CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE IN CYPRUS
This article will provide guidance on the Code of Civil Procedure in Cyprus. Cyprus's legal system follows a well-established hierarchy of norms in which certain regulations precede others. The Constitution was the highest law standard until Cyprus joined the European Union. As a result, Parliamentary legislation must be consistent with the law of the European Union, the Constitution, and international law.
To this purpose, the Supreme Court has the authority to determine whether or not legislation enacted by Parliament is consistent with the constitution. This may be done either in response to a referral from the President of the Republic under Article 140 or as part of a claim for administrative law under Article 146. Additionally, the competent first instance court may also evaluate the question of the constitutionality of a legislative provision if it is challenged in regular criminal or civil procedures.
In Cyprus, there are just two tiers of the legal system. There are several types of trial courts, but only the Supreme Court has appellate authority. Nicosia, the country's capital, is home to the country's highest court. It has exclusive jurisdiction in specific regions and acts as the court of appeals for criminal and civil cases.
Due to its two-tiered structure, the Cypriot court system provides no intermediate legal remedies between its lower first instance and higher supreme courts. Because it hears all appeals, the Supreme Court is often called the Appellate Court. The President of the Republic of Cyprus appoints the thirteen judges that make up the court. The stated court appointment requirements state that the candidate must be a ‘jurist of high professional and moral level’ without specifying that they must already be judiciary members. Even yet, most judges have been selected from within the current judiciary at the recommendation of all Supreme Court justices serving as the Supreme Judicial Council.
In particular, the Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction over cases involving maritime law, electoral law, and matters of national security. It was not until recently that any judicial review process under Cypriot administrative law was not subject to the exclusive authority of the Supreme Court.
The District Courts deal with all civil matters at the first instance level and are competent to judge on some criminal law issues. The Court has authority over any legal matters within its designated district. At the moment, there are four District Courts in operation: one in Nicosia (serving the Nicosia and Kyrenia Districts), one in Limassol (serving the Limassol and Famagusta Districts), and one in Paphos (serving the Paphos and Larnaca Districts). Both civil and criminal cases may be heard in a District Court. A single judge hears cases at both levels of court. However, District Courts have limited criminal jurisdiction and may only issue sentences with a maximum of five years in jail.
STRUCTURE OF THE CIVIL COURTS
The civil justice system in Cyprus comprises first-instance courts and the Supreme Court. All other trial courts are subservient to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the country. A review of any administrative act, decision, or omission must be brought before the Supreme Court of Cyprus. This kind of jurisdiction includes governmental and administrative actions in the public domain, but governmental or administrative actions or inactions affecting private rights are not. The Supreme Court has the authority to hear and resolve all appeals from all subordinate courts in civil and criminal cases. In its discretion, the Court may sustain, modify, reverse, or remand a case. The Court may infer from the trial Court's findings and request more evidence in rare instances.
Each District Court would have the power to hear and decide civil cases if either the defendant at the time the case was filed or the event giving rise to the cause of action occurred within the geographical borders of the District Court's geographical jurisdiction. If both parties live in the Republic, the Family Courts may hear petitions for dissolution of marriage and issues including child support, spousal support, adoption, and property division.
CIVIL LITIGATION IN CYPRUS
Filing a writ of summons, normally endorsed or expressly endorsed, for service of a writ of summons to the Defendants is the first requirement for a claim in Cyprus. The defendant must first seek permission to submit a conditional appearance if he contests jurisdiction. If Defendant is outside the jurisdiction, Plaintiff must ask for permission to seal the writ and then leave to serve it outside the jurisdiction. A statement of claim must be submitted within ten days following an appearance if a generally endorsed statement of claim is filed.
Plaintiff may submit a reply within seven days after receiving the defense, although it is not required. If Defendant has a counterclaim, Plaintiff will submit a reply to and defense against the counterclaim within fourteen days after the counterclaim.
Once the pleadings conclude, any party can petition the court for a hearing date. The Registrar is responsible for scheduling the case for directions while the judge sets the hearing date. During the trial, the parties provide evidence and their arguments so that a verdict may be delivered.
PRE-ACTION PROCEEDINGS IN CYPRUS
In Cyprus, there are no pre-action steps that a party is obligated to follow before they file their legal action; however, as a matter of usual practice, a Plaintiff would issue a legal notice to their opponent before they advance with any lawsuit.
Time limitations are recognized under Cypriot law as a procedural law problem and offer Defendant the right to make a preliminary objection asking for the dismissal of the action against him if the claim has not been filed within the required time limit. The first step in any legal procedure in Cyprus is filing a writ of summons with the Registrar of the appropriate district court, followed by service of the writ by an authorized court server within one year of the day the action was filed. Under certain situations, Plaintiff may request an order for a replacement service.
The plaintiff must apply for permission to seal the writ of summons and leave to serve the writ of summons outside the jurisdiction by mail or by posting the writ of summons in one or two newspapers in the nation where Defendant lives. Service in foreign proceedings in Cyprus may be made in any way authorized by the nation where the proceedings were originally initiated.
Every pleading should only include a statement in the form of a summary of the material facts upon which the claimant based their claim. This meant that it would not contain the evidence by which the material facts were to be shown. The statement must also specify and provide reasons for the requested relief. Appropriate paragraphing and successive numbering of sentences are required in all pleadings. Dates, amounts, and other numerical data must be numeric.
It is laid down that the claimant's pleadings should only provide significant condensed claims of facts, not any law upon which the claimant wants to rely or any legal conclusions. However, there are circumstances when further specifics are required. In cases where the Plaintiff seeks remedy for several claims or causes of complaint based on different facts or law, each claim or cause of complaint must be presented independently. The facts related to the different claims or reasons of complaint should be mentioned individually so as to establish upon which facts each cause of action is founded and in respect of which facts each form of relief is being demanded.
Within the prescribed time frame, the modified pleading and an office copy of the order granting leave for modification must be served to the other party. Where the Court considers that the applicant has excessively delayed submitting his application for amendment, the Court may reject the amendment.
AUTHORITY OF THE COURTS IN CYPRUS
The Cyprus Courts have inherent authority to regulate their process to guarantee that their procedures are not manipulated to attain injustice. This discretionary power of the Courts to manage cases before them is called a Summons for Directions under which the Court may make such order about admissions of facts and of documents as may seem necessary or desirable about the issues raised in the pleadings, direct that an affidavit may prove any particular fact or facts, or that the affidavit of any witness may be read at the trial on such conditions as the Court or Judge may think reasonable.
Under the Civil Procedure Rules, the Cyprus Courts may issue cost orders against the party that disobeys its commands, makes a strike-out order, or draws unfavorable inferences in proper circumstances. If a party breaks an injunction and is in contempt of court, this is punished by jail or sequestration.
SERVICE OF SUMMONS IN CYPRUS
Service of a copy of the writ of summons must be regarded as good service of the writ upon each defendant mentioned therein unless the Judge rules otherwise. Wherever possible, service must be provided by leaving a copy of the document at the addressee's residence or business. However, suppose the addressee cannot be located. In that case, service will be considered to have been made if the document is left with a member of the addressee's family who appears to be 16 or older and who resides in the same town, village, or land.
Suppose a copy is served on someone other than the intended recipient. In that case, the affidavit of service must specify that the intended recipient could not be located at his or her residence or place of business.
Within seven days following serving, an affidavit of service must be sworn and submitted, with a copy of the writ of summons attached as an exhibit. The affidavit of service must be submitted to the registrar, and the plaintiff must be notified of the date service was made within forty-eight hours.
Service on the intended recipient may be completed at any time or night, in any location, and on any day of the week. An office copy of a writ of summons or other process served on the president or other head officer, or on the treasurer or secretary of such body, or delivery of such copy at the office of such body, will be deemed good service; and in the case of any company not formed in Cyprus, the copy may be left at its place of business in Cyprus, or if there is no such place.
By leave of the Court or a Judge, a writ of summons in action relating to or arising out of a contract entered into in Cyprus by or through an agent residing or carrying on business in Cyprus on behalf of a principal residing or carrying on business outside of Cyprus may be served on the such agent before the determination of such agent's authority or his business relations with the principal.
SPECIFICS OF SERVICE IN CYPRUS
Without the Court's or a Judge's permission, no writ of summons may be sealed for service outside of Cyprus or for which notice is to be issued outside of Cyprus. Every writ of summons that is presented to the court for sealing must include [A.] the name of the court, [B.] the year the action was filed, [C.] the full names of the plaintiff and defendant, [D.] the full addresses of all parties involved, [E.] the oaths of the plaintiff and defendant, [F.]a copy of the defendant's Alien Registration Certificate (ARC), and [G.] a copy of the court's order sealing the writ. Even though it is required that the writ be endorsed with a statement of the nature of the claim made or of the relief or remedy required in action, the endorsement doesn't need to specify the precise ground of complaint or the precise remedy or relief to which the plaintiff is entitled. At the bottom of such a statement, the writ must have the plaintiff's or their attorney's signature.
Wherever the plaintiff's claim is for a debt or liquidated demand only, the indorsement, besides stating the nature of the claim, shall state the amount claimed for debt or in respect of such demand, and for costs respectively, and shall further state that upon payment thereof within ten days after service, or in the case of a writ not for service in Cyprus within the time allowed for appearance, further proceedings will stay.
A demand that an account be taken must be endorsed on the writ of summons in all circumstances where the plaintiff requests one as a preliminary matter. Libel proceedings need a writ to be endorsed with enough information to identify the specific publications. The value of the property sought to be recovered in proceedings for recovery of possession of the immovable property and the value of the part trespassed upon must be specified in an endorsed portion of the writ. When submitting their writ to be sealed, the plaintiff must also leave one copy for the defendant's office and one copy for the affidavit of service.
If the writ can be sealed, the registrar will record the action in the Civil Cause Book and assign it a number corresponding to the order in which the writ was filed. He will also write ‘Filed and sealed on the day of’ and the date the writ was sealed. In probate lawsuits, the plaintiff (or a plaintiff on their behalf) must file an affidavit verifying the writ's endorsement before it may be sealed.
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1. To relieve the Supreme Court of the vast majority of cases, a new special administrative court of first instance will be established in late 2015.
2. Filing a Note of Appearance by Defendant within ten days of serving.
3. The Defendant shall submit his statement of defense within 14 days after filing an appearance if a particularly indorsed writ of summons is issued or 14 days after the statement of claim if a generally indorsed writ of summons is filed.
4. In Cyprus, any party may only request an interim remedy after filing the legal action. Courts of Justice Law 14/60 establishes the requirements for issuing an interlocutory injunction, including that it be probable that the Plaintiff is entitled to relief and that it would be difficult or impossible to accomplish full justice at a later stage without issuing an interlocutory injunction.
5. According to the Civil Procedure Rules of Cyprus Order 19, r.4
6. Form 3 is the required format for this declaration. Notwithstanding such payment, the defendant may tax the expenses. If more than one-sixth is disallowed, the plaintiff's advocate must pay the taxation costs unless he demonstrates that he overcharged bona fide.
7. When the plaintiff resides in Cyprus, no writ with a claim of more than two pounds may be sealed by the Registrar without a retainer in writing in Form 4 attested by a registrar, certifying officer, or two competent witnesses who are not advocates' clerks; provided, however, that the Registrar may seal a writ with the leave of a Judge for good cause shown, which shall be recorded in the minutes.