HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN SRI LANKA

This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in Sri Lanka.  The forms of government in Sri Lanka follow a semi-presidential and a parliamentary form of government, constituting the democratic republic. Sri Lanka as a democratic republic also calls for its inclusion as a unitary state, which is governed by a semi-presidential system, with a mixture of a presidential system and a parliamentary system. A two-thirds majority and a national referendum are required for the alteration of some fundamental elements, such as the sections on language, religion, and the reference to Sri Lanka as a unitary state.

Sri Lanka’s President is the country’s head of state, the military commander in chief, and the head of government. They are chosen by the people of Sri Lanka and serve a five-year term.

BACKGROUND

Members of parliament are chosen to serve in the government, which is headed by the president. While in office, the president is shielded from legal action for everything he or she does or does not do in an official or private capacity. 

Members of the Parliament are chosen for a five-year term through universal suffrage. After four and a half years, the president has the power to convene, postpone, or terminate a legislative session and dissolve Parliament. All legislation is made by the parliament. Various obligations fall within the prime minister’s purview, but he is primarily responsible for domestic matters.

Various cultural influences may be reflected in the judicial system’s enormous complexity. Criminal law is largely influenced by British precedents. Roman law and Dutch law are the primary sources of civil law. In certain circumstances, the Sinhala customary law (Kandyan law), the Thesavalamai, and Sharia law are used because of historic customary customs and religion. To serve on the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and High Courts of Appeals, presidents are elected. Lower court judges are appointed, transferred, and dismissed by a judicial service committee that includes the chief justice and two Supreme Court justices.

Each province has its provincial council, which is not under the control of any government. However, provincial councils do not often have control over land and police because of their status as regional administrations. A district-based civil service, in existence since colonial times, undertook all administrative functions for the provinces until 1987. Directly elected provincial councils now govern each province.

LITIGATION IN SRI LANKA

According to the High Court of Provinces (Special Provisions) Act No. 10 of 1996, major business disputes are often directed to the commercial high court of the relevant province as the primary venue for resolution. Disputes stemming from business transactions above LKR5 million are handled by the commercial high court. Sri Lanka Process Service has been established solely in the Western Province. Commercial issues emerging in other provinces are thus submitted to the district court in that jurisdiction.

The Prescription Ordinance sets forth the Sri Lanka Process Service timeframes for bringing a lawsuit to court (as amended). Land and immovable property cases must ensure Sri Lanka Process Service documents are filed within ten years of the date the plaintiff obtained legal possession of the subject property. This Sri Lanka Process Service requirement falls six years from the date of the breach of contract or the due date of the note, bill, or final interest payment for actions pertaining to contracts, agreements, promissory notes, and bills of exchange.

When a debt, loss, or claim exceeds LKR5 million, the High Court of Provinces gives the Commercial High Court of the relevant province competence to hear a civil lawsuit. The Supreme Court may hear appeals from commercial high court decisions. The High Court of Civil Appeal may hear appeals from district court rulings and orders. The Supreme Court is the last appellate court. Sri Lankan courts do not allow foreign attorneys to represent their clients.

DOMESTIC SERVICE OF LEGAL PAPERS IN SRI LANKA

Anyone wishing to take legal action against a state agency or official must notify the agency or individual in question of Sri Lanka Process Service; according to each state agency or authority, the Sri Lanka Process Service notice period varies greatly. 

Pre-action Sri Lanka Process Service behavior standards and sanctions for noncompliance vary depending on the nature of the issue in significant business disputes involving private parties. A formal notice of arbitration must be served prior to the start of arbitration proceedings in most Sri Lanka Process Service cases. A written letter from the creditor to the debtor requesting payment and warning that failure to do so may result in legal action is regarded as good practice (but not required) in money recovery cases.

There are also typical clauses in business contracts mandating that certain Sri Lanka Process Service stages must be completed within a particular period before litigation may begin (such as sending a formal Sri Lanka Process Service letter or notice of demand, and so on). An opponent’s preliminary objections may lead to the dismissal of an action if a party goes straight to litigation without following these Sri Lanka Process Service stages first.

Claims and annexures must be filed, and the claimant must ask the court to the defendant notice of the action. In order to pursue legal action, one must do it within the appropriate statute of limitations. The defendant is served with Sri Lanka Process Service notice of the case (as well as copies of the papers filed) by both registered mail and the court fiscal in a routine action. A report specifying the date, time, and location of the Sri Lanka Process Service or the inability to identify the defendant at the address supplied by the claimant must be filed with the court fiscal officer upon serving the papers. The claimant will need to give the court information on the defendant’s whereabouts in the latter Sri Lanka Process Service scenario.

Once the summons is returned, the court fiscal officer will give out their report in court. In order for the defendants to respond to the claim, they must appear in person or via an attorney-at-law and seek a date from the court. Once pleadings have been filed, the matter will be set for pre-trial hearings. Parties have to then provide a list of witnesses and Sri Lanka Process Service documents to the opposite side, along with a list of recommended problems and admissions. The judge makes their rulings on the matters to be tried during the pre-trial hearing. Interrogatories and document discovery/inspection may also be requested by the disputing parties (among other things). Both sides are capable of proving their cases via the use of witnesses and documents. The testimony of witnesses may be presented in the form of an affidavit.

Completing and submitting final written submissions and documentation is an integral part of the Sri Lanka Process Service. If necessary, the court will schedule a date for the parties to submit their final written arguments and evidence-marked papers. If a local court issued an inter partes or ex parte decision, the process for enforcing that judgment in the local courts is different.

