Located between the bigger islands of Saint Vincent and Grenada, the Grenadines are a group of smaller islands. Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Union Island, Petit St Vincent, Palm Island, and Mayreau, all in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Petite Martinique and Carriacou in Grenada are the other nine inhabited and open-to-the-public islands. Many other privately owned islands, including Calivigny, are home to human beings as well. Petit Nevis, utilized by whalers, and Petit Mustique, the site of a high-profile real estate fraud in the early 2000s, are two notable deserted islands in the Grenadines.
BACKGROUND on st. vincent and grenadines
About thirty-two islands and cays make up the northern two-thirds of the chain, which belongs to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Grenada occupies the southernmost portion of the chain. In terms of population and size, Carriacou is the Grenadines’ most populated island.
Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are two of the three island states that make up the Caribbean. They are located between the islands of Saint Vincent and Grenada. There are no Grenadine islands in Saint Vincent or Grenada. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines owns the islands to the north of the Martinique Channel, while Grenada owns the islands to the south
St Vincent and the Grenadines is a party to the Hague Service Convention and Evidence Convention. However, it is not a party to the Apostille Convention or the Inter-American Convention. It retains a US Embassy in the area of Bridgetown.
HOW IS THE SERVICE CONVENTION APPLICABLE IN ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
In cross-border matters, service is a necessary but time-consuming aspect of the legal process. The Service Convention aims to shorten this procedure by providing a common framework that makes it easier to transmit judicial or extrajudicial papers to be served overseas.
A central transmission channel is established between the Contracting Parties, although there is still the option to utilize other channels. There are no substantive regulations in the Convention pertaining to the actual serving process, which is the primary focus of the said agreement. As a result of the Convention, there are two methods for transmitting documents that contain St. Vincent and The Grenadines Process Service: direct diplomatic or consular channels and the postal system. A further step that is not controlled by the Convention is necessary for all other channels of transmission to accomplish process service on the final recipient.
To serve a document in accordance with the Convention, the address of the person to be served must be known and the document must pertain to a civil or commercial issue, as defined by the Convention (Art. 1). If these conditions are satisfied, then the Convention’s transmission channels must be used in accordance with the Convention. It is vital to keep in mind that the legislation of the forum will decide whether or not transmission to another Contracting Party is required.
In accordance with Articles 8 and 9, diplomatic or consular channels, postal channels, direct communication between judicial officers, officials, or other competent persons, and direct communication between an interested party and such persons are all channels of transmission permitted by the Convention. Similarly, Articles 10a, 10b, and 10c allow for direct communication between an interested party and judicial officers, officials, or other competent persons.
There is no hierarchy of transmission channels, and broadcasting through one of the alternative channels does not result in a worse quality process service. They may object to the use of other channels by a Contracting Party (Art. 10.)
how to serve legal papers VIA THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY in st. vincent and grenadines
Central Authority of the Contracting Party in which St. Vincent and the Grenadines process service is to be performed receives a request for process service from an authority or judicial officer competent in one Contracting Party (Art. 5). The request must adhere to the Convention’s Model Form.
Under its own legislation, the Central Authority of the requested Contracting Party must serve the document or arrange for its St. Vincent and the Grenadines Process Service by a competent authority (Art. 5). There are exceptions to this rule, such as when an application (i.e., the forwarding authority in the desired Contracting Party) requests a specific method or process, as long as it does not conflict with that country’s legislation and does not violate international law.
Lastly, the authority executing the request must sign and date the certificate appended to the Convention, saying whether or not St. Vincent and the Grenadines process service was completed or why it was not (Art. 6).
The Convention protects defendants against a default judgment regardless of the method of communication. Unless it can be shown that St. Vincent and the Grenadine Process Service were effective under the Convention, a default judgment will not be issued (Art. 15). In cases when a judge has already handed down a verdict, a defendant may still seek legal aid (Art. 16).
Central authorities are established in all Contracting Parties under the Convention. It is the primary responsibility of a Central Authority to accept and process requests for the process service of papers. Additional authorities may be designated by the Contracting Parties and the scope of their competence may be determined by the Contracting Parties.
