Input: Yu Pin
Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China
(Adopted on April 9, 1991 at the Fourth Session of the Seventh National People’s Congress, and revised according to the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Amending the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China as adopted at the 30th Session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People’s Congress)
第一编 总 则
Part One General Principles
Chapter 1 Purposes, Scope of Regulation and Basic Principles
Article 1 The Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China is formulated according to the Constitution and in the light of the experience and actual conditions of adjudicating civil cases in our country.
Article 2 The purposes of the Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China are to protect the litigation rights exercised by the parties, to ensure that the people’s courts find facts, to distinguish right from wrong, to apply the law correctly, to try civil cases promptly, to affirm the rights and obligations in civil affairs, to impose sanctions for civil wrong doings, to protect the lawful rights and interests of the parties, to educate citizens to voluntarily abide by the law, to maintain the social and economic order, and to guarantee the smooth progress of the socialist construction.
Article 3 The provisions of this Law shall apply to all the civil litigation accepted by people’s courts regarding disputes over the status of property and personal relations among citizens, legal persons, or other organizations respectively and mutually between citizens, legal persons, or other organizations.
Article 4 All those who involve in civil lawsuits within the territory of the People’s Republic of China must abide by this Law.
Article 5 Foreign nationals, stateless persons, foreign enterprises, or organizations, which initiate or respond to lawsuits in people’s courts, shall have the same litigation rights and obligations as the citizens, legal persons, or other organizations of the People’s Republic of China.
Should the courts of a foreign country impose restrictions on the civil litigation rights of the citizens, legal persons, or other organizations of the People’s Republic of China, the people’s courts of the People’s Republic of China shall follow the principle of reciprocity regarding the civil litigation rights of the citizens, enterprises, or organizations of that foreign country.
Article 6 The adjudication authority over civil cases shall be exercised by the people’s courts only.
The people’s courts shall adjudicate civil cases independently according to law, and shall not be subject to any interference from an administrative organ, public organization, or individual.
Article 7 The people’s courts must take the facts as the basis and take the law as the criterion when adjudicating civil cases.
Article 8 All parties to a civil litigation shall have equal litigation rights. The people’s courts shall, when adjudicating civil cases, guarantee and facilitate all parties to exercise their litigation rights, and apply the law equally to all parties.
Article 9 When adjudicating civil cases, the people’s courts may mediate the disputes according to the principles of voluntariness and lawfulness; if a mediation agreement can not be reached, the courts shall render judgments without delay.
Article 10 When adjudicating civil cases, the people’s courts shall apply the systems of collegial panel, recusal, public trial, and “two trials and the second one is final”.
Article 11 Chinese citizens of all ethnicities shall have the right to use their native spoken and written languages in civil proceedings.
In the areas where an ethnic minority is concentrated or a number of different ethnic nationalities live together, the people’s courts shall conduct hearings and publish legal documents in the spoken and written languages commonly used by these people.
The people’s courts shall provide translations for any litigation participants who are not familiar with the spoken or written languages commonly used by the local people.
Article 12 When adjudicating civil cases by the people’s court, the parties shall have the right to engage in argument.
Article 13 The parties to a civil litigation shall be entitled, within the scope stipulated by law, to dispose their rights of civil affairs and litigation.
Article 14 The people’s procuratorates shall have the right to exercise legal supervision over the civil proceedings.
Article 15 If the civil rights and interests of the state, a collective, or an individual have been infringed, a state organ, public organization, enterprise, or institution may support the injured unit or individual to initiate legal action in a people’s court.
Article 16 The People’s Conciliation Committees are the organizations for mass to mediate civil disputes derived from private citizens under the guidance of basic people’s governments and the basic people’s courts.
The People’s Conciliation Committees shall conduct all mediations according to legal provisions and the principle of voluntariness. All concerned parties shall enforce mediation agreement. Where any concerned parties refuse mediation, fail to reach a mediation agreement, or retract a mediation agreement, they may initiate legal proceedings in a people’s court.
If a People’s Conciliation Committee violates the law when mediating civil disputes, the people’s court shall correct it.
Article 17 The people’s congresses of the national autonomous areas may formulate some accommodating or supplementary provisions according to the principles of the Constitution and this Law and based on the specific circumstances of their localities. Such provisions made by an autonomous region shall be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for approval. The provisions made by an autonomous prefecture or autonomous county shall be submitted to the standing committee of the people’s congress of the relevant autonomous region or province for approval and to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for the record.
