made in the first place. A Saudi Arabia Process Service summons was sent to the parties involved in the action for which the foreign judgment or order was made, and they had the opportunity to defend themselves. There is no conflict with any other judgment or order made on the same topic by another competent legal body in Saudi Arabia, according to the rules of the issuing court. It must be ensured that no elements in the decision or order conflict with Saudi Arabia’s national policy.

Foreign judgments and orders that are to be implemented must be accompanied by the necessary papers, according to Article 11 of the Enforcement Law’s Implementing Regulations. This includes an official copy of the judgment or order, which is either sealed or linked to the enforcement order wording, and a certificate from a court authority authorized to examine the litigation in that state declaring that the decision is final (unless otherwise stated in the judgment itself.

Depending on the legislation of the nation that implements and enforces the papers issued in Saudi Arabia and on reciprocity, it is possible to get documents verified in a foreign country. An approved translation agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Justice are required to certify and translate documents issued by foreign governmental authorities.

According to Article 11(5), an affidavit from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Justice must be submitted to the enforcement court to verify that the state where the judgment or foreign order was made has a reciprocal arrangement with Saudi Arabia.

SAUDI ARABIA’S HISTORY WITH THE HAGUE CONVENTION

According to the Saudi Arabian cabinet’s decision made on July 25, 2016, Saudi Arabia joined the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). Internal ratification and formal signing are still pending, although this will likely happen soon. 

Even if a country is not a member of the HCCH, it may still participate in its conventions if it wishes. Despite the fact that at least some of the Hague Conventions are widely accepted across the globe, Saudia Arabia has yet to ratify any of them. Cross-border dispute resolution and other cross-border legal matters may see advances in the Kingdom if its decision to join the HCCH membership rolls is any indicator.

The Hague Service Convention, ratified by sixty-eight countries since its founding in 1965, simplifies the Saudi Arabia Process Service of legal papers from one country to another without the necessity for idiosyncratic or parochial techniques or the use of diplomatic channels. Accession to this Convention would put the Kingdom in line with its trade partners since the Kingdom has always maintained a protective posture toward its inhabitants and residents in the past.

HOW IS PROCESS SERVICE DONE UNDER THE HAGUE CONVENTION

Once a lawsuit is filed, and evidence is gathered across borders, the courts of the Kingdom will have a better chance of resolving it. Letters of request may be sent from one signatory party to another signatory state without diplomatic channels under the Hague Evidence Convention of 1970.  Aside from allowing foreign courts to request Saudi Arabia Process Service evidence from the Kingdom, this would also enable people of the Kingdom to get the same evidence from abroad while litigating domestically.

More legal certainty might also be achieved by making it possible for foreign judgments against Kingdom-based parties to be enforced against such parties. Even though this was formerly a problem, it seems that the Kingdom’s courts and legislation have made it possible to execute at least simple foreign judgments pertaining to payment claims without serious complications after recent court rulings. Although it may not be ideal, it may be possible for the Kingdom to accede to the Hague Convention on the Recognition of Foreign Judgments without substantial Saudi Arabia Process Service consequences or problems. 

A step in the right direction would be the apostille procedure’s streamlining of legalization criteria for international papers. According to Saudi Arabian law, certified Saudi Arabia Process Service papers are an essential part of the process. The Hague Apostille Convention stipulates that a recognized authority in the country of origin may certify Saudi Arabia Process Service papers for use in Saudi Arabia by apostille, which would expedite the process of cross-border M&A, foreign direct investment, and immigration, to mention just a few.

After all of these years, it is encouraging to see the Kingdom’s intention to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) as another positive development. Assurances that due process would accompany foreign enterprises into the Kingdom and that the same applies to outbound Saudi investors are needed. To guarantee that private conflicts are adjudicated in an impartial manner, the capacity to gather evidence and therefore ensuring that the adjudication is open and transparent are three fundamental elements that may be accomplished by simple accession to existing international treaties. Assent to these international accords would ease foreign investment in the Kingdom and, at the same time, allow outbound Saudi investors to more readily seek redress in problems. 

OUR PROCESS

Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed ps@undisputedlegal.com, or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment 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.; All documents will be received by our receptionist.

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OFFICE LOCATIONS

New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
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Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
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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 – 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, 4 Fl East, Washington DC 20037

for assistance serving legal papers in Saudi Arabia

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Sources

1. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Deputy Ministry for Consular Affairs

Contact person:

Dr. Mohammad Abdulrahman Alshammeri

Email: malshammeri@mofa.gov.sa

Mob: +966506108082

Tareq Alfayez

Email: Tfayez@mofa.gov.sa

Mob: +966505165075

2. The promissory notes will not be considered commercial documents if the recipient does not submit a claim within three years. This means that a lawsuit against the debtor in the enforcement court would not be possible, but it may be pursued in a general or superior court, depending on the size of a claim, and the promissory note would be recognized as a loan rather than an execution instrument

3. Documents and contracts that provide written proof.

Two types of evidence may be used in court: oral testimony and expert testimony.

4. Summary cases can include the following matters (Article 206, Law of Civil Procedure):

Inspections to establish a condition.

  • Injunctions banning travel.
  • Injunctions banning interference with possession and recovery of possession.
  • Suspension of new actions.
  • Requests for receivership.
  • Cases relating to daily wages.
  • Other cases are deemed urgent by law.

5. A third of the debtor’s income will be deducted by the execution judge if it is not utilized to settle the debt. It is also possible for a court to take the debtor’s assets and/or real estate.

If the debtor does not have any money or property to satisfy the debts, the execution judge must keep the debtor.

For example, if it is determined that the debtor (and anybody supporting him or her) hid or smuggled the money, he or she will be penalized.

6. Article 28, Civil Procedure Law; Article 36, Implementing Regulations)

7. A certified copy of the notification of judgment document, or any other document that establishes the defendant’s notice, is required for absentee judgments.

  • Stating that no prior instances exist.
  • Document attestation and translation.

8. For example, in-kind claims for property inside Saudi Arabia cannot be enforced if a foreign judgment or order is only examined by Saudi courts by virtue of legislation (Article 11(6)).

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