Steps in a Dual Citizenship Court Proceeding in Rome
The below Italian Dual Citizenship Court Proceeding applies when a lawsuit is filed before the Court of Rome claiming citizenship as descendant of an Italian-born ancestor.
A citizenship claim can be brought before the Court of Rome only if citizenship is denied by a consulate or municipal government. One major exception to this is the so-called 1948 Rule: rather than bring your claim before a consulate or municipal government, this rule stipulates that your case go directly before a judge in Rome.
Whatever way leads to the Court of Rome (either by rejection or the 1948 Rule), the citizenship claim is characterized by being a “paper” proceeding: the judge will only look at your paperwork, with no other type of evidence or testimony (witnesses, experts, etc.) being admissible. As a matter of fact, the proceeding for a citizenship claim is a concise, tailor-made proceeding that most of the time ends with only one hearing in which the attorney and the judge go through the paperwork and track your ancestry.
The Dual Citizenship Court Proceeding starts with a lawsuit filed at the Court of Rome. It contains the summons and all the paperwork gathered to prove that you are a descendant of an Italian ancestor. You are the plaintiff and the defendant is the Italian Ministry of the Interior.
Here are the following steps:
-The President of the Courthouse appoints the Court where your citizenship claim will be heard.
-A few months later a judge is appointed to deal with your case.
-The judge sets the date of the hearing by decree.
-Your attorney serves the summons and the decree to the Ministry of the Interior.
-The Ministry deadline to respond is 10 days before the date of appearance. The Ministry rarely responds to your citizenship claim and appears. The client does not need to appear and will be represented by his/her attorney.
-At the hearing, the judge hears the case and checks the paperwork. If more documentation is needed, the judge adjourns the hearing. If the paperwork suffices to prove the ancestry, the judge closes the case and will rule on it through a Citizenship Ordinance.
-To cut the Ministry deadline to appeal from 6 month to 1 month, your attorney serves the Citizenship Ordinance.
-The Court serves the ordinance to public prosecutor who has 2 months to appeal (never does).
-After all the deadlines have expired, your attorney will request the Court to issue a formal copy of the Citizenship Ordinance stating that it is IRREVOCABLE.
-Once irrevocable, your attorney requests the Courthouse to release an executable Citizenship Ordinance, which your attorney serves to the administrative district (Comune) where you will be recorded as an Italian citizen.
The Dual Citizenship Court Proceeding may last from 16 to 24 months. Complex cases take longer.
Read more about condition to bring a citizenship claim before the Court of Rome.
Click here for the Court of Rome website.