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DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND MAY NOT BE TOTALLY ACCURATE IN A SPECIFIC CASE. QUESTIONS INVOLVING INTERPRETATION OF SPECIFIC FOREIGN LAWS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE APPROPRIATE FOREIGN AUTHORITIES OR FOREIGN COUNSEL.
U.S. Consulate General Barcelona
Paseo Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 23
08034 Barcelona, Spain
Telephone: (34) 93-280-2227
Emergency after-hours telephone: (34) 91-587-2200
Fax: (34) 93-280-6175
U.S. Consular Agency Fuengirola (Málaga)
Avenida Juan Gómez "Juanito", 8
Edificio Lucía 1º-C
29640 Fuengirola (Málaga), Spain
Telephone: (34) 95-247-4891
Fax: (34) 95-246-5189
U.S. Consular Agency Las Palmas
Calle Los Martinez de Escobar 3, Oficina 7
35007 Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Telephone: (34) 92-827-1259
Fax: (34) 92-822-5863
Is Spain 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.
How should requests be completed?
Requests should be completed in duplicate and submitted with two sets of the documents to be served, and translations, directly to Spain’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.
Does Spain permit service via postal channels?
Spain did not object to service under Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention, and therefore does permit service via postal channels. Questions regarding the enforceability of U.S. judgments in Spanish courts where service was achieved by mail may be directed to a local Spanish attorney.
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 Spain’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the 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 Spain 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.
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.
Is Spain a party to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters?
The Spanish Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention designated to receive letters of request for the taking of evidence is the Ministry of Justice.
How should letters of request be completed? Do they require transmittal via diplomatic channels?
See the Hague Evidence Convention Model Letters of Request for guidance on preparation of the letter of request. Letters of Request and accompanying documents should be prepared in duplicate and translated into Spanish. Requests for the compulsion of evidence under the Hague Evidence Convention are transmitted directly from the requesting court or person in the United States to the Spanish Central Authority and do not require transmittal via diplomatic channels.
See the Spain’s Declarations and Reservations regarding the Hague Evidence Convention. See also Spain’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference questionnaire on the practical operation of the Hague Evidence Convention.
Requests from Spain 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 Street N.W., Room 8102, Washington, D.C. 20530
Are foreign attorneys permitted to take depositions of willing witnesses without the involvement of the host government or courts?
Voluntary depositions may be conducted in Spain regardless of the nationality of the witness, provided no compulsion is used.
Approval from the Spanish Central Authority is needed before a U.S. Government attorney/prosecutor can take a deposition.
May consular officers conduct depositions of willing witnesses?
Oral depositions or depositions on written questions may be taken by U.S. consular officers or by private attorneys from the United States or Spain at the U.S. Embassy or at another location such as a hotel or office, either on notice or pursuant to a commission. 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.
May local attorneys directly petition a court to conduct the deposition of an unwilling witness or must this be requested via letters rogatory?
Such requests must be requested through the Spanish Central Authority.
Is Spain a party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Public Documents?
Spain’s competent authority for the Hague Apostille Convention will authenticate Spanish public documents with Apostilles and maintains an electronic register for the verification of Apostilles.
How can I authenticate U.S. public documents for use in Spain?
For information about authenticating U.S. public documents for use in Spain, 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.