第二章 管 辖
Chapter 2 Jurisdiction
Section 1 Jurisdiction by Levels of Courts
Article 18 A basic people’s court shall have jurisdiction as the court of first instance over civil cases, unless otherwise stipulated in this Law.
Article 19 An intermediate people’s court shall have jurisdiction as courts of first instance over the following civil cases:
(1)Major cases involving foreign elements;
(2)Cases that have major impacts in the area of its jurisdiction; and
(3)Cases under the jurisdiction of the intermediate people’s courts as determined by the Supreme People’s Court.
Article 20 A higher people’s courts shall have jurisdiction as the court of first instance over civil cases that have major impacts on the areas of its jurisdiction.
Article 21The Supreme People’s Court shall have jurisdiction as the court of first instance over the following civil cases:
(1)Cases that have major impacts on the whole country; and
(2)Cases that the Supreme People’s Court deems should be adjudicated by itself.
Section 2 Territorial Jurisdiction
Article 22 A civil lawsuit brought against a citizen shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the defendant has his domicile; if the defendant’s domicile is different from his habitual residence, the lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place of his habitual residence.
A civil lawsuit brought against a legal person or an organization shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the defendant has its domicile.
Where the domiciles or habitual residences of several defendants in the same lawsuit are in the areas under the jurisdiction of two or more people’s courts, all of those people’s courts shall have jurisdiction over the lawsuit.
Article 23 The civil litigations described below shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the plaintiff has his domicile; if the plaintiff’s domicile is different from his habitual residence, the lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’ court located in the place of the plaintiff’s habitual residence. The relevant civil litigations are:
(1)Litigations concerning the status of persons who do not reside within the territory of the People’s Republic of China;
(2)Litigations concerning the status of persons whose whereabouts are unknown or whom have been declared missing;
(3)Litigations brought against the persons who are undergoing reeducation through labor; and
(4)Litigations brought against persons who are in imprisonment.
Article 24 A lawsuit brought about a contract dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the defendant has his domicile or where the contract is performed.
Article 25 The parties to a contract may, through the written contract, choose a people’s court, which located in the place where the defendant would have his domicile, the contract would be performed, the contract would be signed, the plaintiff would have his domicile, or the subject of the contract would be located, to have jurisdiction over the case, as long as this jurisdiction choice does not violate the provisions of this Law regarding the Jurisdiction by Level and the Exclusive Jurisdiction.
Article 26 A lawsuit brought for insurance contract dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the defendant has his domicile or where the insured subject matter is located.
Article 27 A lawsuit brought for a negotiable instrument dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the negotiable instrument is to be paid or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 28 A lawsuit brought for a dispute over transportation contract via railway, highway, water, air, or combined transportation shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place of the departure or the destination, or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 29 A lawsuit brought for a tortious act shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the infringing act took place or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 30 A lawsuit to claim damages caused by a railway, highway, water, or aviation transportation accident shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the accident took place, where the vehicle or ship first arrived after the accident, where the aircraft first landed after the accident, or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 31 A lawsuit brought for damages caused by a ship collision or any other maritime accident shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the collision took place or where the collision ship first docked after the accident or where the ship at fault was detained, or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 32 A lawsuit brought for a maritime salvage shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the salvage took place or where the salvaged vessel first docked after the disaster.
Article 33 A lawsuit brought for a general average shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the ship first docked after the general average adjustment took place or the adjustment thereof was conducted or where the voyage ended.
Article 34 The following cases shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the people’s courts herein specified:
(1)A lawsuit brought for real estate shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the real estate is located;
(2)A lawsuit concerning harbor operations shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the harbor is located; and
(3)A lawsuit concerning an inheritance shall be under the jurisdiction of the people’s court located in the place where the decedent had his domicile upon his death, or where the principal portion of his estate is located.
Article 35 When two or more people’s courts have jurisdiction over a lawsuit, the plaintiff may bring his lawsuit in one of these people’s courts; if the plaintiff brings the lawsuit in two or more people’s courts that have jurisdiction over the lawsuit, it shall be handled by the people’s court that accepts the case first.
