Finland Process Service
Process service, also known as "service of process,” is the procedure employed to give an appropriate notice of initial legal action to another party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body in an effort to exercise jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body, or other tribunal. Notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (called "process") to the person to be served.
Finland PROCESS SERVERs
Finland process servers serve civil and commercial matters pursuant to the Hague Service Convention, which is 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 service of process in civil and commercial matters but not criminal matters. Also, the Convention shall not apply if the address of the person to be served with the document is not known.
Method of Service
Article 5(1)(a) Service
The national provisions for the service of documents can be found in the Code of Judicial Procedure (Oikeudenkäymiskaari, 4/1734), Chapter 11.
When the court takes responsibility for service in a legal dispute, service takes place primarily by post. The letter may arrive either with advice of receipt to the post office or direct to the home, in which case the certificate of receipt in the envelope must be returned to the court. If it is likely that service of a writ of summons by post will not be successful, or if responsibility for service is given to a party, service will be performed by a bailiff.
The service of a trial document other than a writ of summons may also be carried out by sending the document as a normal letter to the post address or another address notified to the court by the interested party. This means that for example invitations, exhortations and notices may be served on a party to civil proceedings electronically, if the party in question has indicated such an address - an e-mail address or a fax number - to the court as the address for service.
Services of documents other than trial documents are performed by a process server at the request of an authority or a private individual.
In cross-border cases, the requests for service of documents by foreign authorities based on the Hague Convention are forwarded from the Central Authority to the Finnish district court in the area where the addressee has his/her/its’ place of residence. The service is performed by the District Court’s process server. The practical procedure is usually that a process server serves the documents on the addressee personally.
Service of Notices
The Court sees to it that the parties and the witnesses receive the summonses to hearings and the other notices appropriately and on time.
Service of notices is usually done by post. The letter may be sent either to the post office, to be signed for as received, or directly to the recipient, in which event the certificate of receipt contained in the envelope must be returned to the District Court. With the recipient’s consent, the service of notices may also be effected electronically. In that case, the recipient is notified that the document can be retrieved on a server indicated by the district court.
If it is likely that service by post will not be successful, the District Court’s process servers deliver the notice to the recipient in person. In criminal cases the notice is even in general delivered by process servers. In connection with undisputed claims, the service of summons may also be effected via telephone.
Other documents than those that require verifiable service (e.g. statements of the opposing party, summons to a preparatory hearing and main hearing, summaries drawn up by the court etc.) can be sent directly to the postal address or e-mail address given by the party.
In addition to notices in connection to court cases the District Court’s process servers also have other official duties relating to service of notices.
A translation is not required; however, if the addressee does not accept a document in a foreign language, service can only be effected if the document is translated into one of the official languages of Finland, i.e. Finnish or Swedish, or if the addressee must be deemed to understand the foreign language. Companies with international business relations must be deemed to understand English, German or French.
Timeline for Execution
The average time for the service of documents in Finland is about four weeks.
The Hague Service Convention established a more simplified means for parties to effect 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 who is competent to serve process in the state of origin is permitted to send request for service directly to the central authority of the state where 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 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 is that it is faster (requests generally take two to four months rather than six months to one year), it uses standardized forms which should be recognized by authorities in other states, and it is cheaper (in most cases).
Alternate Methods of Service
The Hague Convention provides various modes of process service of documents such as by postal channel or by diplomatic/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 takes a long time: 4 to 12 months. The convention gives relief to the litigants if they have not received 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 judgement. Also, in case of urgency, the court may issue a provisional order or protective measure even before six-month waiting period.
Service by Mail
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.
Documents can be faxed (800)-296-0115, emailed firstname.lastname@example.org, mailed 590 Madison Avenue, 21 Floor, New York, New York 10022, or dropped off at any of our location. We do require pre-payment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records. This option is only available for email or fax.
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 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.
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