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Serving legal documents in the Netherlands

Serving legal documents in the Netherlands 

The methods of serving a document or service of process in the Netherlands depends on the nature of the documents to be served. Serving legal documents is an important procedural step in a formal legal dispute in the Netherlands. Private process servers like bailiffs, registered post and local agents may also be used in the Netherlands to transmit and serve documents in the Netherlands. Service via these methods, however, is only possible if for the specific legal document for which service is to be effected the method of service is accepted by Dutch law. Service by registered post is limited to certain actions or judicial documents. One of our Dutch lawyers can always provide information about private process servers' costs, and other details. 

Serving documents via diplomatic channels 

Transmission of documents via diplomatic channels is usually only used when prescribed by law or treaty or where existing arrangements such as a bilateral or convention arrangement do not exist. Most serving of court documents is done by a Dutch bailiff. A Dutch lawyer can arrange for the proper serving of a legal document in the Netherlands. If legal papers are not delivered the way the Dutch law says the papers may not count. The defendant or respondent can ask the Court to dismiss the case for bad service. In that case  the plaintiff or petitioner can start the case again against the Dutch defendant. Also check out: pre-trial discovery and disclosure.

Serving Claim in the Netherlands 

The way documents should be served depends on the document being served and who is supposed to get the document. The main documents to be served by the Claimant to a Defendant are the Notice of his Claim called the Writ of Summons (Dagvaarding)and Applications to a Dutch Court. The Writ of Summons always needs to served by a Dutch Bailiff. An Application to the Court may be served by a Dutch Attorney. Once a court case in the Netherlands is registered and running with the Court the legal documents in this procedure are dealt with only by the Dutch lawyers instructed by the parties. 

Serving legal documents with a Company in the Netherlands 

All notifications like a Writ of Summons, Notice to appear in Court, Notification oa a garnishment should be served by th Dutch Bailiff at Registered Office address of the company (at a place where the company carries on business. and a copy of the document by registered mail. A Dutch company can also be served by leaving a copy of the document with a director,  liquidator,  or other fully authorized person on behalf of the company. Also read: injunctions in Dutch Court.

Certificate of Service at Dutch address 

After a document has been served you must prove it was served. Proof usually is in writing although a Registrar or Judge can permit sworn oral evidence that a document was given to a person. Certificate of Service (called exploit)  must be a copy of the document that was served by the bailiff. In addition, if service was done by registered mail you must attach either a copy of the signature obtained by the Postal service used at the time the document was delivered, or a print out of the delivery confirmation made available by Postal service used. If a document was served personally on the Dutch lawyer (in case the client has chosen domicile at the lawyer’s address) a copy of the served document signed by the receiving lawyer (or employee of his law firm) is required. For any questions please contact Mark van Weeren.

LAW - associated firm

Together with a number of international law firms outside
The Netherlands, Blenheim is member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide.

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