Section 3 Jurisdiction by Transfer and Jurisdiction by Designation
Article 36 If a people’s court discovers that a case it has accepted is not under its jurisdiction, it shall transfer the case to the people’s court that does have jurisdiction over the case. The people’s court to which a case has been transferred shall accept the case, and if it considers that, according to relevant regulations, the transferred case is not under its jurisdiction, it shall report to a superior people’s court for the designation of jurisdiction and shall not transfer the case to another people’s court without authorization.
Article 37 If a people’s court which has jurisdiction over a case is unable to exercise the jurisdiction for a special reason, the superior people’s court shall designate another court to exercise the jurisdiction.
If there is a dispute over a jurisdiction among people’s courts, it shall be resolved by the disputing parties through consultation; if the dispute cannot be resolved through consultation, the disputing courts shall ask their superior people’s court to designate the jurisdiction.
Article 38 If a party rejects the jurisdiction of his case after the case was accepted by a people’s court, the party shall raise the rejection during the period for submitting briefs. The people’s court shall examine such objection. If the objection is tenable, the people’s court shall rule that the case be transferred to the people’s court that does have jurisdiction over the case; if the rejection is untenable, the people’s court shall overrule the objection.
Article 39 People’s courts at higher levels shall have the authority to try civil cases over which people’s courts at lower levels have jurisdiction as courts of first instance; they may also transfer civil cases over which they themselves have jurisdiction as courts of first instance to people’s courts at lower levels for adjudication.
If a people’s court at a lower level deems it necessary for a civil case of first instance under its jurisdiction to be tried by a people’s court at a higher level, it may request such a people’s court to adjudicate the case.
Chapter 3 Trial Organization
Article 40 Civil cases of first instance shall be tried in a people’s court by a collegial bench consisting of both judges and assessors or of judges alone. The numbers of members of a collegial bench shall be odd.
Civil cases to which summary procedure is applied shall be tried by a single judge alone.
When carrying out their duties as assessors, the assessors shall have equal rights and obligations as the judges.
Article 41 Civil cases of second instance shall be tried in a people’s court by a collegial bench of judges. The numbers of members of a collegial bench shall be odd.
For the retrial of a remanded case, the people’s court of first instance shall form a new collegial bench according to the procedure of first instance.
If a case for retrial was originally tried at first instance, a new collegial bench shall be formed according to the procedure of first instance; if the case was originally tried at second instance or was removed to a people’s court at a higher level for trial, a new collegial bench shall be formed according to the procedure of second instance.
Article 42 The president of the court or the chief judge of a division shall designate a judge to serve as the presiding judge of the collegial bench; if the president or the chief judge participates in trial, he himself shall serve as the presiding judge.
Article 43 When deliberating a case, a collegial bench shall observe the principle of minority obeying majority. The deliberations shall be recorded in writing, and the transcript shall be signed by the members of the collegial bench. The dissenting opinions in the deliberations shall be truthfully recorded in the transcript.
Article 44 The adjudicating personnel shall handle the case impartially and according to law.
The adjudicating personnel shall not accept a treat or gift from the parties or their agents.
Any adjudicating personnel who commits embezzlement, accepts bribes, practices favoritism for himself or relatives, twists the law in rendering judgment shall be investigated for legal responsibility; if a crime is committed, the offender shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law.
第四章 回 避
Chapter 4 Recusal of Adjudicating Personnel
Article 45 Any member of the adjudicating personnel in any of the following circumstances shall be disqualified, and the litigation parties shall also have the right to request, orally or in writing, such an adjudicator to be withdrawn from this case. The relevant circumstances are:
(1)He is a party or a near relative of a party or a near relative of a litigation representative to the case;
(2)He has a personal interest in the case; or
(3)He has some other relationship with a party to the case, which could influence the impartial adjudication.
The above provisions shall also apply to clerks, interpreters, expert witnesses, and examiners.
Article 46 When a party makes a request to disqualify an adjudicator, he shall make an explanation and submit the request at the beginning of the proceedings; a request for recusal may also be submitted before the end of court debate if the recusal reason is uncovered after the proceeding begins.
If a recusal decision is waiting for a people’s court to decide, the personnel who have been requested to be disqualified shall temporarily be suspended from participating in the proceedings, but with the exception of cases that require emergency measures.
