Updated by Neal Price
Although Germany is a party to The Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters, the German Ministry of Justice has placed certain restrictions regarding how voluntary depositions of German citizens may be conducted.
LOCATION – LOCATION – LOCATION – The German Ministry of Justice limits the location where depositions may take place to the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt. The U.S. Consulate General is located in the northeast quadrant of historic Frankfurt am Main (Nord-Ost).
RESERVATIONS AT THE CONSULATE GENERAL – Once you have the Notice of Deposition or the Court Commission stating that the deposition is to be taken before the Consul, it must be submitted to the Consulate. At least six weeks before the deposition is to take place, the Notice and the mandatory scheduling fee of $1,283 must be sent to the Consulate.
GETTING PERMISSION FROM THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE – Upon receipt of the Notice and the fees, the Consulate will ask the U.S. Embassy in Berlin to approach the Ministry of Justice to request approval for the deposition.
ADMINISTRATION OF THE OATH – Since the depositions must take place at the U.S. Consulate General before a U.S. consular officer, the oath must be administered by a U.S. Consul. The court reporter cannot administer the oath even if both parties stipulate.
SECURITY – At least 3 business days before the deposition, a list of all participants along with any electronic equipment must be submitted to the Consulate. Two days before the deposition, the list will be submitted to the Security department, and at that point, no changes can be made to the list. No cellular devices are allowed in the Consulate.
HOURS OF OPERATION – The U.S. Consulate recently changed the hours of operation for taking depositions. The hours are now Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. Keep in mind that the Consulate is closed on German and American holidays and on the last Thursday of every month.
Traveling to Frankfurt is extremely easy with direct flights from many major U.S. cities arriving at the Frankfurt Airport every single day. Hotel accommodations are easy to come by with many both luxurious and affordable properties from which to choose. There are even hotels within walking distance of the Consulate. Here’s our preferred location in Frankfurt.
Once you have your Notice of Deposition, have paid your fees, and have fulfilled your requirements with the U.S. Consulate General, all you need to do is pack your bags, grab your valid U.S. Passport, and hop on a plane to Frankfurt! Genießen Sie Ihren Aufenthalt in Frankfurt am Main!
Planet Depos has been covering depositions in Frankfurt for many years with teams of reporters and videographers scattered throughout Europe. The International Scheduling team can assist you with interpretation, printing exhibits, and shredding unwanted documents. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-433-3767.