Judgment creditor held a default judgment in excess of $414 million against a judgment debtor located in China. The judgment debtor moved to set aside the judgment based on inter alia improper service that did not follow the terms of the Hague Service Convention. The lower court found the service was proper, because although the service did not follow the terms of the Convention, the parties alternatively agreed to accept service by mail.
The appellate court reversed, finding that parties may not contract around the requirements of the Hague Service Convention.
Simple lesson, but massively consequential point: you cannot contract around the Hague Service Convention!
I was just explaining that concept to a client this morning-- defendants in China lack the legal authority to accept service that isn't sent through the Central Authority in Beijing.ReplyDelete
But they could have prevented the issue in a different way-- designate an agent for service in the United States. If service is effected on that agent, the Convention isn't applicable.