Article 47 The recusal of a court president who serves as the presiding judge shall be decided by the adjudicating committee; the recusal of adjudicators shall be decided by the court president; the recusal of other personnel shall be decided by the presiding judge.
Article 48 The decision of a people’s court on a request for recusal shall be made orally or in writing within three days after the request was made. If a party is not satisfied with a recusal decision, it may apply for reconsideration once. During the period of reconsideration, the personnel who have been requested to be disqualified shall not be suspended from participating in the proceedings. The decision of a people’s court on an application for reconsideration shall be made within three days after receiving the application and the person who has made the application for reconsideration shall be notified of the decision.
Chapter 5 Litigation Participants
Section 1 Parties
Article 49 Any citizen, legal person or any other organization may become a party to a civil lawsuit.
Legal persons shall be represented by their legal representatives in litigation. Other organizations shall be represented by their principal leading personnel in litigation.
Article 50 The parties shall have the right to appoint representatives, request recusals of adjudicating personnel, collect and provide evidence, engage in debate, request mediation, file an appeal, and apply for an enforcement of judgments.
The parties may consult the materials relating to the court proceedings of the case and copy the materials and other legal documents pertaining to the case. However, materials involving state secrets, trade secrets, or the private affairs of individuals shall be exceptions.
The parties must exercise their litigation rights according to the law, observe litigation procedures and carry out legally effective written judgments or orders and mediation statements.
Article 51 The two parties may reach a settlement agreement on their own.
Article 52 The plaintiff may relinquish or modify his claim. The defendant may confirm or repudiate the claim and shall have the right to file a counterclaim.
Article 53 When one party or both parties consist of two or more persons and the subject matter of the action is the same or under the same category, the people’s court may adjudicate them together upon the consent of all the parties. Such adjudication is called joint litigation.
If a party of two or more persons of a joint litigation who have the common rights and obligations with respect to the subject matter of action and the act of any of them is recognized by the others of the party, such an act shall bind the rest of the party; if a party of two or more persons have no common rights and obligations with respect to the subject matter of action, any acts taken by any one of them shall not bind the rest of the party.
Article 54 A joint litigation in which one party has numerous litigants may be brought by the representatives elected by the litigants of the party. The act of litigation taken by these representatives shall bind all litigants of the party whom they represent. However, any substitution of representatives, relinquishing claims, acceptance of claims of the opposing party, or negotiating settlement shall be approved by the litigants of the party.
Article 55 Where the subject matters of an action is under the same category and one of the parties has numerous litigants but the exact number of the litigants is uncertain when the lawsuit is filed, the people’s court may issue a public notice to explain the nature of the case and the claims of the litigation and informing those interested persons who are entitled to the claim to register their rights with the people’s court within a fixed period of time.
Those who have registered their rights with the people’s court may elect representatives from among themselves to proceed with the litigation; if the election fails its purpose, such representatives may be determined by the people’s court through consultation with those who have registered their rights with the court.
The acts of litigation taken by these representatives shall bind all litigants of the party whom they represent. However, any substitution of representatives, relinquishing claims, acceptance of claims of the opposing party, or negotiating settlement shall be approved by the litigants of the party.
The judgments or written orders rendered by the people’s court shall bind all those interested persons who have registered their rights with the court. Such judgments or written orders shall apply to those who have not registered their rights but have instituted legal proceedings during the time of the statute of limitation.
Article 56 If a third party considers that he has the independent right to claim the subject matter of the action of both parties, he shall have the right to bring an action.
If a third party does not have the independent right to claim the subject matter of the action of both parties but the outcome of the case will affect his legal interest, it may file a request to join the litigation or the people’s court may notify him to join the litigation. If a people’s court holds a third party to bear a civil liability, such a third party shall have the litigation rights as a party to the litigation.
Section 2 Litigation Representatives
Article 57 For litigation-incompetent persons, their guardians shall be their legal representative in their litigations. If all legal representatives try to avoid their duties of representation, the people’s court may appoint one of them as the litigation represent.
Article 58 Each party or legal representative may appoint one or two persons to act as his litigation representatives.
Lawyers, a party’s near relatives, persons recommended by relevant public organizations or the units to which a party belongs, or any other citizens approved by a people’s court may be entrusted as the party’s litigation representatives.
