Service of Process in Mexico (Hague)

The right to give notice to the other party in order to provide him with an opportunity to defend himself, is fundamental concept of fairness and justice.  Therefore, notice is strictly required in almost every legal proceeding except on extraordinary circumstances.  If both parties are located within the same jurisdiction there is no major complication for execution of service. Local procedural rules control.


However, what if the defendant lives in another country? Are the rules for execution of service abroad the same as the ones we have in the United States?

For example, let’s say the person you are trying to sue or notify about a lawsuit is  located in Mexico., can you just send your documents by mail and simply file a regular proof of service by mail form in the Court.


Or, what about “personal service” upon a defendant that lives abroad? Is it Permitted under Mexican Law, just as it is in the US? Are Translations required?


You will find your answers here with us.  For instance you should be generally aware that in Mexico, there are only two methods of valid service of process:


  •  By formal notification made by an official clerk of the court who is usually referred to as; “Actuario” or “Notificador”.  The job of a “Notificador”, is simply execute formal notice.  The “Notificador” is an employee of the judicial authority and not a private citizen.
  • The second method is by publication, and it might be used only in the event that one of the parties is not located, or in other circumstances as prescribed by law or petitioned by the parties.
  • Service by mail is not permitted.  Service by private personal service is no permitted either, and service by US consulate involvement is not permitted, (unless the served party is a US citizen).


Based on the above, in the recent years more United States  Courts have decided to require that in order to ensure fair due process, and proper notice, a party seeking to serve a defendant who is located abroad, shall made such service pursuant the procedure established by the Hague Convention for the service abroad of judicial or extrajudicial documents on civil and commercial matters “The Hague Convention”.


“The Hague Convention for the service abroad of Judicial or Extrajudicial documents on Civil and Commercial matters”, is a multilateral treaty which has been signed and ratified  by the United States of America in (1967)., and by Mexico in (2000)., and by other 65 Countries which are currently fully participants of the convention.


The Convention establishes the procedure and the substantive international law, which can be used to serve with legal process a defendant who is located abroad.  Thus, if you are a lawyer or a Plaintiff, or Petitioner and you want serve with legal documents a person who is in Mexico or somewhere else, you need to consult with an expert in Private International Law. A consultation with an expert can  help you to make the process of the Hague Convention more easy to understand and more easy to execute.


We are certain that you may be asking yourself right now, how do they do it? How long does it take? How much does it cost?, We have the answers to those and more questions you might have.  We are here to help you! Call or write to us to discuss your case, we will be glad to help.