Using contemporary technology in the transmission and implementation of requests is permitted under the Convention’s text, which is technology-neutral.
Central Authority of the Contracting Party in which St. Vincent and the Grenadines process service is to be performed receives a request for service from an authority or judicial officer competent in one Contracting Party (Art. 5). The request must adhere to the Convention’s Model Form.
Under its own legislation, the Central Authority of the requested Contracting Party must serve the document or arrange for its process service by a competent authority (Art. 5). There are exceptions to this rule, such as when an application (i.e., the forwarding authority in the desired Contracting Party) requests a specific method or process, as long as it does not conflict with that country’s legislation and does not violate international law.
Lastly, the authority executing the request must sign and date the certificate appended to the Convention, saying whether or not service was completed or why it was not (Art. 6)
Hague CONVENTION ON TAKING OF EVIDENCE ABROAD
The Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters is the recommended way of obtaining evidence from other jurisdictions (the Hague Convention). Judicial authorities in one signatory country may access evidence in another signatory country via this international pact. An individual or organization may obtain evidence via letters of request or diplomatic or consular agents and commissioners. Hague Convention parties might pursue other techniques of discovery at the same time they seek discovery via this procedure.
Although the Hague Treaty procedure may take a long time, parties should bear in mind that many nations that have signed the convention have made limiting declarations and reservations restricting discovery, thus parties should keep this in mind.
An alternative to letters of rogatory is to request one from an American court. An official letter of rogatory is a formal request for help from the court where an action is being litigated to the court of a foreign country. The process is unpredictable, cumbersome, and slow. Once prepared by counsel, a letter rogatory must be signed by a US judge and authenticated, if required by the foreign jurisdiction, and then conveyed through diplomatic channels; and letters rogatory are merely a request to the foreign jurisdiction to assist, and the foreign jurisdiction is not obligated to assist.
A federal court may issue a subpoena to a U.S. citizen or resident overseas if the evidence requested is ‘necessary in the interest of justice and ‘not practicable to collect… in any other means’ under the Walsh Act. Although the Walsh Act has been employed in civil cases, it was initially designed for use in criminal cases. It is possible for litigants in a U.S. lawsuit to get evidence in a foreign jurisdiction via the use of foreign legal processes. Pretrial discovery may or may not be authorized in the foreign jurisdiction where the case is being litigated.
A party must be knowledgeable with and adept at navigating possible impediments to cross-border discovery from other jurisdictions in order to employ any of the aforementioned methods successfully. U.S.-style discovery may be seen as overbroad and unfair in certain other countries; this is something that parties should be aware of.
As a result, data-protection regulations may also ban or limit the transmission of personally identifiable information beyond participating states. Preliminary prohibition: For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which prohibits E.U. citizens’ personal data (frequently included inside discovery documents) from being transmitted out of Europe unless at least one method to secure the data exists. The sender and receiver of the document might be held liable if they fail to meet this criterion.
Additionally, several governments have passed blocking measures to impede the transmission of documents and information for use in overseas litigation in an effort to avoid US-style discovery.
how to serve legal papers via local process service in st vincent and GRENADINES
It Is possible that a party answering from out of the country may claim foreign privilege or immunity in order to avoid turning over information. The way in which the request is made may have an impact on the court’s consideration of the problem. A party’s capacity to claim a privilege or immunity may be less clearly defined outside of the Hague Convention than it is under the Hague Convention, which provides established mechanisms for doing so.
In St Vincent and the Grenadines, the overall rule is that the claimant’s statement of claim must be served with the claim form. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Process Service of the claim form requires that – [A.] the statement of claim; or [B.] an affidavit or other document; [C.] a copy of any order that may have been made; and [D.] a copy of any order or application made; must be served with the claim form unless the statement of claim is contained in the claim form.
A claim form is served personally on an individual by handing it to or leaving it with the person to be served. Service on a limited company may be affected by leaving the claim form at the registered office of the company or by sending the claim form by telex, FAX, or prepaid post or cable addressed to the registered office of the company. It may also be done by serving the claim form personally on an officer or manager of the company at any place of business of the company which has a real connection with the claim or by serving the claim form personally on any director, officer, receiver, receiver-manager or liquidator of the company; or in any other way allowed by any enactment.