Article 59 When a party entrusts a person to be his litigation representative, he shall submit a power of attorney bearing his signature or seal to the people’s court.
The power of attorney must specify the matters and authority scopes entrusted. A litigation representative must possess special authorization from his principal to be able to accept, relinquish, or modify the claim, to reach a settlement, or bring a counterclaim or an appeal.
When a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, who is residing abroad, mails or entrusts someone to deliver a power of attorney to China, he shall have the power of attorney certified by the Chinese embassy or consulate to that country. If there is no Chinese embassy or consulate in that country, he shall have the power of attorney certified by an embassy or a consulate of a third country, which has diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and is stationed in the country, and then be transferred to the embassy or consulate of the People’s Republic of China stationed in that third state for verification; he may have the power of attorney certified by a local patriotic overseas Chinese organization.
Article 60 A party who changes or revokes the authority of his litigation representative shall inform the people’s court in writing and the court shall notify the other party of the change or revocation.
Article 61 Lawyers who serve as litigation representatives or other litigation representatives shall have the right to investigate and collect evidence, and may consult relevant materials to the case. The scopes and measures of consulting relevant materials to a case shall be regulated by the Supreme People’s Court.
Article 62 For a divorce case in which a party has appointed a litigation representative, that party shall appear in court in person unless he is incapable of expressing his own opinion. A party who is truly unable to appear in court due to a special reason shall submit his opinion in writing to the people’s court.
第六章 证 据
Chapter 6 Evidence
Article 63 Evidence shall be classified as follows:
(3)audio and visual material;
(4)testimony of witnesses;
(5)statements of involving parties;
(6)conclusions of expert witnesses; and
(7)transcripts of inspection and examination.
Any of the above-mentioned evidence must be verified before it can be taken as a basis for finding a fact.
Article 64 A party shall have the responsibility to provide evidence in support of its own propositions.
For the evidence that cannot be obtained by any parties or their litigation representatives because of some realistic reasons or for the evidence that the people’s court considers necessary for adjudicating the case, the people’s court shall investigate and collect such evidence.
The people’s court shall, according to the procedure prescribed by law, collect and examine evidence comprehensively and objectively.
Article 65 The people’s court shall have the authority to obtain evidence from any relevant units or individuals, and such units or individuals may not refuse to provide evidence.
The people’s court shall verify and determine the validity of documentary evidence provided by relevant units or individuals.
Article 66 Evidence shall be presented in the court and cross-examined by parties, however, evidence that involves state secrets, trade secrets, or individual privacy shall not be presented in an open court session.
Article 67 The people’s court shall admit the legal acts, legal facts and documents that are notarized according to legal procedures as a basis for finding facts, except when there is contrary evidence that is sufficient to invalidate the notarization.
Article 68 Any document submitted as evidence shall be the original one. Physical evidence shall also be original. If it is truly difficult to present the original document or physical evidence, then duplications, photographs, copies, or extracts of the original evidence may be admitted.
If a document in a foreign language is submitted as evidence, a Chinese translation shall be appended.
Article 69 The people’s court shall authenticate audio and visual materials and decide whether they can be admitted as a basis for finding the facts after examining them and comparing them with other evidence of the same case.
Article 70 All units and individuals who have information about a case shall have the obligation to testify in court. The responsible persons of relevant units shall encourage the witnesses to give testimony. When it is truly too difficult for a witness to appear in court, he may, with the approval of the people’s court, submit a written testimony.
Any person who is incapable of expressing his opinion properly shall not testify.
Article 71 The people’s court shall examine the statements of the parties in connection with other evidence of the case to decide whether such statements can be taken as a basis for finding the facts.
The refusal of a party to make a statement shall not prevent the people’s court from finding the facts of a case based on other evidence.
Article 72 When a people’s court deems it necessary to make an evaluation of a specialized issue, it shall refer the issue to an authentication department authorized by law for the evaluation. In the absence of such department, the people’s court shall appoint an authentication department to make the evaluation.
The authentication department and the expert witness designated by the department shall have the right to consult the case materials necessary for the evaluation and direct inquiries to the parties and witnesses when circumstances require.
An authentication department and expert witness shall present its or his conclusion of the evaluation in writing and sign it or put his seal on it. With respect to an evaluation made by an expert witness, the unit to which the expert witness belongs shall certify his status by affixing its seal to the expert conclusion.
