HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN URUGUAY

This article will provide guidance regarding Uruguay Process Service.  Situated on the southeast coast of South America, Uruguay shares a rich cultural heritage. As the continent’s second-smallest nation, Uruguay’s political and economic prominence has long been eclipsed by its neighboring republics, Brazil and Argentina, with whom it shares many historical similarities.

The Partido Colorado has ruled Uruguay for the vast majority of its existence.  As a result, the Broad Front obtained a parliamentary majority in Uruguay’s general election in 2004, while the Broad Front’s José Mujica won the presidency in 2009. The Broad Front coalition’s fifteen-year rule in Uruguay came to an end in March 2020, when a conservative administration was elected. On the same day, the new President of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, of the center-right National Party, was sworn in.

BACKGROUND

A direct, universal, and secret vote is used to elect the President and Vice-President of the Republic, as well as the national and departmental lawmakers (known as “Diputados“), as well as the departmental executive branch (known as “Intendente Municipal“). A combined session of both chambers (the General Assembly) elects individuals to serve as “Ministers” for judicial, electoral, and administrative justice, all of whom are known as “Ministers.” In addition, it selects the members of the external control body for disbursements and payments (Court of Audit).

It is not possible to re-elect the President of the Republic more than once every five years. Most constitutional scholars agree that the President is just the Head of State, whereas the title of Chief of Government refers to the President serving in Cabinet (with his Ministers). The Executive Branch consists of the President and one or more Ministers, or the full Cabinet, depending on the subject. Despite the fact that the President is free to choose his Ministers (as provided for in the Constitution), it is argued that Uruguay’s system is not entirely presidential because the President can only choose from among citizens who have been assured of their position in office by Parliamentary support Parliament has the power to criticize State Ministers.

The Chamber of Senators, the Chamber of Representatives, and the General Assembly comprise the Legislative Branch (both Houses in joint session). Proportional representation is used to elect members of this branch, as well (albeit in a weakened version). The Senate, which consists of 31 members, is presided over by the Vice-President of the Republic. Ninety-nine members are in the House of Representatives.

Even today, as a relic of the state interventionism of the first and second half of the twentieth century, the state continues to intervene in business via a variety of decentralized and independent institutions. Every department has its non-autonomous administrative branch (executive power is the Mayor, or Governor, known as Intendente) and legislative branch. Territorial administration is decentralized through nineteen departments (Departmental Council). Thirty-one honorary councilors make up the Departmental Council, which makes laws that apply across the department’s boundaries. The departmental budget must be approved by the Council (that is, the budget proposed by the Council and the Executive Authority).

URUGUAY LEGAL SYSTEM

Since Uruguay was originally part of the Kingdom of the Indies, which was ruled by the King of Spain, the country’s legal system is based on the Spanish legal system. As a civil law country, Uruguay uses the judgments of jurisdictional courts (the first instance, higher, and supreme courts) as a guide but not as a binding precedent in later proceedings. 

The constitution and the legislature are the sole sources of law in Uruguay. When the law explicitly refers to custom, it is a source of law, and established opinions among experts and case law are only employed to interpret it. This pyramidal form of Uruguay’s legal system has the Constitution at its pinnacle. Legislation (including executive orders, ministerial resolutions, and Departmental Council decrees, which are de facto legislative actions within their respective departments’ jurisdictions) follows the Constitution.

Bills may come from either of three places: [A.] the people (through a public initiative), [B.]  the legislature (in either of Parliament’s two chambers), or [C.] the executive branch. Nevertheless, the Executive Branch (in its position as the head of the State’s economic policy) has the unique authority to introduce legislation on budget, public spending, tax exemptions, and minimum wage.

Bills must be passed by both Houses in every situation. When one house votes to pass a bill, it must be transmitted to the other, but if the latter fails to do so and rejects it, the bill will not be adopted and cannot be resubmitted within the current year’s session. The Bill is sent back to the first house, which, if it accepts the observations or addenda, notifies the second house and sends the Bill straight to the executive branch so the process may continue. The opposite is true if the receiving house only has observations or addenda to include. It is possible to seek a meeting of both houses (General Assembly), which will then vote by a majority of two-thirds to approve either the original Bill or a new one if the original House refuses to accept the observations or addenda.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN URUGUAY

Legal disputes in Uruguay may be settled in either a judicial or extra-judicial manner unless the Uruguay Process Service law explicitly indicates otherwise. In the first case, an Uruguay Process Service request is made to the Judicial Branch; in the second, to any Uruguayan or foreign agency for conciliation and arbitration. 

In Uruguay, a mechanism for arbitration tribunals has been established by law (Articles 472 to 507 of the General Procedural Code). Without difference, international arbitration courts may be governed by Uruguayan law or any other law. For the enforcement of foreign judgments and punishments, the exequatur method is recognized by the law. It is also made possible for national judicial authorities to propose preventative remedies before an arbitral judgment is accepted.

The Executive Branch is responsible for negotiating, signing, and ratifying treaties as Uruguay’s foreign policy director. A treaty is sent to the Legislative and Executive branches for approval after it has been signed. Formally (by following the same procedure as a normal law), and practically (by using the following wording in the text of the legislation which approves a treaty to signify “the treaty… is hereby authorized… signed by the Republic on…”), this is accomplished in Uruguay by way of a law. To be clear, the Legislative Branch has no power to change or modify a treaty, which is the sole legal distinction between it and other forms of legislation. Now that a final version has been authorized, this legislation must be implemented and publicized in order to have any effect on national policy (in the official Gazette). In addition, the Executive Branch is also responsible for depositing the ratification document, which is done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in accordance with a treaty,

When a treaty is approved by legislation, it raises questions about the treaty’s status in the legal system since the Constitution does not explicitly or tacitly relate to it. When it comes to international treaties, doctrine differs, and jurisprudence seldom offers a view on them, and when it does, it refers to the laws that have ratified or approved them. It can be observed that Uruguay is a nation with a strong sense of division.

