Summary Procedure:Civil Procedure Law China

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Chapter XIII

Summary Procedure

Article 142 When trying simple civil cases in which the facts are evident, the rights and obligations clear and the disputes trivial in character, the basic people’s courts and the tribunals dispatched by them shall apply the provisions of this Chapter.

Article 143 In simple civil cases, the plaintiff may lodge his complaint orally.

The two parties concerned may at the same time come before a basic people’s court or a tribunal dispatched by it for a solution of their dispute. The basic people’s court or the tribunal it dispatched may try the case immediately or set a date for the trial.

Article 144 In trying a simple civil case, the basic people’s court or the tribunal dispatched by it may use simplified methods to summon at any time the parties and witnesses.

Article 145 Simple civil cases shall be tried by a single judge alone and the trial of such cases shall not be bound by the provisions of Articles 122, 124, and 127 of this Law.

Article 146 The people’s court trying a case in which summary procedure is followed shall conclude the case within three months after placing the case on the docket.

Chapter XIV Procedure of Second Instance

Article 147 If a party refuses to accept a judgment of first instance of a local people’s court, he shall have the right to file an appeal with the people’s court at the next higher level within 15 days after the date on which the written judgment was served.

If a party refuses to accept a written order of first instance of a local people’s court, he shall have the right to file an appeal with a people’s court at the next higher level within 10 days after the date on which the written order was served.

Article 148 For filing an appeal, a petition for the purpose shall be submitted. The content of the appeal petition shall include the names of the parties, the names of the legal persons and their legal representatives or names of other organizastions and their principal heads; the name of the people’s court where the case was originally tried; file number of the case and the cause of action; and the claims of the appeal and the reasons.

Article 149 The appeal petition shall be submitted through the people’s court which originally tried the case, and copies of it shall be provided according to the number of persons in the other party or of the representatives thereof.

If a party appeals directly to a people’s court of second instance, the said court shall within five days transmit the appeal petition to the people’s court which originally tried the case.

Article 150 The people’s court which originally tried the case shall, within five days after receiving the appeal petition, serve a copy of it on the other party, who shall submit his defence within 15 days from the receipt of such copy. The people’s court shall, within five days after receiving the defence, serve a copy of it on the appellant. Failure by the other party to submit a defence shall not prevent the case from being tried by the people’s court.

After receiving the appeal petition and the defence, the people’s court which originally tried the case shall, within five days, deliver them together with the entire case file and evidence to the people’s court of second instance.

Article 151 With respect to an appealed case, the people’s court of second instance shall review the relevant facts and the application of the law.

Article 152 With respect to a case on appeal, the people’s court of second instance shall form a collegial panel to conduct the trial. After verification of the facts of the case through consulting the files, making investigations and questioning the parties, if the collegial panel considers that it is not necessary to conduct a trial, it may make a judgment or a written order directly.

The people’s court of second instance may try a case on appeal at its own site or in the place where the case originated or where the people’s court which originally tried the case is located.

Article 153 After trying a case on appeal, the people’s court of second instance shall, in the light of the following situations, dispose of it accordingly:

(1) if the facts were clearly ascertained and the law was correctly applied in the original judgment, the appeal shall be rejected in the form of a judgment and the original judgment shall be affirmed;

(2) if the application of the law was incorrect in the original judgment, the said judgment shall be amended according to the law;

(3) if in the original judgment the facts were incorrectly or not clearly ascertained and the evidence was insufficient, the people’s court of second instance shall make a written order to set aside the judgment and remand to case to the original people’s court for retrial, or the people’s court of second instance may amend the judgment after investigating and clarifying the facts; or

(4) if there was violation of legal procedure in making the original judgment, which may have affected correct adjudication, the judgment shall be set aside by a written order and the case remanded to the original people’s court for retrial.

The parties concerned may appeal against the judgment or written order rendered in a retrial of their case.

Article 154 The people’s court of second instance shall decide in the form of orders in writing all cases of appeal against the written orders made by the people’s courts of first instance.

Article 155 In dealing with a case on appeal, a people’s court of second instance may conduct conciliation. If an agreement is reached through conciliation, a conciliation statement shall be made and signed by the judicial officers and the court clerk, with the seal of the people’s court affixed to it. After the conciliation statement has been served, the original judgment of the lower court shall be deemed as set aside.

Article 156 If an appellant applies for withdrawal of his appeal before a people’s court of second instance pronounces its judgment, the court shall decide whether to approve the application or not.

Article 157 In the trial of a case on appeal, the people’s court of second instance shall, apart from observing the provisions of this Chapter, follow the ordinary procedure for trials of first instance.

Article 158 The judgment and the written order of a people’s court of second instance shall be final.

Article 159 The people’s court trying a case on appeal shall conclude the case within three months after docketing the case. Any extension of the period necessitated by special circumstances shall be subject to the approval of the president of the court.

The people’s court trying a case on appeal against a written order shall, within 30 days after docketing the case for second instance trial, make a written order which is final.

Chapter XV Special Procedure

Section 1 General Provisions

Article 160 When the people’s courts try cases concerning the qualification of voters, the declaration of a person as missing or dead, the adjudgment of legal incapacity or restricted legal capacity of a citizen and the adjudgment of a property as ownerless, the provisions of this Chapter shall apply. For matters not covered in this Chapter, the relevant provisions of this Law and other laws shall apply.