According to Sri Lankan law, contractual parties’ choice of law and dispute resolution mechanisms (usually arbitration) are largely respected by the courts. Certain statutes have, nevertheless, been ruled by the courts to supersede private agreements on the choice of law and conflict adjudication processes to take precedence. 

SRI LANKA AND THE HAGUE SERVICE CONVENTION

The HCCH Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters 1965 is implemented in Sri Lanka Process Service by the Mutual Assistance Act No. 39 of 2000. (Hague Service Convention).

Any party in Sri Lanka may be served with foreign proceedings. Prior to sending a request to the Foreign Ministry, the responsible foreign authority must send a letter requesting help with serving international proceedings and Sri Lanka Process Service documents to the central authority. 

Postal service will be used to deliver the goods. In certain cases, Sri Lanka Process Service summons and notifications may be served via registered mail with the authorization of the court.

Since Sri Lanka has signed the Hague Evidence Convention 1970 (Hague Agreement), it is bound by its mutual assistance law, the Mutual Assistance Act in Civil and Commercial Matters (MACT). Sections 9 and 10 of the Act allow a foreign authority to seek evidence to be obtained in Sri Lanka in connection with a commercial or civil case in a designated nation from the central authority of Sri Lanka. Rejecting a Sri Lanka Process Service request may be done for a variety of reasons, including harm to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty or security or a belief that the Sri Lanka Process Service request is outside of the purview of the court. There must be written permission from the central authority to allow a district judge to take evidence and transmit it.

There has yet to be any domestic implementation of Sri Lanka’s agreement to HCCH Convention 1971 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgements in Civil and Commercial Matters (Hague Foreign Judgments Convention) by the Sri Lankan Parliament.  However, it is mentioned that the Mutual Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters Act 39 of 2000, the Hague Service Convention on the Abroad of Judicial or Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, and the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters and for Matters Connected Thereto or Related Thereto are incorporated into Sri Lanka Process Service law.

For each nation, it provides a list of services that may be obtained and how to pay for them. The Judicial Service Commission Circular No. 358 on making payments has several revisions that are not included or are additions that some nations have made from time to time.

A sworn translator’s seal should always be attached to any Sri Lanka Process Service document being translated and confirmed as a genuine copy.

RECIPROCAL EXECUTION OF JUDGEMENTS ORDINANCE IN SRI LANKA

The Reciprocal Execution of Judgements Ordinance No.41 of 1921 (REJO) allows for the enforcement of foreign money judgments made in countries such as Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia. Singapore and Malaysia were included as commonwealth territories to the applicability of the REJO in 1926. Under section 5 of the REJO, the Supreme Court issued this secondary law called Rules of Court.

According to the REJO, foreign judgment registration applications must be filed in the same manner as summary procedures with a formal application and supporting documents (rule 1, Supreme Court Rules). As long as all relevant conditions have been met, the court will issue an order for the enforcement of the judgment (rule 4, Supreme Court Rules). 

The registrar will be instructed by the court to issue a Sri Lanka Process Service summons returnable date to the defendant when an application is submitted. The defendant must demonstrate why the decision should not be recorded and enforced on that date. Ex parte judgments are made after final written submissions by the applicant are filed if the defendant fails to appear in court for a scheduled appearance.

Action in the Sri Lankan court must be brought in order to enforce a decision entered in a jurisdiction that is not mentioned in the REJO. The claimant might rely on the foreign ruling to bolster their case.

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 SRI LANKA

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 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 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

Sources

1. Until the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 2015, there was no term restriction for the president.

2. There are 225 seats in the Sri Lankan Parliament, 196 of which are multi-seat constituencies and 29 of which are proportional representation seats.

3. Northern and Eastern provinces were briefly combined to create the North-East Province from 1989 to 2006, but this merger was never finalized.

4. One year from the day the debt is due for actions related to products sold/delivered, work or labor done, and bills or book debts (section 8, Prescription Ordinance).

In tort cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accrual of the claim (section 9, Prescription Ordinance).

Three years from the date of accrual of the cause of action for exempted acts and other kinds of actions (section 10, Prescription Ordinance).

5. Special Provisions) Act No. 10 of 1996

6. When a vessel is involved in an admiralty court process, the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act applies.

Company-related applications are subject to the provisions of the Companies Act (for example, minority shareholder applications, winding-up applications, and applications for oppression and mismanagement).

7. Sections 5(1) and 6(1) of the Mutual Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters Act require that summonses and other papers be served on the appropriate parties.

8. For these Acts, the Secretary to the Ministry, Minister in charge of Justice shall be referred to as the ‘Central Authority,’ and the Ministry of Justice is responsible for implementing the requirements of the Acts, as stated in the legislation. Judicial Service Commission Circular No. 358, dated 12.02.2013, was published to help with the judicial aspects of this process and to regularise the whole thing.

9. Foreign papers referring to Russia and Vietnam must be translated into their native language.

The Ministry of Justice must be visited in person in order to pay a fee equal to 150 US dollars for the capital region of Canberra.

All payments should be made in person at the Ministry.

10. Sums due to the Ministry of Justice from several nations for summons service

96 dollars in the United States

(Canadian currency): $100

Sri Lankan rupees – Indonesian rupees Rs 1000

4. Japan – 1000 yen in Japanese currency.

$ 110 New Zealand – $110

6. Singapore – Singapore costs $ 35.

11. Canada and the United States are the only nations where the Hague form is required.

Australia

Germany

Japan

The British Isles

Korea

Additionally, the papers should be given extra attention in order to make the aforementioned procedure easier.

12. A foreign decision may be refused registration under Rule 9 of the Supreme Court Rules and Section 3(2) of the REJO.

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