Cost-free Service of Process for Federal Reciprocating Countries
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: June 14, 2006
TO: ALL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Cost-free service of process for countries with Federal-level child support agreements.
It has come to our attention that some local jurisdictions are unaware of the requirement to provide cost-free service of process to countries that have Federal-level agreements with the U.S. [See IDCL-03-01: "Foreign reciprocating countries (FRCs) may request service of process assistance regarding child support obligations from the appropriate state IV-D agency and the IV-D agency will provide, at no cost, service of process or other necessary notices."]
This issue has specifically arisen with regard to processing Norwegian cases. There have been numerous instances where local sheriff's offices, who have been forwarded cases by the IV-D agencies in order to serve process, returned cases directly to Norway with a notice that they first must send a payment in order for the U.S. to proceed with the child support enforcement case.
We would appreciate it if you could emphasize to local jurisdictions in your state that service of process must be provided cost-free for FRCs. As always, Federal financial participation is available for the costs of processing international child support cases.
Thank you very much for your assistance with this matter.
Office of Child Support Enforcement