It’s crucial to comprehend the several facets of a civil litigation in the UAE if you reside there. In the UAE, civil laws address a wide range of problems, including family conflicts, contract breaches, and other non-criminal offenses committed by numerous parties. The Federal Law No. 11 of 1992 of the United Arab Emirates was revised and became Law No. 10 of 2014. The civil procedural law jurisdictions, rules, processes, and methods are prescribed by the new law. Let’s learn more about the UAE’s judicial system, legal framework, and procedure for filing a civil complaint.
UAE Court System
In the United Arab Emirates, there are both local and federal courts. In the UAE, there are three main categories or levels of court systems.
- Both the local and federal levels are served by the Court of First Instance.
- Both federal and local cases are handled by the Court of Appeal.
- With distinct judicial departments, the Federal Supreme Court works at the federal level, while the Court of Cassation acts at the local level of the emirate.
After describing the various court systems, let’s discuss how to file a civil complaint in the United Arab Emirates.
Procedure for filing a Lawsuit in Court
- Consult a Lawyer
Seeking legal counsel from a qualified attorney is the first step in starting a civil court case. Keep in mind that the plaintiff is the one who brings the lawsuit, and the defendant is the person who has injured someone or violated a contract. The plaintiff must be completely honest with the attorney about every aspect of the case.
- Establish Court Jurisdiction
The next step after finding legal counsel is to choose the proper court system for your civil lawsuit. For instance, the plaintiff cannot launch a civil lawsuit in Dubai or any other emirate if the defendant is residing in Ajman. In this situation, the defendant’s home court of Ajman would have proper jurisdiction.The defendant’s domicile establishes jurisdiction. If the domicile document is missing, the defendant’s workplace will serve as the district court. Any of the following jurisdictions may be used to launch a commercial legal case in the UAE:
- The defendant’s home
- Where a contract or agreement was partially or fully signed, or where a verbal or written agreement was reached
- Where the agreement should have been signed
- The Mediation Process
The UAE court offers mediation through various committees before you decide to file a civil action. A lawyer would recommend a settlement or a mediation to reach a resolution quickly because the legal process can be expensive in terms of both time and money. Costs associated with mediation may occasionally be low. In the UAE courts, there are various mediation committees, including:
- Commercial disputes resolution committees
- Family guidance committees
- Settlement and reconciliation committees
- Rental dispute resolution committees
- Labor dispute resolution committees
The litigating party may request a “No Objection” letter from the appropriate mediation committee and file a statement of claim with the court if the two parties are unable to resolve their dispute through such mediations. The Court of First Instance will assign a judge to hear the case after the statement of claim is filed.
- Filing a Lawsuit in UAE
- Addresses and information about the plaintiff and defendant
- The dispute that is being litigated
- Requests and justifications
- The day the lawsuit was submitted to the case management office
- The court that the lawsuit is brought before
- The plaintiff’s or his representative’s signatureIf the issue involves revocation, validation of the contract, or nullification, a copy of the legally binding contract is necessary. The trade license, email address, makaani number, and information on any ongoing legal proceedings against the company must be registered if the case involves business-related difficulties.The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation shall certify the original judgment if any of the rulings are based on international concerns.
- Pay all the Charges/Fees
The plaintiff must sign the lawsuit if it is to be submitted by the attorney once all the documentation is completed. You must pay the court fees based on the case’s kind and complexity when all the required paperwork has been filed.
- Get a Case Number and Hearing Date
Obtaining a case number and hearing date is an essential first step in bringing a civil lawsuit in the UAE. Within ten days of the statement of claim’s filing, the clerk will send a notification to the defendant via the bailiff.According to section 3 of the UAE Civil Procedures Law, the attorneys must make sure the court has the authority to hear the matter.
- Estimation of Case Value
On the day of the trial, the matter is decided. The assessment is based on the most recent demand made by the litigants. On the trial day, revenues, expenses, and indemnities will all be factored into the case assessment. To calculate the various expenses online, you can trust the official court calculator.
- Civil Action Response
The defendant must reply to the case once it is filed by sending a defense memo or a plea to the Case Management Office. The copies of the plea must be submitted three days before the hearing date, and they must be signed by the defendant. In some situations, there is a 24-hour deadline for taking urgent action.