April 17, 2009
A brief detour into international civil procedure
In a case that could have major implications for U.S. civil actions against Mexican parties, a U.S. district court has held that the only way of lawfully serving a Mexican defendant is through the country's central authority in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The case,OGM Inc v. Televisa, 08-cv-05742 (C.D. Calif.), is a breach of contract and copyright action against a leading Mexican broadcaster.
Apparently U.S. plaintiffs for the last decade or so have been serving Mexican defendants by mail or through a process server, but that practice, said the court, is based on an erroneous translation of Mexico's declarations under the Hague Convention. The ruling could have a major impact on many decisions entered against Mexican defendants who did not appear to defend themselves.
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