HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN THE PHILIPPINES

The Philippines is a constitutional republic with a presidential system that has a democratic government. In addition to serving as the nation’s main executive, the president also serves as its chief military officer.  The president serves a six-year term and is chosen by the people. Cabinet members are chosen and presided over by the president. 

In 2016, Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines for a six-year term. Both the upper and lower chambers of the bicameral Congress are elected for six-year terms. 

BACKGROUND

The Constitution of the Philippines establishes the Supreme Court, while the Congress of the Philippines enacts the laws that create the three lesser courts. Overruling governmental or administrative judgments and creating new rules and laws without precedent are among the Supreme Court’s wide-ranging powers. Members of the lower courts and electoral tribunals are also members of this body, which sets the regulations for lower courts.

Underneath this is the Court of Appeals having divisions in various parts of the country, which has national reach and is headquartered underneath the Supreme Court. Only the Supreme Court has the authority to review decisions made by this court. Regional Trial Courts, which are located around the nation in several judicial areas, are located below this level. Depending on the jurisdiction, some of these courts may only hear particular kinds of cases. Located in cities and municipalities around the nation are the first-level Metropolitan and Municipal Trial Courts.

Special courts have been established to handle certain matters outside of the normal judicial system. As a result, there are two courts of appeals in the Philippines, one for tax appeals and one for criminal cases. Sharia courts have been set up in several areas of the nation. There are a number of quasi-judicial entities with legal authority outside of the court system.

Once under martial rule, the Supreme Court was granted wide-ranging powers by Congress to counterbalance Executive control. The President of the Philippines appoints the country’s judges, who are chosen from a list provided by the Judicial and Bar Council, a body that the President may influence. The Judiciary serves as a check on the other departments of government.

To exercise jurisdiction over another party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body, the method known as ‘service of process is used to provide adequate Philippines Process Service notice of an initial legal action to such parties, bodies, or tribunals (such as a defendant).

At-large elections are held for senators, while district and sectoral representation are used to elect members.

LEGAL SYSTEM IN THE PHILIPPINES

The Chief justice and fourteen associate justices make up the Supreme Court, all of whom are chosen by the president from nominations made by the Judicial and Bar Council.  Both Manila and Quezon City, the Philippines’ two most populous cities, are located in the same metropolitan region, Metro Manila.  A federal, unicameral, or parliamentary government has been proposed since the Ramos administration.

The Philippines belongs to the East Asia Summit, APEC, the Group of 24 countries, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Furthermore, the government is attempting to get observer status in the OIC. February 2, 1987, saw Filipinos vote to approve the country’s current constitution, which they did in a referendum. The legislative, executive and judicial branches of the Philippine government are all fundamental sources of legislation under the 1987 Constitution. Statutory law originates with the bicameral legislature, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is the President of the Philippines who oversees the executive branch, which is in charge of issuing presidential issuances and establishing administrative guidelines. Case law, which is a collection of court rulings, is housed in the judiciary.

There are three levels of courts in the Philippines. Trial courts are where civil and criminal cases are filed. A judge rule over every trial court. The Court of Appeals, which has twenty-three divisions spread around the nation, is competent to examine the judgments of lower courts. Every division has three justices. The Supreme Judicial, which has fifteen justices, is at the pinnacle of the court structure. The Supreme Court hears cases either en banc or in the division, depending on the nature of the case.  The Philippine judicial framework is a blend of customary practice, Roman (civil law), Anglo-American (common law) systems, and Islamic law. Due to the arrival of Muslim Malays in the fourteenth century and the subsequent colonization of the islands by Spain and the United States, both countries left an imprint on the legal system. When it comes to subjects such as family law (property rights, inheritances, contracts), criminal law, and civil law (family relationships, property, etc.), the common-law-derived laws and ideas are clear.

how to serve LEGAL papers IN THE PHILIPPINES

According to the Hague Service Convention, a multilateral convention enacted at the Hague by member governments of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, Philippines Process Service reference civil and commercial issues. With it, plaintiffs may now serve Philippines Process Service papers on overseas parties who are located, functioning, or headquartered with confidence and efficiency. To serve Philippines Process Service in civil and commercial proceedings, the convention’s requirements apply, but not criminal issues. Also, if the address of the person to be served is unknown, the Convention does not apply.

The Central Authority of the State addressed must serve the Philippines Process Service document or arrange for an appropriate agency to serve it, either by a method prescribed by its internal law for the Philippines Process Service of documents in domestic actions upon persons within its territory or by a method requested by the applicant, unless such a method is incompatible with the law of the State addressed.

The Philippines Process Service document may be served by being delivered to the addressee’s door. The Philippines Process Service document must be written in or translated into one of the Philippines’ official languages if it is to be serviced by the Central Authority. The Hague Service Convention made it easier for parties to serve each other in other countries. The convention mandates that each contracting state establish a central body to receive requests for assistance. Requests for Philippines Process Service from a judicial official who is authorized to serve Philippines Process Service in the state of origin may be made by sending them directly to the state’s central authority. A local court or other entity designated by the receiving state’s central authority is tasked with serving the document once it has been received by the receiving state’s central authority. The central authority delivers a certificate of Philippines Process Service to the judicial officer who requested it after the Philippines Process Service is complete.

Foreign diplomats, consular officers, judges, and other authorities may all serve papers under the Hague Convention in a variety of ways. Member nations may or may not approve these provisions as a legal method of serving the papers in their jurisdiction under Articles 8-10. The Central Agency’s method of serving papers (Article 5) is mandatory for all member nations and cannot be changed. The services provided by the Central Agency might take anything from four to twelve months to complete. Even if a certificate of service or delivery from the Central Agency has not been obtained by the plaintiffs after six months, the convention provides them with a remedy. Given that a fair amount of time has passed, the Court may, if necessary, issue its decision. Moreover, the court has the power to grant a temporary injunction or protective measure before the six-month waiting time is over, in the event of an emergency.

