Legal processes often face complications if one party is in a different country. It can further complicate things when that person is in a country that does not have specific agreements with the U.S. when it comes to legal matters. 

If you find yourself fin a situation where you need to serve papers on the other party but that person is not in the U.S. or a territory that cooperates with the U.S. on such matters, then the American Bar Association explains you will need letters rogatory. 

What it does

Letters rogatory is not a petition or complaint that you serve to the other party directly. It is a request from the court to the court in the foreign nation to ask permission to serve papers on the other party. You need letters rogatory because you cannot legally serve the person without the cooperation of the law in that country. Even if you do serve papers, it may be impossible to uphold them. 

What it is

Letters rogatory require attention to detail. It is essential when drafting them that you know the rules in the country. You need to know to whom to address it and what essential elements you must include. You also need to know how many copies you need as this varies widely. 

You have to have the papers signed by a judge who will preside over your case. Then, they must go through diplomatic channels to get to the other country. 

You may need to translate them into the official language of the country as well before sending them. Due to the many details, it can take longer than a year for processing.