There is no process server in Germany as you know it from the USA, the UK, Australia or Canada. But the good news is: we will deliver all the legal papers in Germany for you in private and commercial matters.
If you want to have a document served in Germany in accordance with your instructions, you often face several hurdles. Many companies and business people who are not based abroad have difficulties delivering documents here, because they cannot find a process server.
In this article, you learn how process service is done in this country, where difficulties are and what the best option for service of process is.
What is the legal situation in Germany?
Although the delivery process is quite simple in theory, you will not find anyone called process server in Germany. This is because there is no proper process service in our country.
If you are not from abroad, you are probably wondering astonished. You are wondering how such a thing can be possible at all. After all, Germans also have to deliver documents to people somehow.
The answers to your questions are simple, according to German law there is no reason to deliver the documents with the help of a server.
It is not uncommon for our clients to find themselves in a situation where they have a debtor in Germany who is deliberately avoiding the service of a document. In this case you need someone who will do the process service for you in this country.
How do you serve official documents in Germany?
If there is a legal dispute between two different parties, the German Civil Court takes over the service of official papers. Documents are served to the different parties, experts and witnesses via the German Civil Court. In most cases the German Civil Court acts as server.
Scriptures that can be served by the Civil Court include not only court orders, but also any correspondence between the various parties and the courts.
Since every person living in Germany must be registered in the Residents’ Registration Office, every person living here has a recorded official address. Documents can then also be delivered by post to this address.
Process Service by a bailiff
Only in some cases does German law stipulate that documents must be served personally by a court bailiff from a central authority. However, service by a bailiff is complicated in most cases and you will have you patience tested.
Germans also deliver very important papers by registered mail. This is a type of postal service in which the sender of the letter receives proof of delivery. This proof is provided in the form of a receipt from the Deutsche Post. In Germany, this is sufficient in most cases as proof of delivery of documents. Of course, the sending of the papers is also noted in the respective files.
This method of sending documents testifies that the documents have been sent, but it does not prove that the consignment with the documents has also arrived at the address. The fact that the post has arrived at the address is not officially recorded anywhere.
For people who live in our country, this is the way to deliver official scriptures. It becomes problematic if you want to deliver documents to Germany from a country other. In some other countries, it is usually necessary to have papers served by process servers.
How do you serve court papers in Germany if you live outside of the country?
Many people or a company for example who want a service of process here try to do so with the help of a bailiff. Unfortunately, this does not always work like you would expect. Since the bailiffs work for the state and not for you, they have no reason to hurry. As a result, this process can take a very long time.
Are process servers reliable in Germany?
A problem that can occur is that you might have problems communicating with the bailiff. No one can assure you that one of the bailiffs speaks English and if he does, no one can say if his language skills are good enough to communicate properly.
What could be the biggest problem, however, is that the bailiffs have their own method of documenting service. This documentation is not sufficient for the courts in other countries.
The only option left for you is to ask a bailiff to document the service according to your wishes. If the bailiff does not speak fluently English, your only option is to use an English-speaking lawyer as an intermediary. This person could correspond with you in English and with the bailiff in German at the same time. However, this is very inconvenient and complicated.
Even if you have been assured of appropriate documentation of the delivery, translations of the document will need to be added. Depending on which language the recipient speaks, the document may need to be translated. Thus, additional translation services are needed. The costs for the bailiff plus the translation costs are no small sum. In addition, according to the Hague service convention some documents need an apostille to have an official status in the respective countries.
What is the best way to do a process service in Germany?
As you can see, there are several methods to do a service of process, but it should be clear right now, that a bailiff is not the ideal option to do a service of process.
Fortunately, there is an easier option than using a bailiff for people from other countries. Our detective agency can act as process servers and serve documents and record the process for you. The documentation includes a report of the service, photos and, if you wish, a video of the envelope being served.
Our private detectives can testify to the contents of the paper. Process service by a detective is also suitable when there are deadlines to be met, that the service via post cannot ensure. The private investigator must take note of the contents of the document before delivery.
If the addressee cannot be reached, it is possible to put the document in the letterbox or slip it under the door. This ensures delivery to the personal area.
Germany Process Service – ask for a quote
If you are in need of a proper formal service of documents our detective agency can help you. Contact us now to get an offer for a formal service.