Process Serving in France – Hague Convention

Process Serving In France

Serving a defendant in France isn’t the same as serving a defendant in the US.

France is a party to The Hague Convention and there are specific rules to follow in order to effect service. Here, we’ll discuss the different forms of service in France.

How it Works

Preparation of the process requires a few steps and requires going through France’s Central Authority.

In order to start the process, first, complete a USM-94, also called a Hague Service Request.

Second, have everything translated and certified. France’s declaration to Article 5(3) states that it’s required, even for someone who speaks English perfectly. Otherwise, the French Central Authority may decline your request.

Your service could be carried out by a police officer who is directed by the local public prosecutor for the defendant. The second option takes your request to the Central Authority, who will forward the request to a huissier de justice instead. There is also a fee involved for this service.

Don’t forget to include your name, address and other contact information, as well as the defendant’s information, and the Central Authority’s address as well. A list of documents is also required.  Also, only an attorney, court official or someone commissioned by the court can sign the form, no one else.

Once completed, send your documents (complete with duplicates and translations) to France’s Central Authority.

While you’ll end up with an executed affidavit of service, the process will take time. The service can take several weeks to as long as six months to complete.

Get My Defendant Served In A Week! – Alternative Forms of Service

If the standard form of service isn’t practical, or you want to try to get it faster, there are other options under Article 10. France does not object to this alternative, so they are allowed.

  • Hiring Us, Direct Method, We can have a certified agent deliver the documents and sign an affidavit of service.

Private process service can be much faster than going through the formal method (Central Authority). However, there is a possibility the judgment from an alternative form of service may not be enforceable or/and the opposing counsel or Judge might not accept service.

Certified Legal Translation is Required

When submitting documents for service of process in France, translation is required. They made an official declaration that if the translation is not submitted your application will be denied. This translation is attached to the papers submitted for service where the Central Authority or other official receives them.

Without a translation, a defendant in France can claim invalid service under Article 688-6 of the French Code of Civil Procedure, which states that:

The process shall be notified in the language of the originating State.

Notwithstanding the above, the addressee who does not know the language in which the process is drawn may refuse the notification thereof and ask that it be translated or be subjoined with a translation in the French language at the instance and at the expense of the petitioner.

Including a full legal translation of all the documentation will help make sure that your service of process is successful.

By Legal Pros. For Legal Pros

Do you have a defendant you need to serve who lives in Paris, or anywhere in France? Judicial Process and Support is ready to help no matter where you need service of process. We work with clients to ensure that your process is served in accordance with the state and country’s requirements.

International service of process is important, especially with a party in the European Union. Make sure that your service is completed correctly. You can call us today at 1-800-852-5002, or email us at We’re happy to answer all your questions.

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