CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE IN SEYCHELLES
This article will provide guidance on the Code of Civil Procedure in Seychelles. In Seychelles, the highest legislation is the Constitution of the Third Republic. Both civil and criminal procedures are based on English common law traditions, and substantive criminal law is likewise codified (in the Criminal Code). The legislative and executive practice also adhere to common law traditions, although the legal system is a mixed jurisdiction legal system with elements of the French Napoleonic Code.
The main difference between Seychelles’ and English legal systems is that Seychelles' civil law is founded on the French Napoleonic Code rather than on case law developments (common law) and follows their code - the Civil Code of Seychelles. This implies that there is no concept of a tort, no trusts, and no contract rules based on common law. Alternate provisions for such situations are included in the Civil Code. Seychelles has a system called delict in lieu of tort, and the code includes its own contract law rules that are comparable to common law but with some key changes.
Seychelles’ complicated legal system can lead to confusion for individuals who are not acquainted with its laws. Without the assistance of a professional well-versed in Seychelles' local rules and regulations, navigating the country's unusual legal system may be challenging. A private Seychelles process service agency like Undisputed Legal is highly recommended to ensure that legal papers are served per Seychelles' legal requirements.
Seychelles cannot be categorized as either monist or dualist in international law due to the ‘mixed’ character of the jurisdiction. In most cases, the Republic will not be bound by international treaties and accords signed by the president unless and until the National Assembly ratifies them.
The Supreme Court is not the highest in the land in the traditional sense; rather, it serves as the hub of the legal system and has original jurisdiction over the most weighty civil, criminal, and admiralty cases as well as an appellate authority over lower courts and appellate bodies. The post-1993 Supreme Court inherited the 1964 Courts Act, which grants it all the rights, privileges, and jurisdiction of the English High Court of Justice (including equitable jurisdiction). Except in situations of murder or treason (when it sits with a jury of nine) and constitutional concerns, the Supreme Court hears cases with a single judge (when two or more judges sit together as the Constitutional Court).
Magistrates and senior magistrates hear first-instance civil and criminal cases, also attorneys, sitting alone within the boundaries of their authority set by law. The Supreme Court may hear appeals from various quasi-judicial administrative tribunals and agencies constituted by statute.
As Seychelles has become a hub for international trade, it is not unusual for cross-jurisdiction legal disputes. Regardless of where the parties to a legal dispute may be located, a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can facilitate quick and accurate service of process. We ensure that your papers comply with the requirements of the originating and the receiving court, especially considering the complexities of the court system in Seychelles.
REQUIREMENTS OF COMPLAINT IN SEYCHELLES
The Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction over all actions, causes, and civil or commercial law issues. A plant must be submitted to the Registrar to initiate any legal action. A signed complaint is required, which comes from the plaintiff's counsel or the plaintiff themselves, if the suit is filed pro se. The plaintiff must sign every such plant. In addition, the number of copies of the complaint and the notifications of documentary evidence filed by the plaintiff in the register must equal the number of defendants. A private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can be involved to ensure that the complex requirements of your documents are complied with.
The names and addresses of the parties, the nature of the action, and the relief sought must be included in the register of civil and commercial actions as soon as the Registrar receives the plaint. Each year, these filings will be given a number corresponding to the year the corresponding plant was received. Any claims made by the Government of Seychelles against any private person will be brought in the name of the Attorney General and should be conducted in the same way as proceedings between private parties. A plant must be filed at the register to initiate the lawsuit.
After the complaint has been filed and entered into the register of civil and commercial suits, the Registrar should issue a summons to each defendant, under the seal of the court and signed by them, directing them to appear in the Supreme Court on the date and at the time specified in the summons to answer the claim. When the party gets a summons, they should receive a copy of the complaint.
SERVICE OF LEGAL PAPERS IN SEYCHELLES
A suit is considered to have begun as of the day when the summons to appear with the plant was issued. When scheduling a defendant's appearance, the Registrar must consider the defendant's residence's proximity to the court and any other factors that would make it difficult for the defendant to attend on the scheduled day.
