Service of Process

In China, we offer Formal Service of Process and Informal Service of Process. Formal process service under the Hague Convention is the only method of process service legally recognized by China, but informal service of process may be sufficient for your needs. Please click below for a more detailed description of our services.

We offer two methods of process service in China, Formal Process Service and Informal Process Service.

Formal Process Service in China under the Hague Convention

China is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-Judicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (20 U.S.T. 361; 658 U.N.T.S. 163, T.I.A.S. No. 6638; 28 U.S.C.A.) and service of process under the Hague Convention is the only way to serve process in China in a way that is legally recognized by China and in most cases, by the Client’s jurisdiction as well.

In order to formally serve process on a party in China on your behalf, we will need the following:

1. The service documents must be translated into Chinese. The translation must be accurate, but does not need to be notarized or certified. We can translate the documents for you at a cost of $65 per page. Please email, send or fax us the documents for an exact quote.

2. A case summary, also translated.

3. A service authority citation from Client’s jurisdiction, also translated.

4. A summary of any information known about the person to be served – name, address, telephone number, relatives name and addresses, ID number, work location, etc. We recommend providing as much information as possible about the Subject, including any known phone numbers and the numbers of any known relatives.

We will prepare the appropriate forms and attachments and provide the packet to the Chinese Central Authority, along with the requisite fee. The cost of the service is is US $555, including the Central Authority processing fee..

The forms and service documents are then processed by the central authority and provided to the local court for approval and service. If approved, the court will task a local bailiff or police officer to serve the documents. The police will attempt to personally serve the Subject, but if unable to locate the person, may leave the documents at the Subject’s residence of record. The decision regarding how much effort is made to personally serve the documents is largely left up to the bailiff, so we recommend providing the bailiff with as much information about the Subject as possible.

Upon service, the bailiff will notify the local court, which will notify the Central Authority. The Central Authority will prepare a Certificate of Service, which will be mailed to the client. The process takes 3 or 4 months to complete.

Informal Process Service in China

Personal service by handing the documents to the party is not recognized as legal service in China and there is no compulsion for the Servee to respond. However this type of service of process, along with a Proof of Service and/or declaration may be sufficient for your purposes.

We serve legal process throughout China. At the time of service, we attempt to take a photo of the person served, (and are usually successful) with the documents in hand. We also report any relevant information gathered at the scene. If the location turns out to be incorrect, we do not just try again later, as many process servers do. We gather information – talk to neighbors, landlords, employers, whatever sources are available at that location, in order to ascertain Subject’s location. We go the extra mile. Most importantly, we get the papers into the hand of the Subject, while doing our best to maintain their good will.

We can also pass on whatever message you may have for them, or potentially put them in telephonic contact with you on the spot. We can also interview the Subject regarding the matter at hand and serve them (or not), depending on their responses.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss details, budget and strategy.