Travel.State.Gov > Legal Resources > Judicial Assistance Country Information > Netherlands Judicial Assistance Information
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John Adams Park 1
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Telephone: +(31) (0) 70 310 2209
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +31 (0) 70 310 2209
Fax: +(31) (0) 70 310 2207
U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam
1071 DJ Amsterdam
Telephone: +(31) (0) 20 575-5309 (Emergencies involving U.S. citizens only)
Telephone:+(31) (0) 70 310 2209 (All other calls)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(31) (0) 70 310-2209
Fax: +(31) (0) 20 575 5330
The Netherlands is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. Complete information on the operation of the Convention, including an interactive online request form are available on the Hague Conference website. Requests should be completed in duplicate and submitted with two sets of the documents to be served, and translations, directly to The Netherlands’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention. The person in the United States executing the request form should be either an attorney or clerk of court. The applicant should include the titles attorney at law or clerk of court on the identity and address of applicant and signature/stamp fields. The Netherlands did not object to the method of service in Article 10 of the Convention, and does permit service via postal channels. For additional information see the Hague Conference Service Convention web page and the Hague Conference Practical Handbook on the Operation of the Hague Service Convention. See also The Netherlands’ response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Hague Service Convention.
Service on a Foreign State: See also our Service Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) feature and FSIA Checklist for questions about service on a foreign state, agency or instrumentality.
Service of Documents from the Netherlands in the United States: See information about service in the United States on the U.S. Central Authority for the Service Convention page of the Hague Conference on Private International Law Service Convention site.
Prosecution Requests: U.S. federal or state prosecutors should also contact the Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, Department of Justice for guidance.
Defense Requests in Criminal Matters: Criminal defendants or their defense counsel seeking judicial assistance in obtaining evidence or in effecting service of documents abroad in connection with criminal matters may do so via the letters rogatory process.
The Netherlands is a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters. The Netherlands also advises that the Hague Evidence Convention has been extended to in Aruba. The Central Authority for The Netherlands for the Hague Evidence Convention designated to receive letters of request for the taking of evidence is the Ministry of Justice. See the Hague Evidence Convention Model Letters of Request for guidance on how to prepare a letter of request. Letters of Request should be prepared in duplicate. Letters of request are accepted in English, Dutch, German and French. Requests for compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are transmitted directly from the requesting court or person in the United States to The Netherlands Central Authority and do not require transmittal via diplomatic channels. See The Netherlands Declarations and Reservations on the Hague Evidence Convention. See also The Netherlands’ response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Hague Evidence Convention.
Requests from The Netherlands to Obtain Evidence in the United States: The U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance, Civil Division, Department of Justice, 1100 L St., N.W., Room 11006, Washington, D.C. 20530.
Voluntary depositions of willing witnesses in civil and commercial matters is permitted regardless of the nationality of the witness and do not require prior permission of the Central Authority of The Netherlands for the Hague Evidence Convention. Depositions can be carried out in three ways:
(1) Before a district court judge, who poses written interrogatories to the witness on behalf of counsel; to arrange for the taking of a deposition before a district court judge, counsel should write to the president of the district court for the particular district in which the deposition is to be taken;
(2) Before a Dutch notaris (a quasi-judge with substantially more powers than those associated with a public notary), who also poses the questions on the attorney''s behalf; and
(3) Before a consular officer of the United States. While this option may be provided for at the request of both parties, or through a court order, due to other statutorily mandated consular responsibilities and limitations of resources, generally speaking, this is not a practical proposition and can be accomplished much more quickly by another method. State Department policy foresees that, with the consent of the parties, the consular officer will withdraw following administration of the oaths. Telephone depositions are permitted. If the services of a U.S. consular officer are required to administer an oath to the witness, interpreter and stenographer, such arrangements must be made in advance with the U.S. embassy directly.
The Netherlands is a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents. The Netherlands’s competent authority for the Hague Apostille Convention will authenticate Dutch public documents with Apostilles. For information about authenticating U.S. public documents for use in The Netherlands, see the list of U.S. Competent Authorities. To obtain an Apostille for a U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America, contact the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, Vital Records Office.