HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in Turks and Caicos Islands. There are two groupings of tropical islands in the Lucayan Archipelago of the Atlantic Ocean and the northern West Indies: the Caicos Islands and Turk Islands.  As a tourist destination and an offshore financial center, these islands have a strong reputation, boasting the third highest population density of all British overseas territories.

Mayaguana is located to the southeast of the islands, whereas Hispaniola is located to the north (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Since 1766, Grand Turk (Cockburn Town) has served as the island’s capital.

BACKGROUND

The islands were inhabited for millennia by indigenous peoples. In 1512, they were first seen by Europeans in Europe. Later, they were taken over by many European countries, with the British Empire finally taking control. For a long period, the islands were administered by Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Jamaica via indirect means. Independence for the Bahamas in 1973 saw the islands given their governor, and since then, the islands have remained self-governed. Located in the Caribbean, the Turks and Caicos Islands are administered by the United Kingdom as a British overseas territory. The territory’s ruler is Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The queen appoints a governor, who is selected by the Foreign Office to represent her.  This constitution was initially enacted on August 30, 1976, when the territory’s first Chief Minister, J. A G. S. McCartney was elected. Every year, 30 August is Constitution Day, a national holiday. 

The territory’s legal system is based on English common law, with a few laws from Jamaica and the Bahamas. Everyone above the age of eighteen has the right to universal suffrage. The capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands is Grand Turk, whereas Cockburn Town has served as the capital since 1766.

Participating in CARICOM, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Universal Postal Union, and Interpol, Turks and Caicos Islands are all members of the international community. The area is listed as a non-self-governing territory by the United Nations by the Special Committee on Decolonization.

Legislative authority is now handled by a unicameral House of Assembly with nineteen seats: fifteen of these seats come from citizen-elected means, and four are appointed by the governor. Of the elected members, five are chosen at large, and ten are elected from single-member districts for four-year terms.

DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION FOR THE TURK AND CAICOS ISLANDS

Each of the six administrative districts in the Turk Islands and the four in the Caicos Islands is led by a district commissioner, who serves as a liaison between the two regions.

Of the judicial aspect of the Turks and Caicos islands, appeals are handled by the Court of Appeal and ultimate appeals by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, which is part of the judicial branch. The Supreme Court has three justices, including the Chief Justice. There is a president and at least two justices of appeal who make up the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court hears appeals from the lesser courts, known as Magistrates’ Courts. 

The British Overseas Territory of the Turks and Caicos Islands was established in 1754.  There are a few laws from Jamaica and the Bahamas that have been accepted into the territory’s legal system. The right to vote is guaranteed to all adults above eighteen. The language of government is English. In 1766, Cockburn Town served as the capital of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and since then, Grand Turk has served as its administrative and political center.

Court of Appeal and Privy Council Judicial Committee of the Privy Council handle appeals in the judicial arm of government, which is led by the Supreme Court. In addition to the Chief Justice, there are two additional justices on the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal has a president and at least two judges of appeal. The subordinate courts are known as Magistrates’ Courts, and it is to these courts that appeals are sent.

An independent judiciary is a constitutional condition for judges and magistrates appointed to a court in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Constitutionally, the legislature and cabinet must maintain the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and guarantee that sufficient finances are supplied to sustain the Islands’ judicial administration.

Section 86 of the Turks, and Caicos Islands Constitution establishes the Turks and Caicos Islands Judicial Service Commission. With regard to these Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service issues, it advises the Governor as to Administrative control over the positions of Chief Justice (President), President (Registrar), and Deputy Registrar; and removal from office of anyone holding or functioning in such positions (Section 87).

Two members of the Judicial Service Commission are selected by the Governor, one of whom serves as the Commission’s chairman and one of whom serves as a member after consulting with both the country’s political leaders and the prime minister.

Pursuant to the Turks and Caicos Islands (Appeal to Privy Council) Order, a final appeal from a judgment of the Court of Appeal lies with leave to Her Majesty in Council.

