Service of process over foreign entity

Close-up Of Mailman Delivering Mail To PersonWhen a foreign client is sued in a U.S. court, the first question we typically address is the issue of how the complaint was served. It is not uncommon for some plaintiff’s lawyers to attempt service of process over a foreign entity by mailing the complaint to the company’s headquarters. If the entity that you are representing resides in a country that is a signatory to the Hague Convention, then the issue may be well settled. However, in those instances where you are defending an entity that resides in a country that is not a signatory, then the issue can become more difficult to resolve.

We recently dealt with this issue on behalf of an Indonesian manufacturer that had received a copy of the summons and complaint through international mail. Mail is not a method of service prescribed by Indonesian law, nor was it a method directed by an Indonesian authority in response to a letter rogatory. In fact, mail service is arguably prohibited by Indonesian law. Therefore, at first blush, mail service on our client had to be improper.

Continue Reading Is International Service of Process by Mail Permitted?