HOW TO SERVE LEGAL PAPERS IN VIETNAM

This article will provide guidance regarding Vietnam Process Service.  A Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist republic, Vietnam is one of two communist states in Southeast Asia (the other being Laos). Constitutionally, the C.P.V. claims to have sway over all aspects of Vietnamese politics and society. The president is the elected head of state and military commander-in-chief, as well as the chairman of the Council of Supreme Defense and Security, and holds the second-highest office in Vietnam. They also perform executive functions and state appointments, sets policies, and serve as the second-highest official in the country. 

The CPV’s general secretary is responsible for a wide range of administrative duties, including overseeing the party’s national structure. There are, additionally, five deputy prime ministers, as well as the heads of twenty-six departments and agencies, in the Cabinet of Ministers. Elections in Vietnam are only open to CPV-affiliated or CPV-endorsed political groups. Workers’ and trade unionist parties, such as the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, are among them. 

BACKGROUND

The National Assembly serves as the legislative arm of government, and all government ministers are selected by the National Assembly’s members.  The Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam, which is presided over by a chief justice and reports to the National Assembly, is the country’s highest appeals court. The province municipal courts and other local courts sit under the Supreme People’s Court. When it comes to state security, military tribunals have the authority to rule. There are still a number of crimes for which the death sentence is being applied in Vietnam.

The National Assembly, acting on the Prime Minister’s recommendation, creates the Ministries and Ministry-equivalent entities that make up Vietnam’s government. Because of the National Assembly’s existing capacity limitations, the Ministries have a significant impact on Vietnamese law. 

A total of sixty-one provinces and districts make up Vietnam’s administrative structure. Communes are the tiers of government underneath districts. A representative body, the People’s Council, is chosen by the local people every five years to represent them, and an administrative body called the People’s Committee is elected by the People’s Council to administer their affairs.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN VIETNAM

A two-tier judicial system exists in Vietnam, with lower-level courts and higher-level courts of last resort. Under rare conditions, the judgments may be revisited. The Supreme Judicial, province People’s Courts, and district People’s Courts make up the court system. At the Supreme Court and in each of the provinces, there are specialized courts. 

When the National Assembly appoints a Supreme Court Chief Justice, they have the power to reappoint them for another term. The President has the power to select and remove other Supreme Court justices, and their terms are five years. Appointments and dismissals of lower court judges are made by the Chief Justice. 

In accordance with the legislation, Vietnamese courts are free to make their own decisions.  Jury panels consisting of both judges and people’s jurors are used in the first occurrence of a case. People’s jurors at each level are chosen by the People’s Council of the same level at the advice of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and are eligible for re-election at the conclusion of their term. [xii] Having jurors chosen by the local government who aren’t trained legal experts raises concerns regarding their ability to serve and the extent to which the government has influence over proceedings in court.

The People’s Prosecutor is charged with enforcing the laws of the land and overseeing the courts. There are three tiers of prosecutors: the Supreme, Provincial, and District People’s prosecutors, all of which are based on the organization of the court.

The job of the People’s Prosecutor in criminal matters is to prosecute. Any step of the court procedure, excluding the mediation process, may be supervised and overseen by the People’s Prosecutor for non-criminal matters. For the most part, it looks at all the material and makes a proposal for consideration by the tribunal panel. 

The New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, signed in 1958, lists Vietnam as a signatory. Due to a lack of faith in the competency and openness of Vietnamese courts, international investors often turn to arbitration in other countries. As a result of the restricted definition of “commercial activity” under Vietnamese law, international arbitral decisions were difficult to enforce until recently. To ensure national acceptance of international arbitration verdicts, the New York Convention exclusively applies to business disputes

In a joint circular, a decision, a directive, and a circular are all used (issued collectively by different ministries or by a ministry and a political and social organization.)The Official Gazette is where legal documents are made public.

FOREIGN JUDGEMENT STATUS IN VIETNAM

Civil judgments or rulings issued by foreign courts that are not recognized or implemented in Vietnam: When a civil judgment or decision is made by a court but has not yet been given legal force by the country’s legal system. The judgment debtors or their legal representatives were unable to attend court proceedings in other countries since they were not called.

