|Party to Hague Service Convention?||Yes|
|Party to Hague Evidence Convention?||Yes|
|Party to Hague Apostille Convention?||Yes|
|Party to Inter-American Convention?||No|
|Service of Process by Mail?||Yes|
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
Italy is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. Complete information on the operation of the Convention, including an interactive online request form are available on the Hague Conference website. Requests should be completed in duplicate and submitted with two sets of the documents to be served, and translations, directly to Italy’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention. See Italy’s declaration regarding costs associated with service of process in Italy under the Convention. The Italian Central Authority has informed the Hague Conference for Private International Law that only judicial officers working for the Italian courts may serve documents in Italy (Article 10 (b and c)). Private attorneys or individuals are not authorized to effect service in Italy. International service of process by registered mail is allowed in Italy, but this method will only record delivery to an address and not to a person. For additional information see the Hague Conference Service Convention web page and the Hague Conference Practical Handbook on the Operation of the Hague Service Convention.
Service on a Foreign State: See also our Service Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) feature and FSIA Checklist for questions about service on a foreign state, agency or instrumentality.
Service of Documents from Italy in the United States: See information about service in the United States on the U.S. Central Authority for the Service Convention page of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Service Convention site.
Prosecution Requests: U.S. federal or state prosecutors should also contact the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, Department of Justice for guidance.
Defense Requests in Criminal Matters: The U.S. Department of State expects criminal defendants, or their defense counsel, who wish to request judicial assistance in obtaining evidence or in effecting service of documents abroad in connection with criminal matters to make such requests via the letters rogatory process.
Italy is a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters. The Italian Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention designated to receive letters of request for the taking of evidence is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. See the Hague Evidence Convention Model Letters of Request for guidance on how to prepare a letter of request. Letters of Request should be prepared in duplicate. Italy accepts Letters of Request and accompanying documents written in French, English or Italian. Requests for compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are transmitted directly from the requesting court or person in the United States to Italian Central Authority and do not require transmittal via diplomatic channels. See the Italian Declarations and Reservations on the Hague Evidence Convention. See also the Italian response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Hague Evidence Convention.
Requests from Italy to Obtain Evidence in the United States:The U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L St., N.W., Room 11006, Washington, D.C. 20530.
Voluntary depositions may be taken of willing witnesses. Such depositions may be taken on notice or pursuant to a commission or court order before any Consular Officer of the United States. Consular involvement is optional for all depositions. Consular depositions may be conducted in certain cases governed by Articles 15 through 18 of the Convention. Article 15 permits a Consular Officer of the United States to take the voluntary testimony of a U.S. citizen in Italy. Article 16 pertains to the voluntary testimony of an Italian or third country national. Either a Consular Officer or a commissioner (for example, a private American attorney) appointed by the American court may take the testimony of a witness of any nationality without compulsion. The U.S. consular officer abroad or commissioner (through local counsel) would have to secure the permission of the Court of Appeals with jurisdiction over the deponent in the case of non - U.S. citizens and arrange for someone authorized under Italian law to administer oaths to do so. No prior permission is required for the depositions of American citizens. Another procedure available to litigants under the Convention (Art. 17) permits a commissioner (for example, a private American attorney) appointed by the American court to take the testimony of a witness of any nationality without compulsion. For the voluntary depositions of non-U.S. citizens, the commissioner must first arrange through local counsel for permission of the Court of Appeals in Italy having jurisdiction over the deponent and arrange for someone authorized under Italian law to administer oaths to do so. If the deposition is to be conducted before a U.S. consular officer, American attorneys should make all necessary arrangements with the Embassy in Rome or the appropriate U.S. consulate. If counsel intends to utilize videotape equipment for the purpose of recording the deposition, please note that special customs clearances must be obtained from appropriate Italian customs authorities before such equipment can be taken into Italy. Without clearances, the equipment may be confiscated. American equipment may need special adapters to function on Italian electrical currents.
Compulsion of Evidence in Civil and Commercial Matters:Requests should include any specific procedures desired by the requesting court, such as verbatim transcripts. This procedure is completely under the control of the Italian judiciary. If you wish to attend the hearing, you include a statement to this effect in your Letter of Request. Specify that you be notified of date, time, and place. If you desire, you may also request permission to appear before the court to ask additional questions. The court is under no obligation to allow your active participation in the hearing. If such permission is granted, the questions would normally be asked through the magistrate. The Italian Central Authority has advised the Hague Conference on Private International Law that requests for compulsion of evidence under the provisions of the Convention must be submitted in duplicate and must be written in or translated into the Italian language. The Italian Central Authority has informed the Hague Conference for Private International Law that it will not grant requests for pre-trial discovery of documents (Article 23).