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4 steps for Americans to sue someone in China

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2024 | Blog, Business Litigation

Suing someone in another country can seem daunting. The task inherently involves complex international laws and procedures.

Americans looking to sue someone in China must recognize the necessary steps. Otherwise, the process is more likely to take longer or result in an unfavorable outcome.

Step 1. Understand Chinese jurisdiction

For a Chinese court to consider a case, the lawsuit must fall under its jurisdiction. This usually means the defendant lives in China or the dispute occurred there. One needs to determine if the Chinese courts will accept a particular case based on these variables.

Step 2. Prepare all documents

The next phase is gathering all documentation, including any contracts, correspondence or evidence that supports the claim. Everything needs translation into Chinese, as this is the official language used in Chinese courts.

Step 3. Submit the complaint

Once all the documents are ready, it is time to submit the complaint to the appropriate Chinese court. One must fill out specific forms and provide all the evidence. Failure to properly do this can trigger a bureaucratic headache.

Step 4. Follow court procedures

After submitting the complaint, the litigant must observe every rule established by the Chinese court. This includes paying any fees and possibly attending hearings. Patience is requisite, as the process can be lengthy. Legal proceedings with other countries often face delays.

Suing someone in China involves navigating a different legal system and facing potential language barriers. Despite this, with careful preparation and understanding of the process, Americans may take legal action when doing so makes sense.