There is no longer a time restriction for enforcing civil judgments or rulings in the nations where the courts made them or under Vietnamese law. Vietnamese law forbids the acceptance and execution of foreign court judgments or rulings in the country.

International treaties, which Vietnam has signed or acceded to, require that the petitions be supported by the papers and documents specified therein. The petitions must be accompanied by duly certified copies of foreign court judgments or decisions in cases where such international treaties do not provide for or are not available; documents certifying that such judgments or decisions have taken effect, have not expired, and should be enforced in Vietnam, except where these details have already been clearly stated in the judgments or decisions; documents certifying that the copies of the Vietnam Process Service documents are valid.  Foreign courts demand documentation proving that the judgment debtors or their legal representatives have been called in the event that they are unable to attend the proceedings.

Second, petitions in foreign languages must be accompanied by Vietnamese translations that have been validated or notarized.

HOW TO SERVE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL PAPERS IN VIETNAM

Requests for Vietnam Process Service should be made in duplicate and submitted to Vietnam’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention with two sets of the Vietnam Process Service papers to be served and translations. It is recommended that the individual signing the document in the United States be either an attorney or a clerk of the court. Applicant’s name, address, and signature/stamp should contain the titles “attorney at law” or “court clerk.” If the individual served is not a US citizen, the Vietnam Process Service papers must be translated into Vietnamese before they may be served. A signature is required upon receipt of the mail by the person to whom it is sent. 

When Vietnam Process Service papers are submitted through registered mail with an acknowledgment of receipt, Vietnam enables service via postal channels in line with Article 10(a) of the Hague Service Convention. Personal Vietnam Process Service is provided by a court clerk in the majority of Vietnamese courts. Such mail-in requests cannot be tracked by the Vietnamese Central Authority, either for status or authenticity.

The ways of Vietnam Process Service are unaffected by an individual’s country. However, if delivered to a non-U.S. person, the papers must be translated into Vietnamese by Vietnamese translators.

For civil and commercial matters, Vietnam is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad. Vietnamese government provides that only Vietnamese judicial officials have the authority to undertake judicial actions in the country. Taking depositions in Vietnam by foreigners is a breach of Vietnam’s judicial sovereignty, according to Vietnam’s government. The letter’s rogatory procedure must be used for all requests for proof.

In order to provide a reliable and effective method of serving the Vietnam Process Service papers on parties that reside, operate, or are headquartered outside the United States, it was created. Vietnam Process Service in civil and commercial cases is covered by the convention’s rules, but criminal cases are not. If the individual to be served does not have a known address, the Convention does not apply. 

The Central Authority of Viet Nam forwards the Vietnam Process Service document to the competent authority or bailiff office. The competent authority or bailiff office will serve the Vietnam Process Service document directly to the addressee or the person who is entitled to receive the document. In some cases where direct Vietnam Process Service is impracticable, other methods may be employed in accordance with the Civil Procedure Code; Mutual Legal Assistance Law.

Vietnam Process Service by a particular method (Art. 5(1)(b)) would require the Central Authority of Viet Nam to forward the documents to the competent authority or bailiff office. The competent authority or bailiff office may execute the Vietnam Process Service to the extent that it is not contrary to Vietnamese domestic law. A competent authority or bailiff office performs this type of service. The addressee may refuse to accept it in any case.

The full translation is required for any document to be served under Article 5(1)(a)(b). The competent authority or bailiff office serves the translation to the addressee together with the original. Documents in these situations are sent to the appropriate authority or bailiff office by Viet Nam’s Central Authority (CAV). Vietnamese law permits the Vietnam Process Service to be performed as long as it does not conflict with Vietnamese domestic legislation. In this case, the bailiffs or the authorized authorities are responsible for providing this service. The recipient has the option of rejecting it at any time. 

