Category Archives: Hague Service Convention

Hague Service and Evidence Conventions: The US Central Authority’s Unusual Interpretation

A reader wrote in with the following case. He (a Mexican lawyer) asked PFI, the contractor that carries out the day-to-day work of the Department of Justice in its capacity as central authority for the United States under the Hague Service Convention, to serve a summons on a Mexican national in the United States. The summons would require the Mexican national to appear in court in Tijuana to be questioned about a promissory note he had signed. The Mexican proceeding was a “measure preliminary to a lawsuit,” apparently a proceeding in which the plaintiff gathers the evidence that he needs in order to file a lawsuit.
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Case of the Day: Wuxi Taihu Tractor Co. v. The York Group, Inc.

The case of the day is Wuxi Taihu Tractor Co. v. The York Group, Inc. (Tex. App. 2014). York, a Delaware firm that manufactured and sold coffins sued Wuxi, a Chinese firm, for unfair competition and other torts. York served process on Wuxi by service on the Texas Secretary of State, who then mailed the summons and complaint directly to Wuxi in China. Wuxi entered a pro se appearance and filed, but did not serve, an answer that asserted, among other things, that Wuxi had not properly been served with process. There was some procedural wrangling. The judge ordered Wuxi to retain a lawyer, but Wuxi didn’t. Eventually the case was called for trial and Wuxi did not appear, so the judge entered a default judgment. Wuxi sought review.
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