Javier Bortoni




Rodrigo Arellano




“Going backwards”. The Supreme Court protects the debtor

As a general rule, in a judicial proceedings service of process is carried out at the domicile of the debtor, and when such domicile is unknown or is not possible to locate the debtor, service of process is done through the publication of edicts in different local newspapers.


Prior to rendering service of process through edicts, the Judge requests from various public and private institutions to inform the Court if there is a registered address in their database for the defendant. Some examples of these institutions are: the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the Water and Drainage Utility Company, the National Electoral Institute (INE), among others.


For commercial matters, the law allows the parties to agree a conventional domicile where they must receive all kinds of notifications that are related to the contract, including judicial service of process and notifications. Likewise, the same law sanctions the party that set forth a domicile in the contract, and changes it without notifying the other party. In this case the counterparty is not forced to exhaust a domicile search with the mentioned institutions. This, in order to speed up the procedure to the detriment of the negligent party that changed domiciles without giving notice thereof.


Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of Justice has recently determined that this legal provision is unconstitutional, since it violates due process. In addition, the highest court in the nation also ruled that the plaintiff and the judge shall exhaust all possible means to locate the defendant.


Unfortunately, this procedural burden has a severe impact on the party that files suit, and it will make judicial procedure take longer in many cases.

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