Serving a legal document across international borders
Impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic)
Service of legal documents across international borders will likely be subject to delays or restrictions in all Australian states and territories. The length of the delay will depend on the state or territory in which you are seeking to have documents served.
Serving a foreign civil legal document in Australia
New South Wales
Service requests will still be processed and executed. However, New South Wales anticipates delays in processing and executing service requests. If a party to the proceedings overseas wants to dispense with personal service requirements, they would need to apply to the Supreme Court of New South Wales for substituted service by way of filing a summons and affidavit in support. Filing fees apply.
Queensland continues to process and execute requests for service. No alternate service options are currently being used. However, alternate options will be used if the requesting authority provides guidance and permission to do so. Options may include electronic service or postal service.
Serving a civil legal document overseas
For service of Australian legal documents overseas, the length of the delay will depend on the country in which you are seeking to have documents served.
Email email@example.com to find out more.
Information about serving a civil legal document overseas
This fact sheet outlines the various methods for serving a civil legal document overseas:
Information about serving a foreign civil legal document in Australia
This fact sheet outlines the various methods for serving a foreign civil legal document in Australia:
- Service page on the Hague Conference on Private International Law website:
- Full text of the Convention
- Status table outlining all Contracting Parties and any of their reservations and declarations
- Authorities Index which lists Central Authority details and practical information about each Contracting Party
- Model Forms – (Australian applicants should note that standard forms may exist in other jurisdictions. Please check the relevant court website or applicable legislation for more details)
- United States Department Of State – Judicial Assistance – Country Specific Information
- European Commission – European Judicial Network – Service of Documents