Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Letters Rogatory to Brazil

letter rogatory to brazil header

Foreigners from some of the largest countries on the planet are beginning to make heavy investments in Brazil. But as international involvement with the country increases, so too does the incidence of complex legal issues with multi-country jurisdiction.

If you need the legal participation of a resident or company of Brazil in legal procedure abroad - either as a defendant or simply as a witness, then you may need to file Letters Rogatory. But don’t worry if you’re not sure what that is or how it works. We’ve put together this article to clear it up for you.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Letters Rogatory?

Letters Rogatory are a formal method for serving process to someone in another country. They are essentially a request from a judge in the United States to the judiciary system in another country, like Brazil.

You may need to file Letters Rogatory to commence legal action against a person or company in Brazil if you’re a citizen of the United States or another country. They are typically communicated via diplomatic channels, which makes filing Letters Rogatory a time-consuming and potentially costly process.

Subsidiarily, Letters Rogatory may also be used to solicit the collaboration of the Brazilian Judiciary to enforce a decision already made abroad or to enforce the participation of Brazilian witnesses in a legal procedure abroad.

The Process of Filing Letters Rogatory

The United States describes the process of filing Letters Rogatory here. But we’ll put it into plain language in the sub-sections below.

1. Determine the Formatting Requirements of the Foreign Country

Every country has different requirements for Letters Rogatory. So the first step is figuring out which requirements you need to follow in order to have the documents be considered valid in the country of Brazil.

2. Create a Draft Letters Rogatory

Once you’ve identified any formatting requirements, the next step is drafting a document that conforms to those requirements.

3. Secure a Judge’s Signature

Next, you need to submit several copies of the Letters Rogatory to a district court, along with supporting information. The court will review the documents and, assuming they meet all specifications, a judge will sign them to indicate that they are valid.

4. Authenticate the Documents

Once you have a judge’s signature, your next step will be to authenticate the documents per the instructions of the OIA. This typically involves getting the original documents apostilled, but can vary.

5. Translate the Documents

Finally, you need to translate the apostilled documents into the official language of the foreign country (Portuguese for Brazil). After that, you’ll have to send the translated documents to the Department of State and wait for them to transmit to the correct institution in Brazil.

Is There Another Way to Serve Process in Brazil?

In the United States, you can hire a process server to complete this step in the legal journey. But in Brazil, serving process is the responsibility of the judiciary.

That means if you want to file a legal claim in Brazil, you can’t do it on your own or hire an individual from a private company to do it for you. Even though this process can be time-consuming and costly, the unfortunate reality is that you have to go through it to initiate a legal claim.

What Happens After Letters Rogatory Are Filed and Delivered?

It can take over a year to complete the Letters Rogatory process. But once that happens, your legal case in Brazil can begin moving forward in a much faster process.

Letters Rogatory are designed to serve process in a legally valid way. Once you’ve done that, you can file your claim in a Brazillian court and the other party will be legally obligated to participate in the claim, or else they will risk losing it by default.

If there’s any problem with delivering your Letters Rogatory, then your attorney will hear from the judiciary to learn what the next step is.

Oliveira Lawyers Can Simplify Your Letters Rogatory Process

Filing Letters Rogatory is a complicated, time-consuming legal process. But you need to get through it if you have an important legal issue to settle with a company or person who is from Brazil.

But there’s no reason to make this process any more difficult for you than it already is. That’s why you should consider reaching out to Oliveira Lawyers.

We specialize in cases like Letters Rogatory and would be happy to leverage that expertise to help you reach your goals with minimal stress, costs, and as short of a timeline as possible.


You can get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help.