22 CFR § 92.66 - Depositions taken before foreign officials or other persons in a foreign country.

§ 92.66 Depositions taken before foreign officials or other persons in a foreign country.

(a) Customary practice. Under Federal law (Rule 28(b), Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Courts of the United States) and under the laws of some of the States, a commission to take depositions can be issued to a foreign official or to a private person in a foreign country. However, this method is rarely used; commissions are generally issued to U.S. notarizing officers. In those countries where U.S. notarizing officers are not permitted to take testimony (see § 92.55(c)) and where depositions must be taken before a foreign authority, letters rogatory are usually issued to a foreign court.

(b) Transmission of letters rogatory to foreign officials. Letters rogatory may often be sent direct from court to court. However, some foreign governments require that these requests for judicial aid be submitted through the diplomatic channel (i.e., that they be submitted to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs by the American diplomatic representative). A usual requirement is that the letters rogatory as well as the interrogatories and other papers included with them be accompanied by a complete translation into the language (or into one of the languages) of the country of execution. Another requirement is that provision be made for the payment of fees and expenses. Inquiries from interested parties or their attorneys, or from American courts, as to customary procedural requirements in given countries, may be addressed direct to the respective American embassies and legations in foreign capitals, or to the Department of State, Washington, DC 20520.

(c) Return of letters rogatory executed by foreign officials.

(1) Letters rogatory executed by foreign officials are returned through the same channel by which they were initially transmitted. When such documents are returned to a United States diplomatic mission, the responsible officer should endorse thereon a certificate stating the date and place of their receipt. This certificate should be appended to the documents as a separate sheet. The officer should then enclose the documents in an envelope sealed with the wax engraving seal of the post and bearing an endorsement indicating the title of the action to which the letters rogatory pertain. The name and address of the American judicial body from which the letters rogatory issued should also be placed on the envelope.

(2) If the executed letters rogatory are returned to the diplomatic mission from the Foreign Office in an envelope bearing the seals of the foreign judicial authority who took the testimony, that sealed envelope should not be opened at the mission. The responsible officer should place a certificate on the envelope showing the date it was received at his office and indicating that it is being forwarded in the same condition as received from the foreign authorities. He should then place that sealed envelope in a second envelope, sealed with the wax engraving seal of the post, and bearing the title of the action and the name and address of the American judicial body from which the letters rogatory issued.

(3) Charges should be made for executing either of the certificates mentioned in paragraphs (c) (1) and (2) of this section, as prescribed by item 67 of the Tariff of Fees, Foreign Service of the United States of America (§ 22.1 of this chapter), unless the service is classifiable in a no-fee category under the exemption for Federal agencies and corporations (item 83 of the same Tariff).

(4) The sealed letters rogatory should be transmitted by appropriate means to the court in which the action is pending. See title 28, section 1781, of the United States Code concerning the manner of making return to a court of the United States (Federal court).

(d) Transmissions of commissions to foreign officials or other persons. A commission to take depositions which is addressed to an official or person in a foreign country other than a United States notarizing officer may be sent directly to the person designated. However, if such a commission is sent to the United States diplomatic mission in the country where the depositions are intended to be taken, it should be forwarded to the Foreign Office for transmission to the person appointed in the commission. If sent to a United States consular office, the commission may be forwarded by that office directly to the person designated, or, if the notarial officer deems it more advisable to do so, he may send the commission to the United States diplomatic mission for transmission through the medium of the foreign office.

[22 FR 10858, Dec. 27, 1957, as amended at 32 FR 11775, Aug. 16, 1967; 60 FR 51722, Oct. 3, 1995]