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UAE Civil Claim Procedure: Expat-friendly edition!

Greetings, fellow expats!  If you’ve ever wondered about your rights and options when it comes to civil claims in the UAE, you’re in the right place. Our blog is your compass through the intricate world of civil claim procedures in the UAE.

Arabic businessman

The UAE’s legal system for civil claims follows a pyramidal structure, with several key levels:

1.  Federal Supreme Court: This is the highest federal court in the UAE.

2. Court of Cassation: This is the highest court at the Emirate level.

3. Courts of Appeal: Each Emirate has its own Court of Appeal.

4. Court of First Instance: These are located in each Emirate, serving as the first point of contact for civil claims.

To navigate this complex system effectively, expats need to grasp the hierarchy of courts, especially considering the nuances of UAE’s Civil Procedure Law No. 42. Understanding this legal framework is essential for individuals seeking legal recourse or involved in civil litigation within the UAE.

Initiating the Process

Registering with Mediation Centers

For expats dealing with civil, employment, or family disputes, the first step is to register the issue with mediation centers sanctioned by the UAE courts. These centers include commercial dispute resolution committees, family reconciliation centers, rental dispute centers, and labor dispute centers. Their primary role is to mediate and find amicable solutions to disputes.

In cases where no amicable resolution is possible, the centers issue a No-Objection Certificate, allowing the matter to proceed to the next stage.

After receiving the No-Objection Certificate from the mediation center, claimants should consider appointing the best civil lawyers in Dubai or the relevant Emirate. The choice of legal representation can significantly impact the outcome of a case.

Given the language barrier and specific requirements of UAE courts, it’s advisable to engage a qualified legal consultant within the country. These consultants are well-versed in the local legal system and can provide essential guidance. By consulting the best Dubai legal consultants, expatriates can ensure they have the support needed to protect their rights and interests.

Filing Your Claim

Registering the Claim before the Civil Court

This step involves registering the claim with the Civil Court, specifically with the case management officer. The process begins with submitting a “Statement of Claim” in Arabic. Alongside the statement, relevant evidence supporting the claim, legally translated into Arabic, should be included. If a lawyer represents the claimant, a legalized Power of Attorney is also necessary.

The Statement of Claim should provide comprehensive details about the parties involved, facts of the matter, and the claimant’s requests. Documents originating from outside the country must undergo legal attestation through a public notary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the UAE embassy in the country of origin.

Court Proceedings

Court Hearings and Appeals

Once the claim is submitted, the other party will be summoned to present their defense statement. Both parties will have equal opportunities to present their cases. The court will then issue a judgment in favor of one party, and the judgment will obligate them to cover relevant costs.

If either party is unsatisfied with the court’s judgment, they have the right to file an appeal. The process includes filing an appeal before the Court of Appeal, followed by an appeal before the Court of Cassation.

Woman holding marker pen

What Happens on Non-payment of a Civil Claim?

You might wonder what happens if someone ordered by the court to pay a civil claim doesn’t follow through. Can they end up in jail? Let’s break it.

If the defendant doesn’t pay within 15 days, the Execution Court has options:

1. Seizing and selling the defendant’s movable assets.

2. Confiscating stocks, bonds, and shares owned by the defendant.

3. Selling immovable properties of the defendant.

4. Initiating bankruptcy proceedings, though it’s rare.

5. In exceptional cases, resorting to imprisonment, detention, or travel bans against the defendant.

Navigating the civil claim procedures in the UAE as an expatriate can be complex, but with the right legal guidance and representation, it’s possible to seek justice. For the best legal advice and representation in Dubai, consider reaching out to reputable law offices in Dubai. Legal consultants in Dubai can provide invaluable assistance, ensuring that your civil claim is handled with the utmost professionalism and expertise. Good luck!