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“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
1. Petite Mustique is privately owned by a dual-national Belgian and Vincentian citizen named Thierry Nano. Nano acquired the island for little money while living in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the early 1990s, and was later involved in several schemes to sell the property for far more than its actual value. In early 2007, Nano approached Vizzion Europe, a Belgian development company founded by Turko-Belgian CEO Şefik Birkiye. By April, Vizzion Europe agreed to buy Petit Mustique for $62 million in order to develop a luxury hotel and resort, as Nano assured the company the island was flat, clear, and with a large and easily accessible beach. However, Nano did not allow any Vizzion Europe employees or surveyors to visit or see the island during the negotiations.
In October 2007, however, after $2.1 million had already been paid to Nano, Vizzion Europe discovered that the island was hilly, without beaches, and surrounded by powerful currents that prevented an easy landing. Nano refused to return the money. While filing a lawsuit against Nano, Vizzion Europe discovered that he was already wanted on charges of fraud and money laundering in the United States and Italy as well as Belgium. Nano had narrowly escaped arrest by the FBI in St.Vincent and the Grenadines in 2001, possibly due to inaction by the Vincentian government.
While contending with Vizzion Europe in a Belgian court, Nano continued to shop Petite Mustique to private buyers, arranging a sale to Ilyas Khrapunov, son of the Kazakh oligarch and government minister Mukhtar Ablyazov. Nano sealed the deal with Khrapunov by offering him a free Monet painting in addition to the island. An appraisal revealed the painting to be a fake. Upon Khrapunov’s subsequent discovery that the island was not what he had been promised, Nano refused to return the $500,000 deposit he had received and moved to South America, managing to carry off a scam against the Paraguayan government in 2010 also involved the sale of the property.
2. Article 5
The Central Authority of the State addressed shall itself serve the document or shall arrange to have it served by an appropriate agency, either –
a) by a method prescribed by its internal law for the service of documents in domestic actions upon persons who are within its territory, or
b) by a particular method requested by the applicant, unless such a method is incompatible with the law of the State addressed.
Subject to subparagraph (b) of the first paragraph of this Article, the document may always be served by delivery to an addressee who accepts it voluntarily.
If the document is to be served under the first paragraph above, the Central Authority may require the document to be written in, or translated into, the official language or one of the official languages of the State addressed.
That part of the request, in the form attached to the present Convention, which contains a summary of the document to be served, shall be served with the document.
3. Article 6
The Central Authority of the State addressed or any authority which it may have designated for that purpose shall complete a certificate in the form of the model annexed to the present Convention.
The certificate shall state that the document has been served and shall include the method, the place and the date of service, and the person to whom the document was delivered. If the document has not been served, the certificate shall set out the reasons which have prevented service.
The applicant may require that a certificate not completed by a Central Authority or by a judicial authority shall be countersigned by one of these authorities.
The certificate shall be forwarded directly to the applicant.
4. A signature might state in Article 23 that it will not execute a letter of request ‘for the purpose of gaining pretrial disclosure’ as recognized in Common Law nations, which is a special reservation.
5. The Walsh Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1783
6. Permitted place of service 5.4
Except as permitted by Part 7 (service out of the jurisdiction), a claim form must be served at a place within the jurisdiction.
Proof of personal service 5.5
(1) Personal service of the claim form is proved by an affidavit sworn by the server stating –
(a)the date and time of service;
(b) the precise place or address at which it was served;
(c)the precise manner by which the person on whom the claim form was served was identified; and (d)precisely how the claim form was served.
(2) If the person served was identified by another person, there must also be filed where practicable an affidavit by that person – (a) proving the identification of the person served; and (b)stating how the maker of the affidavit was able to identify the person served. (3) If the server identified the person to be served by means of a photograph or description there must also be filed an affidavit by a person – (a) verifying the description or photograph as being of the person intended to be served, and (b) stating how the maker of the affidavit is able to verify the description or photograph as being of the person intended to be served.