Rule 4(f) – Serving an Individual in a Foreign Country.

(f) Serving an Individual in a Foreign Country. Unless federal law provides otherwise, an individual–other than a minor, an incompetent person, or a person whose waiver has been filed– may be served at a place not within any judicial district of the United States:

(1) by any internationally agreed means of service that is reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those authorized by the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents;

(2) if there is no internationally agreed means, or if an international agreement allows but does not specify other means, by a method that is reasonably calculated to give notice:

(A) as prescribed by the foreign country’s law for service in that country in an action in its courts of general jurisdiction;

(B) as the foreign authority directs in response to a letter rogatory or letter of request; or

(C) unless prohibited by the foreign country’s law, by:

(i) delivering a copy of the summons and of the complaint to the individual personally; or

(ii) using any form of mail that the clerk addresses and sends to the individual and that requires a signed receipt; or

(3) by other means not prohibited by international agreement, as the court orders.



“1. A document issued by one court to a foreign court, requesting that the foreign court 1.) take evidence from a specific person within the foreign jurisdiction or serve process on an individual or corporation within the foreign jurisdiction & 2.) return the testimony or proof of service for use in a pending case. — Also termed letter rogatory; rogatory letter; requisitory letter. 2. An instrument by which an inferior court withdraws or waives jurisdiction so that a matter can be heard in the court immediately above. — Abbr. LOR.