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Old 03-05-2014, 03:14 PM   #1
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Default Process Serving in Germany?

Hi -

I hope everyone is doing well. Does anyone have experience with process serving in Germany, or internationally in general? My ex is a German citizen, living in Germany. I have petitioned the US court to change my 5 year old daughter's last name to mine, as she resides exclusively with me (he hasn't seen her in over 2 years), I enroll her in school, take her to doctors, travel with her, etc. The court told me I need to officially serve him the paperwork in Germany. I've been doing some research and have sent off some emails to the authorities in Germany who seem to be tasked with this. I've also reached out to the German Consul here in Denver. While I await replies, I thought to check here in case someone has experience with this.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Process Serving in Germany?

http://www.legallanguage.com/service...practitioners/

That seems to be a decent run down of the process and the website is advertising that they can do it.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Process Serving in Germany?

I have had to do this. The protocals are under the Hague Convention. I had to have someone served in London. There are three main ways to do it. The first is lengthy and expensive, but basically you hire a lawyer in Germany to draft a summons and arrange service. What is great about doing it that way is that there will be no voiding the judgment because there is indisputable proof that the person was served.

The other two ways are much simple: serve by central authority; or serve by international certified mail. You have to see what the treaty is under the Hague Convention with Germany.

A quick reading of service requirements for Germany under the Hague says that service by central authority is the ONLY way to effectively serve someone in Germany. Here is a list of central authorities that can effectuate service. http://www.hcch.net/upload/auth14_de.pdf.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Process Serving in Germany?

Thank you both. I appreciate the replies. I spoke with an international process serving company and it sounds very expensive and time-consuming. The central authority will only attempt to serve him at one address. I don't have his address, so that makes it even more challenging. I have sent documents by certified mail (with signature) before and that sufficed for the court. So I will do that again this time and hope it works. I expect my ex will likely a) consent to the name change or b) completely ignore any attempt to discuss it. I understand there is a chance that he could fight the German court after the fact. However, I seriously doubt he cares enough to take the time and money to do so. He is completely out of her life at this point. Sigh.

Anyway, thanks for the help! I hope you are all doing well.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Process Serving in Germany?

If he does not consent to it, and you default, just be aware that he can make a motion to set aside the judgment... but he would have to initiate proceedings in the court. Service issues are the #1 reason, with subject matter jurisdiction, reasons for voiding judgments in family law in my state.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Process Serving in Germany?

Could you please clarify "you default"?
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Process Serving in Germany?

She means you get a default judgment in your favor because he does not show up (because, he could argue, he hasn't been properly served).
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