APPLICABLE TREATIES OR OTHER AGREEMENTS
The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 21 UST 77; 596 UNTS 261; TIAS 6820 (Article 5);
The Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons
Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legalization of Foreign Public Documents
Croatia is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-Judicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters. Service of process in Croatia can be accomplished by a variety of methods. If eventual enforcement of a U.S. judgment in the foreign country is foreseen, it may be prudent to consult local foreign legal counsel to ascertain if a particular method of service must be used for service to be considered valid in the foreign jurisdiction.
Croatia Process Service
Service of process in civil cases in Croatia may be affected by international registered mail, letters rogatory or by personal service by an agent, generally a Croatian attorney. Lists of Croatian attorneys are available from the Department of State, Office of American Citizens Services or directly from the U.S. Embassy in Croatia. Proof of service would be in the form of an affidavit executed before a U.S. consular officer by the individual effecting service.
Criminal cases :
In criminal cases letters rogatory are the only method by which service can be effected.
SERVICE PURSUANT TO LETTERS ROGATORY
Letters rogatory must be translated into Croatian. The letters rogatory request should be addressed to the Croatian Foreign Ministry, which is charged with transferring the case to the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice will then transmit the letter rogatory to the pertinent court for action.
Effective February 1, 1998, there is a $455.00 consular fee for services related to execution of a letter rogatory (See 22 CFR 22.1, item 67). Foreign authorities may also charge fees, therefore, counsel are requested to submit a certified bank check in the amount of $500.00 payable to the U.S. Embassy Zagreb as a deposit against which the U.S. consular fee, and any foreign fees may be deducted. Unexpended funds will be refunded by the U.S. Embassy. Corporate or personal checks are not acceptable. There is no consular fee for letters rogatory on behalf of federal, state or local government officials. If more than one witness or person to be served is involved, multiple fees may be charged and additional deposits may be requested.
Croatia is not a party to the Hague Evidence Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters. Depositions may only be taken through letters rogatory in Croatia.
COMPULSION OF EVIDENCE:
Testimony of an unwilling witness and other evidence may be compelled in Croatia pursuant to a letter rogatory. Letters rogatory generally are transmitted through diplomatic channels. Requesting counsel should be aware that when letters rogatory are executed by foreign courts which compel the appearance of a witness to answer written interrogatories, the evidence is taken in acccordance with the rules of the foreign court. In most cases an American attorney will not be permitted to participate in such a proceeding. Occasionally a foreign attorney may be permitted to attend such a proceeding and even to put forth additional questions to the witness. Not all foreign countries utilize the services of court reporters or routinely provide verbatim transcripts. Sometimes the presiding judge will dictate his recollection of the witness”s responses to his secretary. Generally letters rogatory worldwide, including those sent to the United States, take from six months to a year to execute.
Croatia does not require authentication of letters rogatory by the Embassy of Croatia in the United States. However, in criminal cases, letters rogatory requesting evidence must be “legalized” with the Hague Convention apostille. See the flyer on the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legislation of Foreign Public Documents.
U.S. EMBASSY LOCATION:
U.S. Embassy, Consular Section, American Citizens Services,
Andrije Hebranga 2, Zagreb, Croatia
Tel: 385-1-455-55-00; Fax: 385-1-455-0774
Internet Address: http://zagreb.usembassy.gov/
LISTS OF FOREIGN ATTORNEYS:
Lists of foreign attorneys willing to represent U.S. citizens have been prepared by the U.S. Embassy and may be obtained from the Department of State, Office of American Citizen Services or directly from the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.
Treaty Databases on the Internet:
Information on which countries are party to a particular treaty is available from the following databases:
United States Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser, Treaty Affairs , List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States In Force: http://www.state.gov/s/l/.
United Nations (UN):
Databases/Treaties at http://treaties.un.org ;
Council of Europe (COE):
Organization of American States (OAS):
http://www.oas.org under Documents/Treaties and Conventions.
For additional information, contact the appropriate geographic division of the Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management at telephone (202) 647-5226
Croatia Process Service