How To File a Civil Case in UAE
The UAE civil law deals with various issues including commercial disputes, family disputes, breach of contract and other non-criminal violations. The Federal No. 11 of 1992 (UAE Civil Law) is the principle legislation governing all the civil disputes in the country. All the provisions pertaining to jurisdiction, regulations and procedural requirements are elaborately provided in it.
The primary step before filing the civil case is to consult with an experienced lawyer and then proceed further. The person filing the case is known as plaintiff and the person against whom the case is filed is called defendant.
The next step is to determine the jurisdiction of your civil case. Normally, the jurisdiction is determined by the defendant’s domicile. In case the domicile certificate is not available, the jurisdiction will be the judicial district in which the defendant works.
The recent trend in all the civil cases is that before filing the lawsuit, the court offers mediation through different committees. This process not only enables the parties to reach an amicable solution but also saves time and money. These committees include, Commercial disputes resolution committees, Family guidance committees, Settlement and reconciliation committee, etc. However, If the parties don’t reach a settlement, a no-objection certificate is issued by the committee, and the case is transferred to the court of First Instance.
At this stage, the plaintiff needs to file a “statement of claim” with all the supporting evidence to the case management office in the court. This claim statement includes the details of the parties, subject matter of dispute, and the relief sought from the court. If the case relates to the commercial disputes, then the commercial trade licence, makani number and details of any pending cases against the company also needs to be mentioned.
All the documents must be presented in the Arabic Language. After the submission of the document, you need to pay the court fee depending upon the type and the nature of the case.
On the basis of the statement of claim, the respondent prepares a statement of defense along with all the documents supporting his case.
The next stage is the hearing in the court. In the initial stage of hearing, the parties may deposit some additional documents. However, their acceptance totally depends upon the discretion of the court. If the case involves some technical elements and demands deep investigation, the court can appoint an expert which will prepare its report after thorough investigation. Though the report is not-binding in nature, it significantly influences the outcome of the case.
If one of the parties does not appear on the hearing date, the court may adjourn the case for another day. However, it is important to note that the court will not adjourn for two consecutive hearings. Further, if both the parties do not appear within 60 days of the scheduled date, the case can be cancelled.
The court, after having regard to all the facets of the case, pronounces a public judgement. The expenses of the lawsuit shall be borne by the party against whom the judgement is passed. If more than one person is involved on that side, the expenses may be distributed equally or on a pro-rata basis. The judgement is executed under the supervision of the execution judge at the Court of First Instance. The judgments of the Court of First Instance may be challenged before the Court of Appeal within 30 days of the passing of judgement.
So, as we looked earlier, a civil case is quite complex in nature, and one should seek legal advice before going for it.