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Obtaining The Evidence

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Chapter Summary

Obtaining evidence abroad is one of the most troublesome and controversial aspects of transnational litigation in United States courts. In civil law countries, the gathering of evidence by the courts is described as an exercise of "judicial sovereignty".Civil law countries have shown a wide-spread misunderstanding of the term "pretrial" discovery and the U.S. discovery system in general. The Office of American Citizens Services (ACS), is part of the Bureau of Consular Services. When the foreign country prohibits the taking of depositions, regardless of the nationality or voluntary cooperation of the witness, the evidence must be obtained pursuant to a letter of request. Litigants in foreign countries which are parties to the Hague Evidence Convention may obtain evidence in the United States pursuant to the treaty procedures. Where jurisdiction over the requested party has been clearly established, a court may order compliance with a discovery request without a full comity inquiry.

Keywords: American Citizens Services (ACS); Hague Evidence Convention; Judicial Sovereignty; Jurisdiction; pretrial discovery; United States courts



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