In what circumstances, if any, can claims be disposed of without a full trial?
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Claims can be disposed of pre-trial in several ways. There are various procedural impediments such as the court lacking jurisdiction or the claim being time-barred/precluded (res judicata). Procedural impediments shall be considered ex officio by the court unless specifically regulated otherwise. Other methods of disposing a claim are, inter alia;
- if the parties reach a settlement and request court confirmation of the settlement in an award;
- if the defendant concedes the claim;
- if the claim is manifestly unfounded; or
- by default award (which applies inter alia where the defendant is served but fails to lodge a statement of defence).
A claim may be disposed of without a full trial if to the Court considers it as notoriously inadmissible or unfounded or, in circumstances where a procedural or legal court impediment is revealed.
In a different scenario, if the plaintiff does not follow the due course of the proceedings as demanded by law, the claim can also be disposed of without a full trial.
There are several instances in which a claim can be closed without a full trial. If the parties reach a settlement, then the claim will be closed. Having said that, settlements can be recorded in the official minutes of hearing in which case the settlement can have the weight of an executive deed. This means that if one of the parties breaches the settlement, the other party may proceed directly to execution.
There are other instances in which the court may close a case without a full trial such as the failure of both parties to attend a court hearing, or the failure of the plaintiff to attend and the defendant requests the court to strike out the case.
If the action remains struck out for 60 days and neither party seeks continuation, it will be deemed a nullity but all rights will be preserved.
There is no summary procedure under Saudi Arabian law.
A case may be summarily dismissed or quashed for various reasons. The most practical bases for summary dismissal in commercial disputes are that there is no legal venue in Norway, that the parties have agreed on arbitration, that the claimant does not have a genuine need to have the claim determined against the defendant or that the claimant does not show up for the main hearing.
Courts may dismiss an action without a full trial pursuant to motion practice. For example, a defendant can make a motion on the pleadings seeking to dismiss for failure to plead a claim adequately in the complaint, or for a procedural defect. Or any party can move for summary judgment, arguing that there are no material facts in dispute such that the court may dismiss the action as a matter of law. As a general matter, motions to dismiss occur early in the case, often before discovery has taken place. Motions for summary judgment tend to be made after discovery is completed.
In addition, courts may dismiss an action under the following circumstances: (1) where the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the claims, (2) for failure to prosecute, including situations where there is a lengthy period of inactivity in a case or where the plaintiff is unprepared for trial or refuses to proceed with trial; and (3) for failure to comply with a court order or rule, including scenarios where there are repeated failures to appear at hearings and depositions.
A court might dismiss a statement of claim ex officio before a hearing on the merits of the case takes place, if the claim lacks the procedural minimum requirements for a trial, such as jurisdiction of the court, the capacity of the parties to sue and be sued and the formal requirements of a statement of claim. Moreover, a defendant may file for an early dismissal, if the claim is already time-barred, inconclusive, or if procedural requirements are missing (i.e. lack of jurisdiction).
If any party fails to file a legal document, such as a statement of defense, within due time or fails to attend a scheduled hearing, the other party may request the court to issue a default judgment.
A simplified procedure applies with respect to monetary claims up to EUR 75,000 (Mahnverfahren). The plaintiff simply has to fill out a standardized form (as a statement of claim), on the basis of which the court then issues a payment order. The defendant has the choice to either pay the claimed amount or to raise an objection within four weeks of service of the payment order. If the defendant objects in due time, the payment order will be set aside and an ordinary proceeding will be initiated. However, if the defendant does not raise a valid objection, the payment order becomes binding and enforceable (like a final judgment) without any prior hearing on the merits of the case.
Moreover, under certain circumstances, the court may render interim and partial judgments during the course of a main proceeding. Additionally, a proceeding ends without a judgment on the merits if an amicable settlement is reached during an ongoing proceeding.