Many obstacles remain to conduct business in China. There is a lot of confusion on how the court system works and how to file a lawsuit should the need arise.
Questions such as which court to file commercial disputes create bewilderment for American business owners. Here are the basics of civil courts and how to bring forth a lawsuit in China.
What are the types of courts in China?
There are four basic civil court levels in China:
- Basic people’s court
- Intermediate people’s court
- High people’s court (provincial level)
- Supreme people’s court (highest level)
Where are civil lawsuits heard?
In most instances, basic people’s courts hear civil lawsuits. Appeals go to the intermediate people’s court. Nevertheless, the intermediate and high people’s courts maintain jurisdiction over certain disputes. Examples include cases with potentially important social or political impacts and cases in which the disputed funds surpass a particular threshold.
How do you file a lawsuit in China?
Plaintiffs begin their lawsuits by filing a complaint with the appropriate court. The court has seven days to review the complaint and determine whether it will accept the case. In the event that the court dismisses the case, the plaintiff has 10 days to appeal the decision with a higher court.
Some Chinese courts now allow claimants to file cases online in certain instances. A lawyer with experience in Chinese law can assist you in navigating the legal system in China.
Though filing lawsuits in China is complex, do not give up. The right counsel can help you gain restitution from a Chinese individual or entity.