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Effectuating service of process on companies as well as individual persons located in the country of Nicaragua relating to lawsuits from outside of the country has just become easier. Earlier this year, Nicaragua formally signed on to the 1965 Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. Nicaragua formally adhered to the international law, referred to as The Hague Service Convention, on July 24, 2019. It will not come into force, however, until January 1, 2020.

The Hague Service Convention currently has 75 contracting countries across the world, and its purpose is to expedite the summons of parties in the contracting country that are involved in foreign proceedings. It is also aimed at expediting the service of parties abroad in connection with litigation in the contracting country. The Hague Service Convention model form – which is multilingual and has been widely tested – consists of three parts. These include request, certificate and summary, as well as warning. The Hague Service Convention model promotes efficiency in transmission of documents between the judicial authorities of each country and also reduces uncertainty as to whether service was properly effectuated.

Whether or not Nicaragua will allow for private process servers or service by mail is unknown at this time. However, legal experts believe the process will be smoother and easier when it comes to formally notifying parties about a pending lawsuit in another jurisdiction as a result of Nicaragua’s adherence to the Hague Service Convention.

Once Nicaragua’s adherence to the Hague Service Convention goes into effect, the letters rogatory will no longer need to be involved in service of process for these types of cases. Previously, documents needed to be legalized and attached to the model form; they also needed to be processed through diplomatic channels. Instead, Nicaragua’s central authority will be the sole entity responsible for handling service of process requests in the country under The Hague Service Convention.

Nicaragua’s adherence to the Hague Service Convention departs from the two-tiered approach, which is much more formalistic, of Letters Rogatory. The Inter-American Convention still remains the central law governing service of process that involves a Latin American country that has yet to adopt the Hague Service Convention. Examples of Latin American sovereigns who are not part of the Hague Service Convention include Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

If you need help with service process in Nicaragua, contact Ancillary Legal today.