A court appearance date and time cannot be set sooner than forty-eight hours following the issuance of the summons unless the judge has granted the defendant special permission. The phrase ‘By leave of the court’ must appear on the front of the summons whenever such permission is granted. A copy of the summons must be delivered or tendered to the defendant in person, or if they are nowhere to be found, to any member of the defendant's household over the age of sixteen who resides with them or to the defendant's agent or manager at the location where he does business. The integrity and fairness of the judicial system may be preserved with the assistance of a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal. If an impartial third party serves the legal papers, the case is less likely to be damaged by prejudice or mislaid documents.
Service on a defendant who has designated an agent authorized to receive service on his behalf will constitute effective service. If the defendant cannot be located, an agent authorized to accept service on their behalf cannot be located. No other person can be served. If the defendant is otherwise avoiding service, posting a copy of the summons in a public area of the courthouse and the original on the defendant's front door will suffice. Suppose the defendant is supposed to appear in court on the date specified in the summons but fails to do so, and service has been made. In that case, the court may declare the summons to be served and proceed without the defendant or make whatever other order as to service it deems appropriate.
Within twenty-four hours of service, the usher who served the summons, notice, order, or other court processes must return it to the Registrar and certify over their signature the day and hour of service and the place and manner of service. Service of any summons to a witness, order of the court, or other process required to be served may be made in the same way as serving a summons to appear to a plant. On the face of the summons, notice, or other processes, the words ‘By leave of the court’ should be written when such permission is granted. Every period should include dies non unless the period ends on dies non, in which case the dies non must be disregarded.
Service of a such summons should be made outside of Seychelles in the same manner as the summons in a suit is made in the country, colony, or jurisdiction where service is to be made. When required by the Supreme Court, proof of such service having been made should be given in the manner provided by the law in force in such country, colony, or jurisdiction. If the defendant is not a Seychellois citizen, the summons need not be served on them, but they must get notice of the proceedings in the same way a summons would be delivered. At Undisputed Legal, we can help ensure that legal papers are served in a timely and efficient manner, which is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the legal process. We understand the importance of timely service and are equipped to handle even the most complex service of process cases. By ensuring that legal papers are served quickly and efficiently, our team can help ensure the legal process moves forward smoothly and without delay.
Every application for leave to issue and serve a summons on a defendant outside the jurisdiction must be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth the grounds upon which the application is made, including that the deponent believes the plaintiff has a good cause of action, identifying the defendant's location and whether or not they are a citizen of Seychelles. The period following service within which such defendant must appear to answer the claim is specified in any ruling granting permission to execute such service.
After due proof of service of the summons, the court may proceed to the hearing of the suit. It may give judgment in the absence of the defendant, or it may adjourn the hearing of the suit ex parte, if the plaintiff appears on the day fixed in the summons when the case is called on, but the defendant does not appear or sufficiently excuse their absence. The statement of defense must detail the defendant's arguments and supporting evidence for the claim. A blanket rejection of the claim made by the plaintiff is not acceptable. The defendant must deny any material fact asserted in the plaintiff's complaint.
SERVICE OF FOREIGN PAPERS IN SEYCHELLES
The plaintiff must provide affidavits demonstrating their good faith belief in their case, indicating where the defendant may be located, and stating whether or not the defendant is a citizen of Seychelles to obtain permission to serve a summons on an out-of-jurisdiction party. No such authorization will be given if the plaintiff does not provide such affidavits.
Each application for Seychelles process service must include an affidavit setting out the grounds for doing so. The defendant must attend and answer the claim within the time frame stipulated after the service has been performed or after the publication of the notice in the media or elsewhere. The employment of process servers from Seychelles is required in civil and commercial disputes according to the Hague Service Convention, a multilateral treaty agreed on November 15, 1965, in The Hague, Netherlands, by member states of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. It is preferable to involve an experienced private process service agency like Undisputed Legal to conduct service according to the Hague Convention.
