Case of the Day: Yanyac v. Cazassa

The case of the day is Yanyac v. Cazassa (Conn. Super. Ct. 2013). The plaintiff, Tiffany Yanyac, brought a divorce action against Pedro Cazassa, who resided in Brazil. She sought leave to serve him by mail.

The judge correctly recognized, apparently as a matter of first impression in the Connecticut state courts, that the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory, unlike the Hague Service Convention, is not exclusive. Thus the Inter-American Convention does not bar service by mail. The judge nevertheless denied the motion on comity grounds. This is a permissible but not a necessary result. the judge cited cases for the proposition that Brazil had expressed a preference for service in its territory to be made by letter rogatory. One piece of the reasoning was a little strange: the judge focused on the desirability of ensuring that a judgment would be recognized in Brazil; but that doesn’t seem like an appropriate part of a comity analysis—it seems to me that a plaintiff proceeds at its own risk on this front—and in any case, it seems likely that in this case the US plaintiff wouldn’t have much interest in whether her divorce would be recognized in Brazil. But as I say, the result of the case was within the judge’s discretion.

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