Service of Process

Service of Legal Process

Service of Process in the US

We serve legal process in San Francisco, the Bay Area, California and throughout the US. At the time of service, we attempt to take a photo of the person served, (and are usually successful) with the documents in hand. We also report any relevant information gathered at the scene. If the location turns out to be incorrect, we do not just try again later, as many process servers do. We gather information – talk to neighbors, landlords, employers, whatever sources are available at that location, in order to ascertain Subject’s location. We go the extra mile. Most importantly, we get the papers into the hand of the Subject, while doing our best to maintain their good will.

We can also pass on whatever message you may have for them, or potentially put them in telephonic contact with you on the spot. We can also interview the Subject regarding the matter at hand and serve them (or not), depending on their responses.

Service of Process in China

We serve legal process throughout China. We offer two methods of process service; Formal process service and informal process service.

Formal Process Service in China under the Hague Convention

China is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-Judicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (20 U.S.T. 361; 658 U.N.T.S. 163, T.I.A.S. No. 6638; 28 U.S.C.A.). Process service under the Hague Convention is the legal manner of process service in China and in most cases, by the Client’s jurisdiction as well.

The process for serving legal process on a party in China is as follows:

1. The service documents must be translated into Simplified Chinese. The translation does not need to be notarized or certified, but must be accurate. We can translate the documents for you, or you can do it in-house. Please email, send or fax us the service documents for a quote.

2. A case summary, also translated. The summary should cover the case facts and the witness’ relevance to the case.

3. A citation from Client’s jurisdiction, regarding authority to serve, also translated.

4. A summary of all known information about the person to be served – name, address, telephone numbers, ID number, work location, etc. We recommend providing as much information as possible about the Subject, including any known phone numbers and the numbers of any known relatives. This will assist the bailiff, who will actually be serving the documents.

5. We will prepare the appropriate forms and attachments, check your documents and prepare a packet for the Chinese Central Authority, along with the requisite US $95 fee.

The forms and service documents are then processed by the Central Authority and provided to the local court for approval and personal service. If approved, the judge will task a local bailiff or police officer to personally serve the documents. He or she will attempt to personally serve the Subject, but in practice, if unable to locate the person, they may leave the documents at the Subject’s home. The bailiff makes the decision regarding how much effort they make to personally serve the documents, so we recommend providing the bailiff with as much information about the Subject as possible.

Following service on the party, the bailiff will notify the local judge, who will notify the Central Authority. The Central Authority will mail a Certificate of Service, to us anf we will FedEx it to you. The process takes about 3 months to complete.

Informal Process Service in China

Personal service by handing the documents to a party is not recognized as legal service in China and there is no compulsion for the person served to respond. However this type of service of process, along with a Declaration or Proof of Service may be sufficient for your purpose.

At the time of service, we take a photo of the person served, with the documents in hand. Occasionally we are unable to get the photo, but we will try. If you request, we also gather information about the Subject at the location where the service takes place – home, work, etc. If the location you provide turns out to be incorrect, we do not just try again later, as many process servers do. We talk to neighbors, landlords, employers at that location. We try to locate the Subject using interview, database, whatever works. Most importantly, we get the papers into the hand of the Subject, while doing our best to maintain their good will.

We can also pass on whatever message you may have for them, put them in telephonic contact with you or interview the Subject regarding the case at hand and serve them (or not), depending upon their responses.

Please call or email us for a quote.