The Hague Service Convention simplified the process of serving foreign parties. The agreement requires each contracting state to designate a single point of contact to handle all requests. It is permissible for the state's governing body where service is to be effected to promptly forward requests to a judicial officer qualified to serve the process in the issuing jurisdiction. When a central authority receives a request, service is made via the courts of the recipient state or through other legally permissible channels. Once service is complete, the requesting judicial officer receives a certificate of service from the central authority. Legal documents must be served in compliance with the norms and regulations of the Seychellois jurisdiction in which they are being served, which is one of the primary ways in which private process service agencies like Undisputed Legal contribute to the upkeep and preservation of the integrity of the legal system. At Undisputed Legal, we can guarantee that legal documents are served in a way that is both fair and impartial by complying with the rules and regulations of the jurisdiction in which they operate.
Hague Convention-compliant methods of service of process in Seychelles include the service via the post office, diplomatic or consular representatives, judicial officials, authorities, and private process servers. These provisions may or may not be recognized as valid in the Member State's legal system for service of process. Article 5 stipulates that all member states must use the Central Agency to issue service of process in Seychelles. It takes four to twelve months for the Central Agency to finish its services. If the Central Agency has not provided a certificate of service or delivery within six months, the claimants are entitled to relief under the convention. The Court may decide in such matters if it determines that sufficient time has passed. In urgent situations, the court may issue a temporary restraining order or other protective measures before the six-month waiting period has passed.
Only states that have not objected to mailing as the primary way of service under Article 10(a) of the convention and jurisdictions where the court action is being brought have the necessary laws in place to permit mailing as the primary mode of service. Our clients have assured peace of mind knowing that their legal papers are being handled expediently and effectively by working with Undisputed Legal. We ensure that we provide real-time information on the progress of the service of process. This may be of utmost significance in circumstances in which time is paramount. When it comes to the legal process, involving a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal to provide international service of process in Seychelles can ensure that it is carried out with integrity and impartiality while also providing clients with the assurance that their legal documents are being handled by professionals who are well-versed in the relevant subject matter.
Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to email@example.com, or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.
Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.; Our receptionist will receive all documents.
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New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
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Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 - 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 - 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004
FOR ASSISTANCE SERVING LEGAL PAPERS IN SEYCHELLES
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1. No money shall be paid out of court to the plaintiff, or his attorney or agent, except on production of a note signed by the Registrar and under the seal of the court in the form outlined in Schedule C, provided that in the event such note is lost or destroyed, no money shall be paid to any person unless it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the plaintiff was entitled to payment at the time the plaint was filed.
2. Claims against the Government of Seychelles that, if brought against a private party, the Supreme Court of Judicature would have jurisdiction over the relevant laws of Africa and contributors.
3. No summons, notice, or other processes may be served on a die non or between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless in the event of an emergency and then only with the permission of a Judge.
4. Without the permission of the Supreme Court, (1) no summons in civil and commercial actions may be issued or served upon any defendant, whether a citizen of Seychelles or not.
5. In the first instance, this period cannot be more than four months if the defendant is located in the United States or any other country; one month if the defendant is located in Mauritius or Reunion; two months if the defendant is located in India, Africa, or Madagascar; three months if the defendant is located in Europe or Australia; and one month if the defendant is located in any other country.
6. The plaint must include the following information:
- the name of the court in which the suit is brought;
- the name, description, and residence of the plaintiff;
- the name, description, and residence of the defendant, to the extent known;
- a clear and concise statement of the circumstances constituting the cause of action, the place and time it arose, and the material facts necessary to sustain the action; and
- a demand for relief.
7. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a copy of the defendant's statement of defense must be sent to the plaintiff, or if there is more than one plaintiff, to each plaintiff, in addition to being placed in the register and becoming part of the record.
8. Upon such terms as the court directs as to costs or otherwise, the defendant may be heard in answer to the suit as if he had appeared on the day fixed for his appearance if the court has adjourned the hearing of the suit ex parte and the defendant appears at or before the such hearing and assigns good cause for his previous non-appearance. The plaintiff's claim will be thrown out if the defendant shows up to court on the day specified in the summons when the matter is called on but the plaintiff does not. If the defendant acknowledges all or part of the plaintiff's claim, the court must rule in favor of the plaintiff on the conceded portion. If so, the court may hear and rule on the defendant's set-off (compensation) claim.
9. When the defendant resides in Mauritius or Reunion, the maximum amount of time allowed to file a response to the claim after serving through Seychelles Process Service is one month.