How are complaints served in Japan?

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Many Americans are familiar with the job of a process server from American popular culture, where process servers are portrayed as employing disguises or other devious techniques in order to deliver a divorce petition.  However, while serving a complaint is the responsibility of the plaintiff in America, in Japan this job is handled by the court.  The complaint will be delivered based upon the defendant’s address provided by the plaintiff so, in cases where the address is old or inaccurate, this can make serving the defendant difficult.

Service of the complaint gives notice to the defendant that he or she is being sued.  Furthermore, until the complaint is served, jurisdiction over the defendant is not complete and the litigation will not be able to proceed.  Therefore, serving the complaint is an essential step in any successful litigation.

If you have questions about pre-trial proceedings in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.