Article 161 In cases tried in accordance with the procedure provided in this Chapter, the judgment of first instance shall be final. A collegial panel of judges shall be formed for the trial of any case involving the qualification of voters or of any major, difficult or complicated case; other cases shall be tried by a single judge alone.

Article 162 If a people’s court, while trying a case in accordance with the procedure provided in this Chapter, finds that the case involves a civil dispute over rights and interests, it shall make a written order to terminate the special procedure and inform the interested parties to otherwise institute an action.

Article 163 A people’s court trying a case in which special procedure is followed shall conclude the case within 30 days after placing the case on the docket or within 30 days after expiration of the period stated in the public notice. Any extension of the time limit necessitated by special circumstances shall be subject to the approval of the president of the court, excepting, however, a case concerning the qualification of voters.

Section 2 Cases Concerning the Qualification of Voters

Article 164 If a citizen refuses to accept an election committee’s decision on an appeal concerning his voting qualification, he may, five days before the election day, bring a suit in the basic people’s court located in the electoral district.

Article 165 After entertaining a case concerning voting qualification, a people’s court must conclude the trial before the election day.

The party who brings the suit, the representative of the election committee and other citizens concerned must participate in the proceedings.

The written judgment of the people’s court shall be served on the election committee and the party who brings the suit before the election day; other citizens concerned shall be notified of the judgment.

Section 3 Cases Concerning the Declaration of a Person as Missing or Dead

Article 166 With respect to a citizen whose whereabouts are unknown for two years in full, if the interested party applies for declaring the person as missing, the application shall be filed with the basic people’s court in the locality where the missing person has his domicile.

The application shall clearly state the facts and time of the disappearance of the person missing as well as the motion; documentary evidence from a public security organ or other relevant organs concerning the disappearance of the citizen shall be appended to the application.

Article 167 With respect to a citizen whose whereabouts are unknown for four years in full or whose whereabouts are unknown for two years in full after an accident in which he was involved, or with respect to a citizen whose whereabouts are unknown after such an accident, and, upon proof furnished by the relevant authorities that it is impossible for him to survive, if the interested party applies for declaring such person as dead, the application shall be filed with the basic people’s court in the locality where the missing person has his domicile.

The application shall clearly state the facts and time of the disappearance as well as the motion; documentary evidence from a public security organ or other relevant organs concerning the disappearance of the citizen shall be appended to the application.

Article 168 After entertaining a case concerning the declaration of a person as missing or dead, the people’s court shall issue a public notice in search of the person missing. The period of the public notice for declaring a person as missing shall be three months, and that for declaring a person as dead shall be one year. Where a citizen’s whereabouts are unknown after an accident in which he was involved and, upon proof furnished by the relevant authorities that it is impossible for him to survive, the period of the public notice for proclaiming such person as dead shall be three months.

On the expiration of the period of the public notice, the people’s court shall, depending on whether the fact of the missing or death of the person has been confirmed, make a judgment declaring the person missing or dead or make a judgment rejecting the application.

Article 169 If a person who has been declared missing or dead by a people’s court reappears, the people’s court shall, upon the application of that person or of an interested party, make a new judgment and annul the previous one.

Section 4 Cases Concerning the Adjudgment of Legal Incapacity or Restricted Legal Capacity of Citizens

Article 170 An application for adjudgment of legal incapacity or restricted legal capacity of a citizen shall be filed by the citizen’s near relatives or any other interested party with the basic people’s court in the locality where the citizen has his domicile.

The application shall clearly state the fact and grounds of the citizen’s legal incapacity or restricted legal capacity.

Article 171 After accepting such an application, the people’s court shall, when necessary, have an expert evaluation of the citizen of whom the determination of legal incapacity or restricted legal capacity is sought; if the applicant has already provided an evaluation conclusion, the people’s court shall examine such conclusion.

Article 172 In the trial by the people’s court of a case for the determination of legal incapacity or restricted legal capacity of a citizen, a near relative of the citizen shall be his agent, the applicant being excluded. If the near relatives of the citizen shift responsibility onto one another, the people’s court shall appoint one of them as agent for the citizen. If the citizen’s condition of health permits, the people’s court shall also seek the opinion of the citizen on the matter.

If, through the trial, the people’s court finds that the application is based on facts, a judgment of legal incapacity or restricted legal capacity of the citizen shall be made; if the court finds that the application is not based on facts, it shall make a judgment rejecting the application.

Article 173 If, upon the application of a person who has been determined as one of legal incapacity or restricted legal capacity or upon the application of his guardian, the people’s court confirms that the causes of that person’s legal incapacity or restricted legal capacity have been eliminated, a new judgment shall be made annulling the previous one.

Section 5 Cases Concerning the Determination of Property as Ownerless

Article 174 An application for determining a property as ownerless shall be filed by a citizen, legal person or any other organization with the basic people’s court in the place where the property is located.

The application shall clearly state the type and quantity of the property and the grounds on which the application for determining the property as ownerless is filed.

Article 175 The people’s court shall, after accepting such an application and upon examination and verification of it, issue a public notice calling on the owner to claim the property. If no one claims the property one year after the issue of the public notice, the people’s court shall make a judgment determining the property as ownerless and turn it over to the State or the collective concerned.

Article 176 If, after a property has been determined by a judgment as ownerless, the owner of the property or his successor appears, such a person may file a claim for the property within the period of limitation specified in the General Principles of the Civil Law. The people’s court shall, after examination and verification of the claim, make a new judgment, annulling the previous one.


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