Thailand Service of Process
process servers and investigators will serve your subpoena, summons,
or legal document in Thailand by legal process.
you are involved in a lawsuit, you already know how difficult it
can be dealing with the legal system. Things become even more complicated
when dealing with trans-national legal issues. The Thai legal system
is often more complicated and confusing than western ones. To make
sure that your subpoenas, lawsuits, summons, or other legal documents
are properly and legally authorized and delivered, legal assistance
is quite frankly, a necessary evil. Here at Siam Foreign Consultants
we have the experience to get the job done right and give you straight,
honest talk so that you get results without confusion.
are three major issues with regard to service of process in Thailand:(1) Is the service legal pursuant to foreign laws?(2) Is
the service legal pursuant to Thailand law? And is the service enforceable
in Thailand? (3) What are the conflict of law issues?
Is the service legal pursuant to Foreign Law?
There is a split in jurisdictions
on this question. Some jurisdictions (including many US states)
allow service by certified mail or by the execution of a return
of service form prepared by the person serving the documents. Many
US states require that the person serving the documents speak English.
Other jurisdictions require that the service be pursuant to local
Is the Service Legal Pursuant to Thai law? Is the Service Enforceable in Thailand?
The relevant provision is Section
70 of the Civil Procedure Code: All plaints, summonses and other
writs, and all orders and decrees of the Court shall be served by
an officer of the Court on the parties or any third person concerned;
however (1) subpoenas for witnesses shall be served directly by
the party on whose behalf the witnesses are summoned, unless the
Court otherwise orders or the witnesses refuse to accept the subpoenas;
in such case, the subpoenas shall be served by an officer of the
Court. (2) any order or decree of the Court, including orders fixing
the day of hearing or of taking evidence, as the case may be, or
an order for adjournment, shall, if the parties or persons concerned
are present in Court at the time when it is issued and have affixed
their signatures in cognisance thereof, be deemed to have been served
according to law. "In case of plaints, the plaintiff shall pay the
fees for service, and he shall or shall not procure the service
as he thinks fit, unless the Court shall order him to have the duty
to procure the service thereof. In case of summonses, other writs,
orders or decrees of the Court issued upon the application of any
party, if the Court does not order him to procure service also,
such party shall only pay the fees for service. In any other case,
it shall be the duty of the Court to secure service on the party
or person concerned."
this provision allows for service of a subpoena by the party directly,
this refers to domestic subpoenas. Foreign subpoenas may qualify
as "other orders." Therefore a foreign subpoena would have to be
served by a Thai Court officer to comply with Thai law.
a subpoena sent through official channels, that is, by the Letters
Rogatory Process, will result in the Thailand Ministry of Justice
having the Thai Courts serve the subpoena through an official process
server of the Thailand Court.
validly served subpoena that was obtained through the Letters Rogatory
process would be a document of record within the Thai Court system
and provide evidence that it was validly served by Thailand Judiciary
officers. Whether contempt of such a subpoena, by non-appearance
or non-compliance, would be punishable pursuant to Thai law and
in Thai Courts is an issue that has not yet been addressed by the
Thailand Supreme Court.
Conflict of Law Issues:
that the service of process in Thailand was contested in a US Court,
the validity of the service of process would come into play. The
Conflict of Law rules of the US and/or those of Thailand may be
triggered. If the Conflict of Laws Act of Thailand was triggered,
Section 9 of the Act states: "Unless otherwise provided, the formal
validity of a juristic act shall be governed by the laws of the
country where the act is made."
a result in may be possible to challenge in US Courts subpoenas
that are not served by court officials in Thailand, because they
would not be pursuant to Thai law. However, the phrase "unless otherwise
provided" may be interpreted to mean that if the foreign service
of process laws allows service by certified mail or personal service
in foreign jurisdictions, then it may be permissible pursuant to
the Thailand Conflict of Laws Act.