Many aspects of business in China can confuse or even intimidate people unused to it. This includes what to do when handling cases that may potentially need to go to court.
In order to avoid confusing situations, American businesspeople should understand the basics of civil courts in China, along with how to bring forth a lawsuit if needed.
Levels of civil court
The China Business Review discusses how the law works in China. First, there are four levels of civil courts. This includes the basic people’s court, the intermediate people’s court, the high people’s court (provincial) and the supreme people’s court, or the court at the highest level.
The basic people’s court will hear the vast majority of civil lawsuits. Appeals will usually go to the intermediate people’s court. Certain disputes may get overseen by the intermediate or even the high people’s court, however. This includes cases where the disputed funds reach a certain level or higher, or if the case might have important political or social impacts.
How to file a lawsuit
A person starts the process in a way similar to starting a court case in America: by filing a complaint with the appropriate court. From there, the court has up to seven days to review the complaint. They then determine if they want to accept the case or not. If the court dismisses the case, a plaintiff may appeal the decision within ten days.
Though the entire process can seem complicated especially with the language barrier in place, it is not as difficult as it might initially seem. This is especially true with the right help through the process.