HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN SERBIA

At the intersection of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkans, Serbia is a landlocked country in Southeast Europe. As a result, it claims a land border with Albania through Kosovo, which is claimed by both Albania and the country of North Macedonia. It also shares land borders with Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, as well as a maritime border with the Republic of Macedonia.  Nearly seven million people live inside the borders of Serbia. Serbia’s biggest city is also its capital, Belgrade.

The Republic of Serbia is overseen by three branches of government: the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches. The 1835 Constitution of Serbia (also known as the Sretenje Constitution) was one of Europe’s first modern constitutions and was widely regarded as one of the continent’s most progressive and liberal.  Decisions on constitutional issues are made by the Constitutional Court.

BACKGROUND

As the country’s chief executive, the President of the Republic (Predsednik Republike) is chosen by popular vote for a five-year term and is only allowed to serve a maximum of two terms under the country’s constitution. It is the president’s responsibility to appoint a prime minister with parliament’s approval and to exert some influence on foreign policy. 

Those who serve in the Cabinet (Vlada) make up the executive branch of government. In addition to creating and enforcing legislation, the government is tasked with setting foreign and domestic policy priorities.  The unicameral National Assembly (Narodna skuptina) governs the country. The National Assembly has the power to enact laws, approve the budget, schedule presidential elections, select and dismiss the Prime Minister and other ministers, declare war, and ratify international treaties and agreements, among other duties.  It has two hundred and fifty members, all of whom are elected proportionally and serve staggered four-year terms. 

Following the 2020 parliamentary election, the largest political parties in the National Assembly are the populist Serbian Progressive Party and Socialist Party of Serbia, that with its partners, hold more than a supermajority number of seats.

After France, Austria, and the Netherlands, Serbia is the fourth modern European nation to have a codified legal system.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN SERBIA

As the highest court, the Supreme Court of Cassation serves as a final arbiter of legal disputes, followed by the Courts of Appeal and the Basic and High Courts of Justice. The Administrative Court, business courts (including the Commercial Court of Appeal in the second instance), and misdemeanor courts are all tribunals with particular Serbia Process Service authorities (including the High Misdemeanor Court in the second instance).

Those in the Ministry of Justice are responsible for ensuring that the judiciary is operating properly. Serbia’s legal system is based on Serbia Process Service civil law. Ministry of the Interior subordinates the Serbian Police, which is in charge of enforcing the laws of the country. The Security Intelligence Agency is responsible for national security and counterintelligence (BIA). 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs handles all foreign affairs. A total of sixty-five embassies and twenty-three consulates represent Serbia across the world. At present, Serbia is home to sixty-nine foreign embassies as well as five consulates and four liaison offices. The strategic objective of Serbian foreign policy is to join the European Union (EU). 

Serbia joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 2006, paving the way for collaboration and communication. Resolution enacted in December 2007 by Serbia’s parliament legally declared the country’s military neutrality, making joining any military alliance reliant on a democratic referendum, a position recognized by NATO. On the other side, Serbian-Russian ties are often referred to in the media as a “centuries-old religious, ethnic, and political alliance,” Russia has allegedly attempted to strengthen its connection with Serbia since the introduction of sanctions against Russia in 2014. 

Municipalities, districts, and the two autonomous provinces comprise Serbia’s unitary state. Municipalities (optine) and cities (gradovi) are the fundamental units of local self-government in Serbia, excluding Kosovo. Aside from cities, there are twenty-four districts in Serbia (okruzi), with Belgrade serving as a district. Local governments exist in one city, Belgrade; the rest of Serbia’s districts are regional centers for governmental authority but have no jurisdiction. 

Two provinces, Vojvodina in northern Serbia and the disputed regions of Kosovo and Metohija in southern Serbia, are recognized as autonomous under Serbia’s Constitution, whereas the rest of Central Serbia has never had its own regional administration. 

how to serve legal DOCUMENTS IN SERBIA

Documents may be served via the postal Serbia Process Service, diplomatic/consular agents, judicial officers, authorities, or other competent people under the Hague Convention. Articles 8 to 10 address these Serbian Process Service arrangements, which may or may not be accepted as a proper method of serving Serbian Process Service papers on the territory of member nations. According to Article 5, all member nations are required to use a central agency to serve the papers. It normally takes four to twelve months to get Serbian Process Service from a central agency. Even if a central agency fails to provide a certificate of Serbia Process Service or delivery after six months, the convention provides redress to the claimants. In such cases, the court may, if it considers that a reasonable time has elapsed, give its Serbian Process Service judgment. Courts may also impose temporary orders or protective measures before the six-month waiting period has expired in cases of Serbian Process Service emergency.

There is no charge for this Serbia Process Service, but the central authority may take up to a year to complete it. The Serbia Process Service approach to be employed is selected by the central authority. Serbian Process Service by mail may also be used in certain situations. However, bailiffs are often employed by local courts to serve papers and provide back confirmation of delivery. 

States that have not objected to service by mail under Article 10(a) of the convention and jurisdictions that accept it under relevant law are eligible for service by mail. For this reason, it is allowed in France and the Netherlands, whereas it is impossible to get inbound service via the central authority in Germany, Switzerland, or South Korea. 

Hague Convention on Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters is ratified by Serbia. Convention-related information, including an online request form, may be found on the Hague Conference website. There should be two sets of papers to be served, and translations are given to Serbia’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention in order for a Serbia Process Service request to be processed. An attorney or a court clerk should fill out the request form on behalf of the individual requesting the United States. An attorney or a court clerk’s title should be included in the areas for the applicant’s name, address, and signature/stamp. Serbia expressly opposed service under Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention in its Declarations and Reservations and does not allow Serbian Process Service via postal channels.

The Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters applies to Serbia. Serbia became a party to the Hague Evidence Convention on August 31, 2012. There is no need to send Serbian Process Service requests for compulsion of evidence under the Hague Convention through diplomatic channels if they may be sent directly to Serbia’s Central Authority by the seeking court or individual in the United States. Creating a Serbian Process Service letter of request might be aided by consulting the Model Letters of Request under the Hague Evidence Convention. Requests should be made in Serbian in addition to English. 

The Central Authority for Serbia for the Hague Evidence Convention (Article 16) and persons appointed as commissioners (Article 17) may only conduct voluntary depositions of willing Serbian national witnesses after obtaining permission from the Serbian Declarations and Reservations regarding the Hague Evidence Convention (Serbian Declarations and Reservations). With regard to Article 15, Serbia has not made any public statements; thus, diplomatic or consular employees may take the stand on behalf of any American citizen who is prepared to testify before the United States courts. If the deponent agrees to be deposed voluntarily, telephone depositions and video teleconference testimony are permitted in Serbia. In order to ensure that the witness, translator, and stenographer are all sworn in by a U.S. consular official before the court, prior preparations must be made with the embassy in advance.

According to the Hague Convention on Legalizing Foreign Public Documents, Serbia is a signatory to this treaty. Authentication of Serbian public papers is performed by Serbia’s competent authority for the Hague Apostille Convention. The party is summoned by the Court for the purpose of the Serbia Process Service of documents. If the party does not appear before the Court, the document is sent to the party through the Post. The Republic of Serbia requires documents, which are to be served under Article 5(1), to be in – or translated into – the official language of the Republic of Serbia. The time for execution of the request is approximately up to 3 months.

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.

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 – 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, 4 Fl East, Washington DC 20037

for assistance serving legal papers in Serbia

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Sources

1. They’ve had a total of ten different constitutions since then. The current constitution was adopted in 2006 as a result of the reaffirmation of Serbia’s independence by Montenegro voters.  

2. President Aleksandar Vui, a member of the Serbian Progressive Party, won re-election in 2017. The presidential palace is located in Novi Dvor.

3. Ana Brnabi, a member of the Serbian Progressive Party, serves as the country’s current prime minister.

4. Serbia ranked fifth in Europe in terms of the number of women in high-level public positions in 2021

5. The Serbian Police has a total of 27,363 personnel in uniform.

6. The Holy See, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and the European Union all have diplomatic ties with Serbia.

7. On April 29, 2008, Serbia signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement, beginning the process toward EU membership, and on December 22, 2009, Serbia submitted its formal application for membership. It was granted full candidate status on March 1, 2012, and accession negotiations began on January 21, 2014, when it first obtained it. This might happen by 2025, according to European Commission estimates. 

8. Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed its independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. Serbia first withdrew its diplomats from nations that recognized Kosovo’s independence in protest] According to the National Assembly’s December 26, 2007 decision, recognizing Kosovo’s independence would be a flagrant breach of international law. 

9. In accordance with UNSC Resolution 1244, UN troops were sent to Kosovo and Metohija after the Kosovo War. According to the Serbian authorities, the declaration of independence made by Kosovo in February 2008 was unlawful and illegitimate.

10. U.S. Embassy Belgrade

Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karadordevica 92

11040 Belgrade

Serbia

Telephone: +(381) (11) 706-4000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(381) (11) 706-4000

Fax: +(381) (11) 706-4481

Email: belgradeacs@state.gov

11. (Art. 3(1)): The courts, public enforcement officers, and notary public

Methods of service

(Art. 5(1)(2)): In accordance with the Civil Procedure Law (“OfficialGazette of the RS,” No. 72/2011, 49/2013 –CC decision, 74/2013 –CC decision, 55/2014, 87/2018 I 18/2020), the incoming requests are executed as follows

12. For the United States, requests from Serbia to get evidence Office of International Judicial Assistance, Department of Justice, Civil Division, 1100 L Street N.W. Room 8102 in Washington, DC 20530 is the US Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention.

13. Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia

Sector for international legal assistance

Department for international legal assistance in civil matters

Nemanjina 22/26 Str.

11000 Belgrade

Republic of Serbia

+381 11 2685 672

+381 11 3631 078

+381 11 3622 352

mlacivil@mpravde.gov.rs

www.mpravde.gov.rs

Ms. Maja Cvetanović

Ms. Sanja Kos

Ms. Ružica Lazović

Serbian, English

14. Derogatory channels (bilateral or multilateral agreements or internal law permitting other transmission channels)

(Arts. 11, 19, 24, and 25)

Agreement between the Republic Serbia and Montenegro on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Criminal Matters of 29 May 2009 (Official Gazette of the RS –International Treaties, No 1/10

Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Criminal Matters between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia of 29 November 2011 (Official Gazette of RS –International Treaties, No 5 of 22 November 2012)

Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Criminal Matters between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Slovenia of 15 April 2011 (Official Gazette of RS – International Treaties, No 5 of 22 November 2012)

All three agreements allow court-to-court (and other authorized authorities) service for general aspects of MLA (delivery and delivery of certain acts, documents, and notifications.

Agreement between the Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on amendments and supplements to the Agreement between Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina on legal assistance in civil and criminal matters of 26 February 2010

This agreement allows court-to-court (and other authorized authorities) service for providing legal assistance in administrative matters, as well as for submitting an invitation for a probate hearing or taking a hereditary statement in probate proceedings

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