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR process SERVICE

The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters (the ‘Service Convention’) came into effect in the Philippines on October 1, 2020.

With respect to the transmission of legal or extralegal documents between States Parties (Requesting States), the Service Convention specifies a variety of options (Requested State). Articles 2 and 18 of the Service Convention mandate that State Parties appoint a Central Authority and/or other authorities to handle the requests for such Philippines Process Service of papers from other States. The Office of the Court Administrator (‘OCA’) of the Supreme Court of the Philippines now serves as the country’s central authority. Accordingly, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has just published Guidelines for the Implementation of the Service Convention.

It is then up to the court to determine whether extraterritorial Philippines Process Service under the Service Convention is required and its Order should ‘include an instruction to the seeking party to purchase and submit a prepaid courier pouch which shall be utilized for the transfer of documents.’

In the event that a request for extraterritorial Philippines Process Service is granted, a copy of the completed Request and Summary of Documents to be Served with a Warning, a blank Certificate to be filled out by the Central Authority of the Requested State, documents for service, and (if necessary) certified translations of the Model form and accompanying Philippines Process Service documents will be sent to the Central Authority of the Requested State. A copy of the Philippines Process Service request and an update on the progress of the extraterritorial service request should be sent to the OCA as well. 

There must be a Certificate issued by the Central Authority of the Requested State after the Philippines Process Service has been attempted in compliance with its domestic legislation. The completed Certificate will be returned to the requesting court and become part of the Philippines Process Service case’s record. 

Extraterritorial Philippines Process Service of papers emanating from other States’ Parties must be presented to the OCA for consideration. Section 2 of Part III of the Guidelines stipulates the following conditions as necessary for a request to be considered valid. In the event of numerous receivers at the same address, the cost of the Philippines Process Service will be USD100.00 for each recipient (or per address, if there are many recipients at the same location). If the price of the Philippines Process Service goes increased, the OCA will provide an updated Statement of Cost.

Electronic mail, registered mail, or courier services may be used to submit these Philippines Process Service requirements  To send the Philippines Process Service request to a court with jurisdiction over the intended recipient’s location, OCA must determine the sufficiency of the Philippines Process Service prerequisites first. In line with the Rules of Court, as modified, the Executive Judge or the Presiding Judge must then designate a sheriff, process server, or other competent staff to carry out the Philippines Process Service.

Within five (5) days after the Philippines Process Service, a Return must be completed and submitted to the same court. If the Philippines Process Service document has not been delivered, the officer must return it to the court for transmission to the OCA. After receiving a Philippines Process Service request, judges must issue a Certificate using the Model Form and send it to the OCA together with the Return within thirty calendar days of receiving the request. In the event that expenses are incurred for the Philippines Process Service, the judge in charge of the case will pay them, but the OCA must be notified of the request for reimbursement.

for assistance serving legal papers

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 of 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 of 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. The Philippines and the United States have a long history of economic, security, and cross-cultural cooperation.

With the signing of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and subsequent agreements on Visiting Forces and Enhanced Defense Cooperation, the two nations have maintained close military relations.  During the Cold War, the Philippines backed US policy and fought in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Major non-NATO ally status was bestowed to the Philippines in the year 2003. 

2. U.S. Embassy Manila

1201 Roxas Boulevard

Manila, Philippines 1000

Telephone: + (63) (2) 5301-2000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: + (63) (2) 5301-2000 

Fax: + (63) (2) 5301-2017

Email: ACSInfoManila@state.gov

Consulates

U.S. Consular Agency – Cebu City

Ground Level, Waterfront Hotel

Salinas Drive

Lahug, Cebu City

Philippines 6000

Telephone: + (63) (32) 231-1261

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila: + (63) (2) 301-2000 

Fax: +(63) (32) 231-0174

Email: ACSInfoCebu@state.gov

3. Rule 13 and Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, as modified, allow a party in a civil or commercial process to submit an application for leave of court together with the following papers in duplicate:

  1. Included in this form is a Request, Certificate of Completion, Summary of the Documents to be Serviced, and a Warning.
  2. Originals or certified genuine copies of the papers to be served, as well as any annexes;
  3. These papers, if required by the requested state, maybe certified translated.
  4. pledging to pay any costs linked with the service of the papers in full. In addition to other punishments permitted under the Rules of Court, as modified, failure to pay the fees is a reason for direct contempt of court, according to Part II, Section 3 of the Guidelines (reservations, declarations, and notifications of the State Parties may be found here).

4. The address of the intended recipient in the receiving State Party is known; the document to be served is a judicial document; the document to be served pertains to a civil or commercial issue; the address of the receiving State Party may be found.

5. Process for Legal papers being served;

  1. the Request conforms to a Model Form; 
  2. The Request and its attachments are accomplished/translated in English or Filipino;
  3. The Request and its attachments are filed in duplicate; and 
  4. The recipient’s address (i.e. house number, building, street name, barangay/city, province and zip code) is sufficiently detailed
This entry was posted in Process Service on by .

BLOG DISCLAIMER

The information contained herein has been prepared in compliance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works. The articles/Images contained herein serve as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, educational, and research-as examples of activities that qualify as fair use. Undisputed Legal Inc. is a Process Service Agency and “Not A Law Firm” therefore the articles/images contained herein are for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice.