CYPRUS CENTRAL AUTHORITY:
Ministry of Justice and Public Order
125 Athalassa Avenue
The Cypriot Central Authority has informed the Hague Conference for Private International Law that all documents forwarded to them for service under the provisions of the Convention must be in duplicate and must be written in or translated into Greek; the Request and Convention form (USM-94) may be completed in English.
There are generally no costs incurred in connection with service through the Central Authority under the Convention.
METHODS OF SERVICE:
Article 5(b) – Personal Service: If personal service is required, strike out methods (a) and (c) on the Request for Service form (USM-94) and indicate method (b) on the form, noting that the documents should be served personally upon the person or company to be served.
COMPLETING AND TRANSMITTING THE USM-94 FORM:
The completed request form and documents to be served (two copies of each) should be mailed by requesting counsel as the “applicant” directly to the foreign Central Authority as provided by Article 3 of the Convention.
SERVICE BY MAIL:
Service of process by international registered mail is permitted under Cypriot law in administrative and civil cases.
APPLICABLE TREATIES OR OTHER AGREEMENTS :
The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 21 UST 77; 596 UNTS 261; TIAS 6820 (Article 5);
Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters, 28 USCA 1781 (1980 Cumulative Suppl) and 23 UST 2555; TIAS 7444. See also the law digest volume of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory under selected international conventions.
Articles 15-16 of the Hague Evidence Convention provide for the taking of evidence of willing witnesses by diplomatic and consular officers.
DEPOSITIONS OF WILLING WITNESSES:
Cyprus law permits voluntary depositions of witnesses in civil and commercial cases only by diplomatic officers, consular agents, or appointed commissioners. This applies to all witnesses, regardless of nationality, after permission is granted by the Ministry of Justice.
SCHEDULING A DEPOSITION AT THE U.S. CONSULATE GENERAL:
All U.S. consular services in Cyprus are provided at the Embassy in Nicosia. Public hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 1:30 P.M., Monday through Friday, except for Cypriot and U.S. holidays. A consular officer is available to administer oaths on the premises during regular working hours. To minimize waiting time, however, appointments can be scheduled by contacting the American Citizen Services Unit of the U.S. Embassy (Tel: 357-22-776-400; Fax: 357-22-776-841). The fee for the administration of each oath is $55.00. There is a nonrefundable fee of $400.00 for scheduling a deposition. In addition, if a consular officer is required to be present for the taking of a deposition, the fee is $200 per hour plus transportation costs.
After being sworn in, the parties (witnesses, court reporters, and translators) withdraw to a location outside the Embassy for the taking of the deposition. Should the deposition last more than one day, the parties can be considered as remaining under oath for the entire proceedings, unless counsels find this disagreeable, in which case oaths will need to be readministered as required. A written copy of the oath can be provided for optional attachment to the deposition record. Should this be required, arrangements must be made when scheduling the swearing in of the parties. When a written version of the transcript has been prepared, the witness may return to the Embassy to sign the document, as necessary.
The use of video and sound recording equipment is not restricted, provided the parties involved are amenable. However, counsels should be aware that the European voltage is 220V and local video equipment (PAL) is not compatible with the NTSC system used in the United States. Consult the Office of American Citizens Service’s general flyer ” Obtaining Evidence Abroad “. See Additional Information below.
Commercial stenographer and interpreter services are available in Cyprus. Consult the U.S. Embassy for additional information.
HOST COUNTRY CLEARANCE – PARTICIPATION OF LOCAL, STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FROM THE UNITED STATES:
If a local, state, or federal government official from the United States intends to participate in the voluntary deposition of a willing witness abroad, formal host country and U.S. Embassy clearance is required. This can be requested by contacting the Office of American Citizens Services. The request should be made at least ten days prior to the taking of the deposition to allow sufficient time for local authorities to make a determination about the official travel.
COMPULSION OF TESTIMONY, DOCUMENTARY OR PHYSICAL EVIDENCE:
Requests which require compulsion of evidence must be submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Convention and submitted to the designated Central Authority. In cases not governed by the Hague Convention, letters rogatory may be used.
Requests for evidence in criminal cases must be made in the form of letters rogatory. The letters rogatory request should include a Greek translation. If the request is accepted, the evidence will be taken either by the police or an appointed judge. Cyprus does not require that the the letters rogatory be authenticated by the consular officials of Cyprus in the United States or that it be triple certified by the requesting court. The “apostille” process required by the Hague Legalization Convention should be followed when requesting evidence by letters rogatory (see Authentication of Documents below).
AUTHENTICATION OF DOCUMENTS:
Cyprus is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents (TIAS 10072; 527 UNTS 189, 20 Int’l Legal Materials 1405 – 1419 (1981). Information on the competent authority to issue certifications pursuant to the Convention (known as “apostille” certificates) is available via the Internet. See Additional Information below.
The Cypriot Central Authority has advised the Hague Conference on Private International Law that requests for compulsion of evidence under the provisions of the Convention must be submitted in duplicate and must be written in or translated into Greek.
Cyprus Process Service
TRANSMITTAL OF A REQUEST:
The request should be transmitted to the foreign Central Authority.
LISTS OF FOREIGN ATTORNEYS:
Lists of foreign attorneys prepared by the U.S. Consulate General are available from the Office of American Citizens Services or directly from the U.S. Embassy.
U.S. EMBASSY LOCATION:
Metochiou and Ploutarchou Streets
TREATY DATABASES ON THE INTERNET:
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/.
Organization of American States (OAS): http://www.oas.org / under Public Information/Documents/Treaties at gopher://oasunix1.oas.org:70/11/pub/english/treaties.
U.S. House of Representatives Internet Law Library Treaties and International Law: http://www.lawmoose.com/internetlawlib/89.htm .
If you have further questions, contact the Office of American Citizens Services, CA/OCS/ACS, Department of State, Room 48l7 N.S., Washington, D.C. 20520, tel: (202) 647-5226.
Cyprus Process Service