International Service of Process Article 10
The three methods of service of process pursuant to Article 10 of the Hague Convention are service by mail, fax or e-mail, direct service through local private process server and service by a qualified legal professional. Countries which allow these alternative means of service make a separate designation in the documents they file with the Convention in which they are given the opportunity to state objections to, issue a requirement or impose restrictions on any of the three aforementioned methods of service.
The first instance can be open to interpretation as it permits the requesting judicial officer to send judicial documents by various postal channels to the countries that permit this method whilst the other two provisions state serve or service. There is controversy as to whether the provision allows service directly by mail. In the United States some courts hold the view that the provision allows direct service of documents by mail while other courts are of the opinion that the provision only permits the sending of documents by mail but not service of documents. Some European countries interpret the provision as allowing formal service by mail but others require the service of documents to be processed through the central authority of that country.
Many countries permit the use of the other two methods of service but in many cases these are not practical options. There are many countries where judicial officers will not serve documents sent to them from private individuals in the United States, process servers, as a separate profession, are not recognised and U.S. consular officials are, by regulation, not permitted to assist in the service of process.
If the enforcement of a judgement abroad is being sought then the judgement must be obtained by means of service considered valid in the courts of that country. As the Hague Service Convention is recognised as a valid means of service by the courts of all the signatory countries, including all U.S. courts, then use of the convention will negate the possibility of problems with the judgement.