Service of Process
Service of process both provides a defendant with notice of a lawsuit and asserts the court’s authority over the defendant. Proper service is necessary to obtain a judgment that will be recognized in other jurisdictions. In the United States, service can be accomplished through private parties. Many foreign states, however, regard service as a public act that can only be effectuated by government officials. That difficulty is addressed by the Hague Service Convention, to which the United States is a party and with which compliance is mandatory when a case falls within its scope.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(f), which incorporates the Convention, explains how to serve defendants in federal cases when they are located outside the United States.
Serving process on a defendant does two things: (1) it asserts the court’s authority over the defendant; and (2) it provides the defendant with notice of the lawsuit. In the United States, process can be served by private parties. But many foreign states regard service as a public act that can be done only by…Continue Reading
Regular TLB readers may recall that federal district courts are struggling with an important procedural question: whether they may authorize email service when the defendant resides in a country that is party to the Hague Service Convention. In Smart Study Co. v. Acuteye-U.S., Judge Gregory H. Woods (SDNY) held that the answer is no. The…Continue Reading
In Whirlpool Corporation v. Shenzhen Sanlida Electrical Technology Company, the Fifth Circuit addressed the interaction between the Hague Service Convention and the preliminary injunction. Briefly, Whirlpool sued Shenzhen in the Eastern District of Texas for trademark and trade dress infringement related to Whirlpool’s “iconic” KitchenAid mixer. (Much like a prior Seventh Circuit case, this one…Continue Reading