Aside from hearings held in private (e.g., interlocutory hearings, hearings involving children or persons with disabilities), the general rule is that judicial proceedings in the Turks and Caicos Islands are open to all except those hearings held in private (e.g., hearings held in private for sensitive or highly confidential matters, such as those involving national security or confidential information). The Supreme Court may order the sealing of a case or portion of a case’s record if a party asks for it, and this information will be kept private.

THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN ATTORNEY GENERAL

As a government agency, the Office of the Attorney General is devoted to delivering high-quality legal services to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and land-related services to the Islanders. The Attorney General’s Chambers of the Turks and Caicos Islands is conscious of the need to defend the public interest and to maintain and preserve the Constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the basic rights and freedoms that it enshrines.

During the Civil Recovery in 2009, Sir Robin Auld, Attorney General at the time, recommended that the department of Public Prosecution be split from the Attorney General’s office. The Attorney General’s Chambers plays a critical role in the Turks and Caicos Islands’ quest to establish a democratic society founded on the basic values of justice and equality as the primary legal counsel to the government.

Legal Adviser to Government and House of Assembly are two essential roles of the Attorney General. The Attorney General of the Turks and Caicos Islands is responsible for developing and revising the legislation of the territory. In addition, the Attorney General is in charge of revising the legislation to keep it up to date with current practices.

Ultimately, the Legal Division of the Attorney General’s Chambers aspires to work as a cohesive unit under the direction of the Hon. Attorney General in order to provide the government with timely and high-quality legal services and to assist the attorney general in carrying out her constitutional and legal duties. Civil, Commercial, and Legislative Drafting are the three divisions that make up the Legal Division. Meeting government priorities and publishing annual legislation are just a few of Legislative Drafting’s goals. The division also provides advice on the impact of international treaties and conventions on Canadian legislation. It also ensures that the library’s collection of legal materials is always up-to-date and well-cataloged. 

REQUIREMENTS OF PRE-ACTION CONDUCT IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

Unless a contractual obligation requires a pre-action discussion or informal mediation, there is no obligation on a party to take any pre-litigation Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service action or on a potential defendant to respond to any pre-litigation correspondence. Even though civil litigation is characterized by pre-action correspondence between the disputing parties, a plaintiff may be penalized in Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service costs for failing to send a letter prior to initiating proceedings, and the defendant may be penalized for failing to set out in pre-action correspondence, in the event that a valid defense later emerges.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, a defendant may be subject to a Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service legal action. The courts will use the complaint to identify whether or if a party is subject to the Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service law or has legal authority over them with their national courts.

In both the Magistrate’s Court and the Supreme Court, personal service is necessary for actions filed against an individual. In the event of proceedings against a corporation, Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service may be made by addressing the document to the corporation and leaving Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service at the company’s address or by mailing it by a designated way (fax or electronic mail) to either the company’s registered office or the registered agent’s office.

In the Magistrate’s Court, proceedings are served by a bailiff, but in the Supreme Court, the plaintiff is responsible for arranging the Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service. A plaintiff in proceedings before the Supreme Court has one year to serve a writ of summons or originating summons once the court issues the necessary Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service document. The Supreme Court may issue an order for substituted service if a defendant is difficult to serve or evasive.

Parties outside the jurisdiction may be sued before the Supreme Court of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Still, the service of originating process is only permitted outside the jurisdiction with the permission of the Supreme Court if one or more of the jurisdictional gateways outlined in Order 11, Rule 1 of the Rules of the Supreme Court 2000 are satisfied. An ex parte application for leave is submitted by submitting an affidavit demonstrating that the defendant meets the requirements of Order 11, rule 1 and that it is suitable for the proceedings to be served outside the jurisdiction. Upon granting Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service permission, the court will specify the deadline for submitting an acknowledgment of service and the method of serving outside the court’s jurisdiction.

A defendant often has a limited amount of time after receiving the originating process to indicate that they have received it and intend to fight it. Fourteen days (in the case of a party served within the jurisdiction) or twenty-eight days (in the event of a party served outside the jurisdiction) is the standard period for submitting an acknowledgment of Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service with the Supreme Court Registry.

