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Service of Process, Obtaining Evidence and Enforcing Judgments and Arbitration Awards in Thailand from Foreign Courts

Although this provision allows for service of a subpoena by the party directly, this refers to domestic subpoenas. Foreign subpoenas may qualify as "other orders." Therefore a foreign subpoena would have to be served by a Thai Court officer to comply with Thai law.

Having a subpoena sent through official channels, that is, by the Letters Rogatory Process, will result in the Thailand Ministry of Justice having the Thai Courts serve the subpoena through an official process server of the Thailand Court.

A validly served subpoena that was obtained through the Letters Rogatory process would be a document of record within the Thai Court system and provide evidence that it was validly served by Thailand Judiciary officers. Whether contempt of such a subpoena, by non-appearance or non-compliance, would be punishable pursuant to Thai law and in Thai Courts is an issue that has not yet been addressed by the Thailand Supreme Court.

(3) Conflict of Law Issues: Assuming that the service of process in Thailand was contested in a US Court, the validity of the service of process would come into play. The Conflict of Law rules of the US and/or those of Thailand may be triggered. If the Conflict of Laws Act of Thailand was triggered, Section 9 of the Act states:

"Unless otherwise provided, the formal validity of a juristic act shall be governed by the laws of the country where the act is made. "

As a result in may be possible to challenge in US Courts subpoenas that are not served by court officials in Thailand, because they would not be pursuant to Thai law. However, the phrase "unless otherwise provided" may be interpreted to mean that if the foreign service of process laws allows service by certified mail or personal service in foreign jurisdictions, then it may be permissible pursuant to the Thailand Conflict of Laws Act.


Thailand not a party to the Hague Convention or the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Also, in regard to many countries including the United States there is no bi-lateral consular convention in force between the two countries with regards to these matters. It is therefore necessary to be familiar with and observe the laws and regulations of the Kingdom of Thailand. Inadvertently violating local laws while attempting to obtain evidence may result in arrest, detention, or deportation.

Voluntary Depositions of Witnesses: Any witness, regardless of nationality may be deposed in Thailand, at any mutually agreed upon location, including over the telephone. However, witnesses may refuse to take an oath and may also refuse to answer any or all questions.

The US Embassy and other embassies in Thailand can provide services for interpreters and stenographers. Consular staffs are normally authorized to administer oaths to witnesses. However, there are no court reporters in Thailand the cost of bringing one into Thailand would be the responsibility of the foreign party seeking the deposition.

Part 3