Hague Service Convention

Seeking Second Circuit Review of Service in Smart Study

The plaintiff in Smart Study has attempted to appeal Judge Woods’ careful decision concluding that the Hague Service Convention does not permit service by email.

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Serving Defendants in Ukrainian Territory Occupied by Russia

Both Russia and Ukraine are member states of the 1965 Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention (HSC)). After Russia occupied the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and its capital city, Sevastopol, and exercised control over certain areas of Ukraine (the “Occupied Areas”), Ukraine filed…

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Serving Chinese Defendants—Another Problematic Decision

An order last week in Teetex, LLC v. Zeetex, LLC illustrates some common and problematic approaches to serving process on defendants in China. When service under the Hague Service Convention had not been accomplished within six months, the district court authorized service by email on the defendant’s general manager in China and the general manager’s…

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How California Broke the Hague Service Convention

The Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters sets forth the rules for serving process on a defendant in another country that is party to the Convention. Under the terms of the Convention, service by mail is not permitted if the nation where the foreign defendant…

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Is the Treaty Supremacy Rule Really Dead?

In Medellín v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a non-self-executing treaty does not supersede conflicting state law, or perhaps that courts cannot enforce non-self-executing treaties to override conflicting state laws. After Medellín, one would have expected state courts in treaty supremacy cases to begin their analyses by determining whether a treaty is self-executing….

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SDNY Rejects Service by Email on Chinese Companies

In Smart Study Co. v. Acuteye-US, a federal court in the Southern District of New York (Judge Gregory Woods) rejected service by email on Chinese companies in a trademark and copyright infringement case. China and the United States are parties to the Hague Service Convention. The court reasoned that the Convention precludes service by email,…

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A Primer on State Law in Transnational Litigation

The procedural and substantive rules that U.S. courts apply in transnational litigation come from many sources, including the U.S. Constitution, international treaties, customary international law, federal statutes, federal rules, and federal common law (both preemptive and non-preemptive)—but also, state statutes, state rules, and state common law. This primer focuses on the underappreciated role of state…

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Nonperforming States and the Hague Service Convention: What to Do About Russia

The Hague Service Convention is supposed to provide a reliable means of serving process abroad. But what can the United States do about countries like Russia that refuse to execute U.S. requests for service? In an earlier post, I suggested that the Convention could be interpreted, or reinterpreted, to permit service by email in states…

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District Court Quashes Substituted Service on Chinese Defendant

In a recent decision, Topstone Communications, Inc. v. Chenyi Xu, a federal court in Texas (Judge Keith Ellison) held that a plaintiff headquartered in Texas must serve defendants based in China by using the Hague Service Convention. The opinion provides a good analysis of how both substituted service on a state official and service by email…

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Substituted Service and the Hague Service Convention

Can state law be used to avoid a federal treaty, even though the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution makes treaties supreme over state law? The somewhat surprising answer is yes—at least when it comes to the Hague Service Convention and state rules on substituted service. The Hague Service Convention governs transnational service of process…

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