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Service of Process in Brazil

Service of Process in Brazil

If you don’t live in Brazil but you have a legal issue with someone who does, then you need to serve them process to initiate a case in the court system. But how do you do that? What are the requirements? And how do you ensure that you can begin legal proceedings as soon as possible?

This article was designed to answer those questions. Keep reading to learn more.

Understanding Service of Process

The concept of serving process isn’t unique to Brazil. It’s also a requirement in the United States and most other countries. The idea behind it is to ensure that people who are taken to court by others have adequate time to prepare a defense for the charges being levied against them.

This is why the first step toward starting a legal claim against another person in Brazil is serving them notice. Once you’ve done that, your case will begin working its way through the legal system.

Service of Process in Brazil

Brazil is a signatory of the Hague Service Convention, which sets the international standard for service of process. Accordingly, when you want to serve someone with process in Brazil, you need to follow a specific sequence of steps in order to do so in a legally valid manner.

We’ll take a look at what this process looks like in the sub-sections below.

1. Submit a Request to the Central Authority

The first step is submitting a legally valid request for service of process to the Central Authority. Note that you can’t do this by post from abroad. You need someone in Brazil to file the request for you.

2. Wait to Hear Back

Once you file the request, several steps will transpire within the Brazillian legal system, which you don’t need to be involved with unless explicitly requested.

Assuming the request you submitted is valid, the Central Authority will forward it to the Superior Court of Justice. This is the institution that will formally approve the request, after processing it for compliance.

After that, the Supreme Court of Justice will send the service of process to a federal judge, who will formally deliver it to the party in question.

3. Move Forward With Your Case or Try Again

After all of these steps take place, you will eventually be alerted whether or not the service of process was successfully executed or not. It could take between five and six months for all of this to play out.

If the service of process wasn’t successfully delivered, then you have a few options. You can either try again with an updated address and contact information or try using Letters Rogatory instead.

Document Translation Requirement

It’s important to note that all of the documents involved in your service of Brazillian process request must be officially translated and certified into Portuguese.

This includes documents like summons, complaints, and exhibits.

If you don’t translate any of these documents or fail to have the translations certified, your request could be denied by the Central Authority and you would need to begin the process over again.

Is Informal Service of Process Possible in Brazil?

Brazil has objected to Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention, which outlines the use of informal methods for serving process. This means that it’s not possible to serve process informally in Brazil.

If you try to make a request directly to a judicial officer instead of going through the whole procedure outlined above, your request will be ruled invalid and you will have to start over.

The only other option that you have is using Letters of Rogatory, which involve making a formal request to the Brazillian court system for help in the service of process.

Oliveira Lawyers Simplifies Service of Process in Brazil

The unfortunate reality is that serving process in Brazil (and most other countries) is far from simple. If you want to give yourself the best chance of doing it successfully and in as little time as possible, then you’re going to need professional support.

Oliveira Lawyers can provide you with that support. We’ll handle every step of the process, from legal document drafting to help with translations. With our help, you can serve process in Brazil successfully so that you can get the legal judgment you deserve as soon as possible.

So why wait? Contact us today to get started.