How to serve a defendant in a civil trial in Mexico and Quintana Roo?
A trial cannot begin until the defendants are served. The summons is the notification to the defendants of a lawsuit against them. Typically, the summons must be made personally to the defendants, or in some cases with another person of legal age in the residence or in the place of business or employment of the defendant.
In the US, the person to be notified will be 18 years of age or older and will not be part of the trial. Most states allow the trial to be notified by a Court official, a Sheriff, Marshal, Agent, or Judicial Agent. There may be license requirements for private process servers. Many private investigators perform notification tasks.
In Canada, the Courts of at least two provinces have even allowed notification through Facebook’s integrated messaging systems. By contrast, in civil law jurisdictions, which include Latin America, Continental Europe, and most Asian countries, notification of the trial is done only by judicial officials personally.
In the state of Quintana Roo, it is necessary to notify the defendants personally or through their legal representative. In some cases, it will be allowed to notify the people who live at the defendants’ domicile.
To notify defendants, it is essential to know their address. If such information is not available, it can be requested to the Public Registry of Property of the State of Quintana Roo or before other organizations.
If the defendants are personally and properly served, they will be given a period to answer the lawsuit and the trial may even continue without the defendants’ participation.
On several occasions it is not possible to find the defendants.
The steps to notify them are the following:
- The Court’s notifier must go to the defendants’ home and if someone responds, but the defendants are not present, the notifier must leave a document for the defendants to wait there for him the next day at a specified time. If the defendants do not wait at the indicated day and time, the notification will be made by means of a document delivered to someone who is there. That is, the notification can be made through family members, domestic employees or any person who lives at the address, after the notifier has ensured that the defendants live there; in this case, the Court’s notifier must refer to the means by which he ensured that the domicile corresponds to the defendant.
- If no person wishes to receive the notification (documentation), it will be placed at the door.
- When access to the house is restricted; the notifier must request access, and in case of denial, the Judge will be informed by means of a detailed act, in which case the Judge can obtain the assistance of the public force to guarantee that access is granted in closed areas.
- If no one is found at the address (if the place is visibly empty), the lawyer should request notification at a new address, if there are other possible addresses to notify the defendants (other laws allow people to be notified in their place of work, or in the place where they are frequently; but in Quintana Roo, the notification must be done at the address of the defendant).
- If there are no other addresses, the attorney may request the Judge to request various authorities to provide information regarding the defendants’ registered addresses. These authorities will commonly be: public water authorities, postal authorities, municipal land registration authorities, federal and local tax authorities, electoral authorities, electricity distribution companies, etc. This procedure could take several months for all authorities to respond in writing confirming whether or not they found an address for the defendants in their records. On many occasions, the workload of the Courts plays an important role in the long duration of this process.
- If the defendants disappear, or if they were not found at any address, notification can be made by edicts. The edicts are announcements published in official newspapers for the knowledge of the defendants; edicts must be published three times every nine days. Such announcements must also be published in the newspapers with the largest circulation in the state of Quintana Roo, so that the defendants submit a response within nine days from the day after the last publication of the edicts.
- If the defendants do not respond, the trial will be continued in their absence, continuing its course without the defendants’ participation or in default.
Litigation Lawyers.Mx will use the necessary legal tools contained in the civil legislation of the state of Quintana Roo, to guarantee that the defendants are served in the most effective and efficient way. This process requires strategic preparation in which we have experience. Even when notification of defendants may take time, we will do so taking into account the specific circumstances of the case.
Our law firm meets the needs of our clients, guaranteeing due process and always seeking to achieve our clients’ objectives.
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