Service of Proceedings

The UAE cabinet recently approved amendments to Federal Law No. 11 of 1992 on the Civil Procedure Law by supplementing certain provisions via cabinet resolution number 57/2018 which came into effect on 16 February 2019.

In this article we will stress on enhanced changes made to the “Service of Proceedings” by highlighting the below salient points; as follows:

1. The time scale for the serving of court notices has been extended between 7 am to 9 pm, which previously could only take place between 7 am to 6 pm. Moreover, such services can take place at any time during non-business days by any modern means of technology upon natural or private legal persons (except where government entities are being served).

2. If the official language of the respondent is non-Arabic; the claimant shall attach with the service notice a certified translation thereof into English, unless there is a prior agreement between the parties to attach the translation in any other language. This shall apply to all civil and commercial lawsuits, except for labor cases instituted by workers; together with personal status cases.
3. A respondent can now be served by recorded voice or video calls, SMS on the mobile phone, email or fax or any similar means of modern technology as designated by a decision of the Minister of Justice, or by any other means mutually agreed between the parties. Furthermore, if the respondent is not available during personal services or refuses to be notified, the same can be served on his relatives at his place of residence or even co-workers at his place of work; and if still not acknowledged by the respondent accordingly; the court notification can then be served by posting the service notice clearly on the place of the residence or office door of the respondent.

4. The claimant can serve the respondents themselves or instruct the court bailiff or their authorized legal representatives to do so.

5. For respondents having a known domicile abroad and who cannot be served by means of modern technology, or by means agreed upon by the parties; the service shall be delivered to the Ministry of Justice for referral thereto to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to perform the service by diplomatic channels upon the intended person(s); unless the service is regulated under special agreements accordingly.

Such new additions demonstrate the commitment by the judicial authorities in the UAE to further streamline the court process and increase its efficiency, which is likely to result in time and cost savings for both courts and litigants.