Brief Guide of Ex-Pate Judgement in UAE

We often hear this legal maxim, “Justice delayed is justice denied,” and one does not need to be a lawyer to grasp the seriousness of the legal maxim. When the justice system is imparted, the problem of delay becomes more serious if litigation progresses after an ex-parte order, which is an exception of the fundamental rule of law, the ‘audi alteram partem’ which requires that ‘the other side should be heard’ or ‘opportunity of being heard must be given to all’.

An ex-parte decree is a decree adopted where the opposition does not appear. In compliance with the theory of natural justice, a decision should be made in the participation of both parties, and the right to propose it should be given to both parties. However, the court may issue an ex-parte decree in some conditions. Where one party appears, and the other is not present, the court may hear the case and order the decree against the other party at the time that the case is called for hearing.

Since these orders are not null, void, or inoperative, but rather voidable, they are proper, permissible, enforceable, and operative like a regular decree. They have the power and force of a valid decree. Although a judicial judge has to hear all parties to the case, and not only one, situations arise where the law does not hold, and the judge may only accommodate one party to the case, for instance, when an claimant demands an injunction or a dismissal before the defendant’s response or appearance.

Ex-parte court proceedings are typically used in emergency situations where requiring notice would cause irreparable harm to one party. An individual who has been abused by a partner or significant other, for example, can request an ex-parte a temporary restraining order from the judge, ordering the accused abuser to stay away from him or her. Ex-parte judicial proceedings are also used to prevent irreversible property damage. If two neighbors, Ronnie and Vanessa, argue over which land a tree is on, and Ronnie wants to cut it down while Vanessa wants to save it, Vanessa will request an ex-parte hearing before a judge. She would petition the court for a temporary restraining order to prohibit Ronnie from felling the tree at the hearing. She’ll have to prove to the court that she didn’t have an appropriate time to give Ronnie formal notice of the hearing and that she has a good chance of winning the case. In deciding whether to accept Vanessa’s appeal, the court will weigh the possible burdens to Ronnie and Vanessa.

Another example of ex-parte could be a case in which a party might seek ex-parte relief is one in which a historic public building is set to be destroyed in a single day. The complainant believes that laws are prohibiting such demolition. Ex-parte relief could be requested to preclude demolition while the case is being litigated, and the case would be null if a temporary injunction were not issued immediately.

Ex-parte Judgment for Interim Relief: Interim orders shall be passed if the judge concerned sees valid reasons for passing the same. These orders are made ex-parte and can be challenged by the defendant before a court by filing an objection before the court issued such order and may then take part in a normal trial. Ex-parte applications for interim relief are usually decided on the same day as the filing of the application or the next working day. By filing a petition, interim ex-parte orders may be sought. A petition can be filed at any moment, and it will be heard inter partes. A person that wishes to appeal a petition decision has ten days from the date of the decision to do so. The decision can then be appealed to:

  1. The Court of Appeal, in 30 days of the date of the First Instance Court’s decision.
  2. In 60 days of the Court of Appeal’s decision, the Court of Cassation, on a question of law (if the dispute’s value exceeds AED500,000).

When interim orders are granted under the Civil Procedure Law, the claimant has eight days to bring a substantive suit on the merits. In most cases, the defendant will ask for the interim order to be vacated. The court’s decision may be appealed in the usual manner.

Ex-parte Judgment for Payment Orders: The UAE Civil Procedure Law has recently been amended to facilitate the filing of payment orders. A creditor could file an ex-parte application before the UAE courts, requesting the issuance of a payment order for an outstanding debt, according to articles 62 and 63 of Law No. 57 of 2018. A payment order, under these rules, is a process by which a party with strong written proof of a quantified debt that has been recognized and agreed by the debtor may ask the court to impose an order against the debtor for the payment of that debt.

Ex-parte Judgment for Divorce: Expatriates living in the UAE often become perplexed about the jurisdiction of the court that will determine their divorce case. This is the most significant source of confusion for ex-pats, as they are unaware of the local laws and procedures for obtaining a divorce in the UAE. For instance, a Hindu couple registered their marriage in Mumbai. Later they moved to Dubai, wherein in 2001 they had a son, and in 2008 they had a daughter. The lady came with the children back to Mumbai soon after her daughter’s birth and began living there, with the husband still living in Dubai. The husband submitted a petition for divorce to the Dubai court later in 2012. The husband argued that the wife was duly served a summons to testify at court, either directly or by her legal representative by the Dubai court. The matter was then carried out in Dubai court without the lady, and the Dubai court granted divorce to the man.

Apart from this, it can be hard to get ex-parte orders. They are generally used for extreme situations, such as domestic violence, child neglect, or the endangerment of children. If an individual requests an order and the judge does not agree that he needs one, his request shall be denied. And if there is an ex-parte order against the individual, then he must attend the next hearing to defend himself and argue against it.