54:5 “Any Way You Want It, That’s the Way You Need It”: Rethinking Service of Process in Texas Under Article 10(a) of the Convention

Abstract

This Casenote discusses courts’ analysis of the Hague Convention on Service of Process and the implications of their differing views, concluding that allowing service of process by mail in countries that have not objected to this form of service is the most beneficial solution for all parties involved. Part II starts with an analysis of what Article 10(a) of the Convention purports to accomplish. Part III then discusses the prevailing and countervailing views interpreting the Convention. Part IV continues with a case recitation of a recent Texas case that considered the issue and discussed much of the relevant case law in the area, including the federal circuits. Part V discusses a way to expand the analysis and bolsters the argument about finding that service by mail is acceptable. One argument for allowing service of process by mail is to look to the traditional conception of notice. Under this view, a defendant in a country that allows service of process by mail should be on alert that this is how service might be made to him and should not be surprised. A less compelling argument disallows service by mail due to the fact that it might abrogate the sovereignty of the country; if the state has already accepted service by process of mail it does not abrogate the country’s sovereignty. Lastly, in Part VI, this Casenote concludes that in the modern age of international litigation, service of process by mail better suits the needs of litigants.