THE HAGUE CONVENTION IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

Turks and Caicos Islands process servers serve civil and commercial matters pursuant to the Hague Service Convention, a multilateral treaty adopted in Hague, Netherlands, on November 15, 1965, by member states of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It came into existence to give litigants a reliable and efficient means of serving the documents on parties living, operating, or based in another country. The provisions of the convention apply to Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service in civil and commercial matters but not criminal matters. Also, the Convention will not apply if the address of the person to be served with the Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service document is not known.

The Central Authority of the State addressed will itself serve the document or will arrange to have it served by an appropriate agency, either  by a method prescribed by its internal law for the Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service of documents in domestic actions upon persons who are within its territory or by a particular method requested by the applicant unless such a method is incompatible with the law of the State addressed.

The document may be served by delivery to an addressee who accepts Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service voluntarily. Suppose the Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service document is to be served under the Central Authority. In that case, the document must be written in, or translated into, the official language or one of the official languages of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Hague Service Convention established a simplified means for parties to effect Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service in other contracting states. Under the convention, each contracting state is required to designate a central authority to accept incoming requests for service. A judicial officer competent to serve Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service in the state of origin is permitted to send a request for Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service directly to the central authority of the state where Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service is to be made. Upon receiving the request, the central authority in the receiving state arranges for service in a manner permitted within the receiving state, typically through a local court. Once the Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service is effected, the central authority sends a certificate of service to the judicial officer who made the request.

The main benefits of the Hague Service Convention over letters rogatory are that it is faster (requests generally take two to four months rather than six months to one year), and it uses standardized forms which should be recognized by authorities in other states. It is cheaper (in most cases).

The Hague Convention provides various modes of process service of documents such as by postal channel or by diplomatic or consular agents, judicial officers, officials, or other competent persons. These provisions are covered under Articles 8 to 10 and may or not be allowed by member countries as a valid mode of serving the documents in their territory. The method of serving the documents through the Central Agency (Article 5) is not optional but is binding on all the member countries. The services done by the Central Agency usually take a long time, ranging from four to twelve months. The convention gives relief to the litigants if they have not received a certificate of service or delivery from the Central Agency even after waiting for six months. In such cases, the Court may, if it considers that a reasonable time has elapsed, give its judgment. Also, in case of urgency, the court may issue a provisional order or protective measure even before the six-month waiting period.

Turks And Caicos Islands Process Service by mail is possible only in states that have not objected to that method under Article 10(a) of the convention and if the jurisdiction where the court case takes place allows it under its applicable law.

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 Turks and Caicos Islands

Simply pick up the phone and call (212) 203-8001 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 New York City 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. Of the 31,458 residents in 2012, 23,769 resided on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands; in July 2021, the population was expected to reach 57,196.

2. The official language of the country is, of course, English

3. The Progressive National Party achieved a huge victory in the 2021 elections, and Washington Misick was elected Premier.

. Electoral districts in the Turks and Caicos Islands are broken down into 15 for the House of Assembly (four in the Turks Islands and eleven in the Caicos Islands).

5. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom is the sovereign of the British Virgin Islands, who is represented by a governor nominated by the queen on the recommendation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. First, the territory elected its first Chief Minister, JAGSS McCartney, on August 30, 1976. Then the islands enacted their first constitution. 30 August is Constitution Day, a national holiday in the United States.

6. As the first native and first female Attorney General of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Rhondalee Braithwaite- Knowles was sworn in on March 6th, 2014.

7. At the same time, he or she serves as a Cabinet member and a non-voting House of Assembly member. Legal counsel to government and legislature is spelled out in Section 41, where the Attorney General “shall be.”

8. The Attorney General is in charge of all legal proceedings on behalf of the government. According to Section… of the Crown Proceedings Ordinance, the Attorney General is responsible for advancing the interests of the Turks & Caicos Islands internationally as well as protecting those interests in international conflicts, as well.

9. #42 Queen Street
P.O. Box N-8197
Nassau, The Bahamas
Telephone: +(242) 322-1181
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(242) 322-1181
acsnassau@state.gov

Consulates

The U.S. Consular Agency in Providenciales is currently closed. All consular services for the Turks and Caicos Islands are provided through U.S. Embassy in Nassau 

 

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