The Hague Service Convention was implemented in Vietnam by AW 1334 / 1983. The competent Public Prosecutor, primarily the Prosecutor of the district in which the person being served is a resident, must issue an order for the serving of judicial and extrajudicial papers. In accordance with the Civil Procedure Code, Articles 122 and following, a process server is responsible for delivering papers to their intended recipients. Any Vietnam Process Service document needed to be provided under Article 5(1)(a) must have a complete translation. As part of the delivery process, a translation is included in addition to the original. 

The Hague Service Convention made it easier for parties to serve each other in other contracting nations by establishing a streamlined method of service. For each contracting state, there is a central body responsible for accepting Vietnam Process Service requests. An official of the judiciary who is qualified to serve process in the state where the service is to be made is entitled to transmit a request directly to the state’s central authority. Requests for Vietnam Process Service are handled by the recipient state’s central authority, generally via a local court, after receiving the request. The central authority delivers a certificate of service to the judicial officer who requested it after service has been completed and verified.

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 Vietnam

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 of our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington D.C

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Sources

1. A change in the statute passed in 2002 made it such that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoints judges instead of the local People’s Council. The National Assembly has taken over the decision-making process for the budgeting of local courts, which was formerly handled by the provincial departments of justice. Hopefully, this will increase the independence of the local courts from the local administration.

2. Vietnam has exclusive Vietnam Process Service jurisdiction over the matters. If the Vietnamese or foreign court has made a legally effective civil judgment or decision on the same case, which has been recognized and permitted by the Vietnamese court for enforcement in Vietnam, or if the Vietnamese court has accepted and been settling the case before it is accepted by a foreign court, then the Vietnamese court has accepted and settled the case

3. Ministry of Justice

Attn: International Law Department

60 Tran Phu street

Ba Dinh district

Ha Noi city

Viet Nam

+ 84 46273 9532

+ 84 6273 9359

haguevietnam@moj.gov.vn

4. U.S. Embassy Hanoi – Consular Annex

170 Ngoc Khanh

Ba Dinh District

Hanoi, Vietnam

Telephone: 

From outside Vietnam: +84-24-3850-5000

From the U.S.: 011-84-24-3850-5000

From landline within Hanoi: 3850-5000

From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 024-3850-5000

Emergency: 

From outside Vietnam: +84-24-3850-5000 or +84-24-3850-5105

From the U.S.: 011-84-24-3850-5000

From landline within Hanoi: 3850-5000 or 3850-5105

From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 024-3850-5000 or 024-3850-5105

Fax: (+84-24) 3850-5010

Email: acshanoi@state.gov

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Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City

4 Le Duan, District 1

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Telephone:

From outside Vietnam: +84-28-3520-4200

From the U.S.: 011-84-28-3520-4200

From landline within Ho Chi Minh City: 3520-4200

From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 028-3520-4200

Emergency:

From outside Vietnam: +84-28-3520-4200

From the U.S.: 011-84-28-3520-4200

From landline within Ho Chi Minh City: 3520-4200

From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 028-3520-4200

Fax: (+84-8) 3520-4244

5. Foreigners, such as American lawyers, are not allowed to take depositions in Vietnam for use in a US court.

6. Formal Service (Art. 5(1)(a))

7. Time for execution of request: About 3 to 6 months.

8. Costs relating to the execution of the request for service

(Art. 12):

Charges are only incurred if documents are served by a bailiff’s office or the use of a particular method of service. In that case, the Central Authority will inform the Requesting State. All charges must be paid before the competent authority or bailiff office executes the request

9. Bilateral Agreements on mutual judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters: Slovensko-Czech and Slovakia succeed (12 October 1982); Russia (25 August 1998); People’s Republic of China (19 October 1998); Hungary (18 January 1985); Mongolia(14 July 2000), Ukraine (06 April 2000); Belarus (14 September 2000); Poland (22 March 1993); Bulgaria (03 October 1986); France (24 February 1999); Lao PDR (06 July 1998); Kazakhstan (31 August 2011); Cuba (30 November 1984), Kingdom of Cambodia (22 January 2013), Chinese Taipei (2011); North Korea.

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