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A Guide To Filing A Civil Case In Dubai

Sept. 5, 2020


A civil case is filed by a person or organization that claims to have experienced injustice, namely the plaintiff, from another individual or entity (also known as the defendant) in terms of a duty or service that was not carried out as promised. When the disagreement fails to be resolved by either of the parties, a civil case is filed by the plaintiff to receive justice. This can either result in a compensation in the form of a payment or fulfillment of duty or both as dictated by the court of law to be given by the defendant to the plaintiff. In order to file for a civil case, the following steps have to be taken.


The first step would be to receive consultation from advocates and legal consultants near you who can confirm your case of injustice and advise you on the next appropriate course of action. They will also be able to represent your case in court if necessary and ensure you get the best possible outcome while keeping you informed of the entire process and its implications. Consulting with advocates and legal consultants is highly recommended before taking any action since legal cases can get complicated with the possibility of a counter case being filed against the plaintiff.


Ensure that you are well versed with the legal jurisdiction of your Emirate as a civil case against an individual from either Ajman or Sharjah cannot be filed in Dubai. This also means that the defendant’s Emirate of residence or work must be chosen as the city where the case is filed in the absence of his domicile. The case must either be filed in the defendant’s Emirate of residency or workplace, in the Emirate where the agreement took place or in the Emirate where the implications of the agreement should have been performed, if the case is of a commercial nature.  


An amicable settlement would be the first recommended course of action provided by law firms in Dubai to any plaintiff. There are several committees that have been established by UAE’s court of law to help mediate the process of settlement amicably between two parties. These committees offer assistance to cases that are related to commercial disputes, labor disputes, rental disputes, family guidance, and settlements and reconciliation. If these committees are unable to resolve the cases, then the case may be taken to the court for further investigation and a better solution. This would then lead to a lawsuit being filed, where a ‘No Objection’ letter and a statement of claim is necessary by a recommended notarized power of attorney to fight your case at the Court of First Instance. Depending on the nature of the defendant and their domicile, an appropriate course of action is ordered by the court. All documents necessary and relevant to the case must be presented at the court, written in Arabic, and attested by the Ministry of Justice. The lawsuit must also be signed by the plaintiff if the attorney is submitting it, and a fee payment must be made according to the nature of the case.


The plaintiff will then receive a case number and date for when the hearing is scheduled to take place, which will be sent to the defendant within 10 days of filing the case. On the day of the trial, an estimation of the case value is calculated. The defendant can then file for a plea at least three days before the court hearing takes place. On the day of the court hearing, all parties and attorneys are expected to appear before the court with the possibility of submitting any documents that could be adjourned. A failure of appearance by either of the parties in court has its own separate set of implications. If the court deems the case as appropriate to be tried out in another competent court, then a referral for it will be submitted informing both parties of the decision. 


The case can be terminated if both parties agree to not proceed with it anymore and receive an approval from the court. This cessation could last for 6 months as per the laws of the country. However, if the judge does pass a verdict, the costs for the lawsuit and the method of payment will be determined. After this, an option to petition for the judgment to be reviewed can be submitted followed by an appeal and a final judgement execution that would lead to justice being served by the Court of Law. More guidance through this process and the requirements that civil cases entail can be obtained from advocates and legal consultants  in your Emirate.

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