Service of Process
The service of documents has a primary role in litigation and entails far-reaching consequences for the addressee pertaining to procedural law. Giving notice of a document by service can provide the basis for commencing court proceedings or a resulting statutory time period. Moreover, the fact of notification associated with the service, for instance, is also decisive for the effectiveness and legal validity of a court ruling. Accordingly, it is important that the service is capable of being evidenced.
As a general rule, service is effected on the relevant litigant or the appropriate legal counsel in the case of litigation involving necessary representation by lawyers. The purpose of service is in particular to give the addressee the opportunity to take note of a document and to render this cognizance verifiable for the serving party.
There are special rules for service performed outside of the Federal Republic of Germany or from a location outside of Germany to one within it. This is based in particular on the existing international law agreements, which are meant to help make it easier to serve judicial and extrajudicial documents.
Within the European Union, the law pertaining to cross-border service of judicial and extrajudicial documents is regulated by European law.
The cross-border service of judicial and extrajudicial documents, for example between Germany and the USA or Germany and Australia, is determined in the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters for the Member States.
Effective judicial service entails significant legal consequences. We review and ensure that service of the relevant document is carried out in proper form, be it service of a foreign document in Germany or service of a German document abroad.
Furthermore, we examine for you whether there has been a breach of mandatory service provisions if you have been served with a foreign document. In such a case, you should have an experienced lawyer review the existing legal possibilities.