US-Regeln für Zeugenvernehmungen am US-Konsulat in Frankfurt

18.07.20101376 Mal gelesen
 

Nachfolgend die entsprechenden US-Regeln / Ablauf des Verfahrens; derartig gewonnene Zeugenaussagen können in laufenden US-Gerichtsverfahren verwendet werden.  

Grundlage für diese Regeln ist das Haager Übereinkommen über die Beweisaufnahme im Ausland in Zivil- oder Handelssachen vom 18. März 1970, hier die Artikel 16ff (Freiwilligkeit / Zustimmung des Betroffenen zur konsularischen Vernehmung). Hieraus leitet sich im weiteren die zwingend gebotene Einholung der Zustimmung der deutschen Behörde in einem bestimmten Zeitrahmen (mindestens vier Wochen vor der Vernehmung muss die Behörde über die beabsichtgte Vernehmung informiert worden sein) ab. Im übrigen hat das Thema einen Bezug zu "Souveränität und Verfahrensrecht". Wenn die Zustimmung des Ministeriums / deutsche Behörde nicht vorliegt, dann könnte man von einem Vorliegen des § 132 StGB (Amtsanmaßung) ausgehen. Ein Problem bei fehlender Zustimmung hätte nur die beantragende US-Seite, völkervertragsrechtlich, strafrechtlich und zivilprozessrechtlich; letzteres insoweit, als die durch die Deposition gewonnenen Beweise zu einem Beweisverwertungsverbot in Deutschland führen würden mit der weiteren Folge, der Nichtanerkennung eines US-Urteils in Deutschland, insoweit als die Verurteilung auf diesen rechtswidrig gewonnenen Erkenntnissen beruhen würde. Es ist also die US-Seite, die Wert auf dfas rechtzeitige Vorliegen der Genehmigung vor der Vernehmung haben wird. Allerdings ? dies zur US-Perspektive zum Thema - gibt es Richter in den USA, die sehen die oben genannte Haager Konvention als nicht "exklusiv" an, so dass es bei einem solchen Richter nicht auf die deutschen Voraussetzungen ankäme. Ist das Department of Justice involviert ist, dann ist davon auszugehen, dass die internationalen Regeln befolgt werden.

  

General Information about Depositions in Frankfurt

 

Bilateral agreements between Germany and the United States require that the German Ministry of Justice pre-approve all requests for depositions.  Depositions taken without the prior approval of the German Ministry of Justice and/or without the involvement of the United States Mission to Germany are unauthorized and may lead to criminal penalties against the participants.  In addition, the German Ministry of Justice requires that all depositions take place on U.S. Consulate grounds and that the oaths be administered by a U.S. Consul.  Due to both staffing and space constraints at all of our other diplomatic and consular facilities, all U.S. Mission-supported depositions in Germany must take place at the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt.  We thank all deposition participants for their cooperation in abiding by these requirements.

 

CIVIL CASES ONLY:  Under the provisions of bilateral agreement(s), U.S. Consular Officers in Germany have the right to administer depositions in only in civil cases.Depositions related to criminal cases are accomplished via letters rogatory.  For instructions on the use of the letters rogatory to obtain testimony in criminal cases, please contact the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 736-4978 or http://www.travel.state.gov/law/law_1734.html.

  

Getting the Process Started

 

Notice of Deposition or Court Commission: To have a deposition taken before a Consular Officer at the American Consulate General in Frankfurt, a copy of the notice of deposition or, alternatively, a commission issued by the U.S. court, stating that the testimony of the witness (es) is to be taken before any Consul or Vice Consul of the United States in Frankfurt, Germany, must be provided to the Consulate. The Consulate?s address is:

  

American Consulate General

Special Consular Services

Gießener Str. 30

60435 Frankfurt am Main

Germany

Tel: 069-7535-2518, 2514 or 2519

011-49-69-7535-2518, 2514 or 2519 (from the United States)

Fax: 069-7535-2252 (within Germany)

011-49-69-7535-2252 (from the United States).

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Required Information:  Please ensure that the notice includes the case name and related docket number; the location of the U.S. court where the case will be adjudicated; full name(s) of all witnesses, complete German home address(es) and phone numbers of the witnesses, and nationality(ies) of the witnesses.  Please also provide a proposed date for the deposition.  You may submit the request by mail or by fax to the Special Consular Services unit.  The mandatory $475 scheduling fee (payment form included at end of this document) must be submitted in original before the Consulate will initiate a request to the German government for permission to conduct the deposition.

 

Deposition Fees and Scheduling: While the Consulate will make every effort to accomodate requests for a specific time and date for depositions, workload and staff limitations may affect the availability of personnel and space.  In order to facilitate planning of space and staffing, we ask that you provide as much detail as possible about the number of participants, the proposed length of the deposition, and any court dates that may bear relevance to your scheduling in your initial request.

 

In accordance with 22 CFR 22.1, all depositions require an initial $475 scheduling fee.  This fee must be received before the Consulate can take action on a deposition request.   The initial $475 scheduling fee will not be deposited until an agreement is reached between you and the Consulate on a mutually-acceptable date/time. 

 

The Notice of Deposition and a mandatory $475 scheduling fee, must be received by the Consulate

AT LEAST FOUR WEEKS IN ADVANCE

of the deposition.

 

Once a deposition request is made and the fee is paid, the Consulate will ask the U.S. Embassy in Berlin to approach the German Ministry of Justice to request approval for the deposition.  At this point, the fee is non-refundable.  The four weeks lead time is non-negotiable as the German government requires several weeks to process deposition requests.  In addition, please note that regulations require the payment of the non-refundable $475 scheduling fee each time you or any other party make a request to reschedule the deposition (this would include any scheduling conflicts which arise with stenographers, interpreters, court reporters, witnesses, etc.)  In the event that the Consulate needs to reschedule the deposition, we will do our best to settle upon a date that works for you.

 

Oaths: Fees and Required Identification:  A Consular Officer will administer the oath to the witness(es), and, if required, to a stenographer and an interpreter on the morning of the deposition.  In accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 22, a consular fee of $30 for the first oath and $20 for each subsequent oath will be charged.  The fee is payable in cash or credit cards (Euros or dollars) to the consulate cashier on the day of the deposition immediately before the administration of the oath(s). 

 

Please note: Each individual taking an oath must present a valid, government-issued photo id.

 

In addition, a fee of $265/hour will be assessed for the first hour of the deposition during which the administration of the oaths occurs.  If the Consular Officer needs to attend the deposition beyond the administration of oaths, an additional $265/hour will be charged.  This fee is payable upon completion of the deposition. 

 

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