Legal Discovery and Taking Depositions in Germany
Conducting voluntary depositions of citizens in Germany requires specialized knowledge. Germany is a party to The Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil and Commercial Matters. Nevertheless, the German Ministry of Justice has placed additional restrictions on how depositions may be conducted. Know ahead of time what you need to expedite your discovery and depositions.
What are the rules unique to depositions in Germany?
LIMITED AUTHORIZED LOCATIONS
Depositions in Germany must take place at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt. All voluntary depositions of German citizens have to be witnessed by a U.S. Consul.
LOCATION: The U.S. Consulate General is located in the northeast quadrant of historic Frankfurt am Main (Nord-Ost).
NOTICE OF DEPOSITION for the CONSULATE GENERAL
Obtain a Notice of Deposition or documentation from the Court Commission stating that the deposition is to be taken before the Consul. This notice must be submitted to the Consulate.
SIX WEEKS AHEAD OF DEPOSITION: At least six weeks before the deposition, both the Notice of Deposition and a mandatory scheduling fee of $1,283 must be submitted to the U.S. Consulate.
PERMISSION from the GERMAN MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
Upon receipt of the Notice of Deposition and the scheduling fee, the Consulate will ask the U.S. Embassy in Berlin to request approval from the German Ministry of Justice.
ADMINISTRATION of the OATH by U.S. CONSUL
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 PROTOCOLS and DEADLINES
THREE DAYS AHEAD: At least three business days before a deposition in Germany, a security check is performed.
You must provide the U.S. Consulate:
- A list of all participants
- Any electronic equipment to used in the deposition
TWO DAYS AHEAD: The U.S. Consulate will submit the list of depositions participants to the Security Department. At that point, no changes can be made to the list.
NOTE: For security purposes, no cellular devices are allowed in the U.S. Consulate.
Important tips for taking depositions in Germany
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!
U.S. 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.
TRAVEL and ACCOMMODATION
AIR TRAVEL: Traveling to Frankfurt is extremely easy. There are direct flights from many major U.S. cities arriving daily at the Frankfurt Airport. Make sure you have a valid passport before scheduling depositions.
HOTEL: Hotel accommodations are easy to come by in Frankfurt. There are numerous hotel options, both luxurious and affordable, to choose from. There are even hotels within walking distance of the Consulate, to make your business travel and depositions easier. Here’s are our preferred location in Frankfurt.
Genießen Sie Ihren Aufenthalt in Frankfurt am Main!
International Deposition Scheduling
Planet Depos has years of experience covering depositions in Frankfurt. We have reliable teams of reporters and videographers throughout Europe. Contact The International Scheduling team for professional help with all discovery needs, from court reporting to interpretation, printing exhibits, and shredding unwanted documents.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 888-433-3767.