Jurisprudence has ignored a difficulty with treaty interpretation methods that Uruguayan internationalist thought, on the other hand, has considered. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties mandates that treaties be construed in accordance with the processes provided for the interpretation of laws; on the other hand, a court might interpret a treaty in accordance with the procedures laid out for the interpretation of laws (which is also in force in Uruguay as a law). Furthermore, while a treaty’s wording is legally binding, future legislation might derogate from it (the “lex posterior derogat legi priori“), allowing it to be changed. Due to the absence of provision for the hierarchy of international treaties, this might lead to various and irreconcilable interpretations or a regulatory dispute, which could lead to international liability.

FOREIGN JUDGEMENTS IN URUGUAY

Decisions made by foreign courts in areas of civil and commercial law, family and labor law, and public administration are given imperative, evidentiary, and final effect in Uruguay, according to the General Procedural Code. Decisions made by foreign courts in criminal matters are also given imperative, evidentiary, and final effect in Uruguay. Other than the background of the case that is the subject of the proceedings relating to the decisions that were made, foreign judgments will be accepted and enforced in Uruguay, if necessary, without any review.

In order to be considered valid in the country of origin, the Uruguay Process Service ruling and any accompanying documentation must be legalized in accordance with Uruguay Process Service law unless the ruling has been sent through diplomatic or consular channels or the appropriate administrative authorities.

Only foreign judgments that are amenable to enforcement may be enacted. The Supreme Court of Justice of Uruguay must receive an Uruguay Process Service request for enforcement. After the petition is filed, a summons is sent to the party in question, who will get a twenty-day Uruguay Process Service notice of the hearing date. Afterward, the prosecutor is heard, and a non-appealable decision is delivered. In such a case, the sentence is returned to the proper court, which will follow the required processes in light of the specific charges.

LETTERS ROGATORY IN URUGUAY

 The Oriental Republic of Uruguay is not a signatory to the Hague Service Convention. Consequently, Uruguay Process Service must be effected through alternative methods. Uruguay Process Service may be effected using formal service pursuant to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol or informal service supervised by an Uruguayan attorney.

 It is normal to request judicial help from abroad through letters in cases when there is no treaty or other arrangement in place. Foreign courts are asked to do an activity that might potentially violate the sovereignty of the nation in question via a letter rogatory sent by courts in one country to those in another. Letters rogatory may be used for Uruguay Process Service or evidence collection in foreign jurisdictions if it is permissible by Uruguay Process Service law.

Parties need to identify whether the nation where they want to serve process or get evidence is a signatory to any multilateral treaties on judicial aid, such as the Hague Service or Evidence Conventions, as well as the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory. Under these norms, asking court aid via letters rogatory is considerably reduced in both time and burden. Parties could also check the Department of State’s country-specific judicial assistance websites to see if additional options are available, such as serving Uruguay Process Service by mail or employing a local counsel to petition the court directly for evidence collection.

Letters rogatory might take a year or more to complete. A diplomatic route is often used to send letters rogatory, which is a time-consuming method of communication. If the foreign nation allows it, a local attorney may send a copy of the request immediately to the foreign court or other authorized authorities. 

A lot of nations have their own ways of gathering evidence, and they may think the United States’ discovery procedures are too wide in their scope. Requests for documents should be as particular as possible to prevent the impression of being overbroad, which may result in the rejection of the foreign government to comply with the request.

In the letters rogatory,  it is necessary to mention those Uruguay Process Service details that may make the court more amenable to assist the request (for example, verbatim transcript, place witnesses under oath, permission for the U.S. or foreign attorney to attend or participate in proceedings if possible, etc.) This depends on the nation to which the letter is sent and the aid requested. Statutory criteria for giving aid exist in several nations.

Uruguay is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. The United States and Uruguay are parties to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol. 

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 Uruguay

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. Artigas, Canelones, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Florida, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo, Paysand, Ro Negro, Rivera, Rocha, Salto, San José, Soriano, Tacuarembó, Treinta y Tres are only a few of the 19 departments that make up the city of Montevideo.

2. The Uruguayan government is outlined in the country’s Constitution. National Office of official Printouts and Publications (Dirección Nacional de Impresiones y Publicaciones Oficiales) has a Spanish-language version of the document on its website (article 82 and the following).

3. It’s a five-year cycle with annual balances and necessary modifications to the national budget. For the most part, the Executive Branch takes the lead in budgetary matters, save in the circumstances of governing agencies and autonomous institutions.

4. The introductory title of the Uruguayan Civil Code (articles 1, 3, 9, and 16) establishes the sources of law.

5. As an international court of arbitration for MERCOSUR, the Uruguayan Stock Market features a Conciliation and Arbitration Center.

6. Many of the most important international agreements on international arbitration are signed by Uruguay, including the Obligatory General Arbitration Treaty, the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States, and Nationals of other States, the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration, and the Inter-American Cooperative Agreement on Arbitration

7. the Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters

8. This second method of service may not meet Uruguayan rules for service, so if enforcement of a US judgment in Uruguay is anticipated, litigants should consider serving pursuant to the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol

9. U.S. Embassy Montevideo

Lauro Muller 1776

Montevideo 11200,

Uruguay

Telephone: +(598) 1770-2000

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 1770-2000 or +(598) 1770-2000 (from the U.S.) 

Fax: +(598) 1770-2040

MontevideoACS@state.gov

10. The U.S. Central Authority for the treaty is the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Foreign Litigation, Washington, D.C.  

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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.