Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: What is the Hague Service Convention?
The Hague Service Convention is a multilateral treaty established in 1965 that has been ratified by 79 countries (as of June 2021). This treaty governs the transmittal of judicial or extrajudicial documents to a foreign country that is also a member to the Hague Convention. A judicial document is a legal document issued in the course of a civil or commercial lawsuit, Such as a summons, a writ, or a judgement. Examples of extra-judicial documents: extra-judicial settlements (for divorce, estates, etc.)
The timeframe for service depends on the destination country’s timeline and resource availability. Certain countries are able to complete service of process in 90 days however the majority of countries will require 180 days or more to complete service. The estimated time for Canada is 100 days, for Mexico is one year, and UK (England) is 6 months. Times may vary, contact our customer service department for more information.
Questions 2: When is the Hague Convention needed?
Question 3. How do I serve a foreign court document?
Question 4: When are Letters Rogatory the only method?
Prior to the Hague Service Convention, service was generally effected using letters rogatory, also commonly referred to as a request for international judicial assistance.
Letters Rogatory is the only method for service when the recipient country is not a member to a treaty such as the Hague Convention on Service Abroad and/or the InterAmerican Convention on Letters Rogatory.
SPI can assist you with the proper guidance as to what service to do and if letters rogatory is the only option available.