Article 73 When inspecting or examining physical evidence on site, the inspector must show his credentials issued by a people’s court. He shall invite the local basic organization or the relevant unit to send personnel to participate in the inspection. The parties concerned or the adult members of their families shall be present; however, their refusal to appear on the scene shall not prevent the inspection from proceeding.
Upon notification by the people’s court, the relevant units and individuals shall have the obligation to preserve the site and provide assistance for the inspection.
The inspector and examiner shall prepare a written record for the circumstances and results of the inspection or examination. The inspector, examiner, the party concerned and the invited participants shall affix their signatures or seals to the record.
Article 74 Under circumstances where there is a likely-hood that evidence may be destroyed, lost or too difficult to obtain later on, any litigation participants may apply to the people’s court for the preservation of the evidence. The people’s court may also take initiative to preserve such evidence.
Chapter 7 Time Periods and Service
第一节 期 间
Section 1 Time Periods
Article 75 Time periods shall include those prescribed by law and those designated by a people’s court.
Time periods shall be computed by hour, day, month, and year. The hour and day from which a time period begins shall not be computed as within that time period.
If the expiration date of a time period falls on a holiday, the day immediately following the holiday shall be regarded as the expiration date.
A statutory time period shall not include the time spent in transmittal of documents. A litigation document that is mailed before a deadline shall not be regarded as overdue.
Article 76 If a party fails to meet a deadline due to reasons beyond his control or other justifiable reasons, he may petition for an extension of the time limit within 10 days after the obstacle is removed. The requested extension shall be subject to approval by a people’s court.
第二节 送 达
Section 2 Service
Article 77 A receipt shall be required for every litigation document that is served and it shall bear the signature or seal of the recipient of the service and the date of receipt.
The date of receipt as signed by the recipient of the service shall be regarded as the date the document is served.
Article 78 Litigation documents shall be served directly on the recipient of the service. If the recipient of the service is a citizen, the documents may, in the case of his absence, be served on an adult member of the recipient’s family who lives with him. If the recipient of the service is a legal person or any other organization, the document shall be served on the legal representatives of the legal person, the principal leading personnel of any other organization, the personnel of the legal person or any other organization in charge of receiving such documents; If the recipient of the service has a litigation representative, the documents may be served on the litigation representative. If the recipient of the service has designated an agent to receive his litigation documents and has informed the people’s court of it, the documents may be served on the agent.
The date of receipt as signed by the adult family member living with the recipient of service, or persons in charge of receiving documents of the legal persons or other organizations, or litigation representative, or agents designated to receive his documents shall be regarded as the date the document is served.
Article 79 If the recipient of a service or any of his adult family members living with him refuses to accept a legal document, the person serving the document shall ask the representatives of the relevant basic organization or unit to which the recipient of the service belongs to appear on the scene, explain the situation to them, and record the reasons of the refusal and the date on the receipt. After the person serving the document and the witnesses have affixed their signatures or seals on the receipt, the document may be left at the place where the recipient of the service stays and the service shall be considered completed.
Article 80 If direct delivery service of a litigation document proves too difficult, such a service may be entrusted to the other people’s court, or it may be served by postal service. If a document is served by post, the date as stated on the receipt shall be regarded as the date the document is served.
Article 81 If the recipient of a service is in the military, the document shall be forwarded to him via the political organ at or above the regimen level in the unit to which the recipient belongs.
Article 82 If the recipient of the service is undergoing imprisonment, the document shall be forwarded to him via the prison or the unit of rehabilitation through labor where he is serving his sentence.
If the recipient of the service is undergoing reeducation through labor, the document shall be forwarded to him via the unit supervising his reeducation through labor.
Article 83 Any organization or unit that receives a litigation document to be forwarded must immediately deliver it to the recipient of the service for a receipt. The date as stated on the receipt shall be regarded as the date the document is served.
Article 84 If the whereabouts of a recipient is unknown, or if a document cannot be served by the other methods prescribed in this section, the document shall be served by public announcement. Sixty days after the date of the public announcement, the document shall be deemed to have been served.
The reasons for service by public announcement and the procedures taken shall be recorded in the case files.
第八章 调 解
Chapter 8 Mediation
Article 85 In handling civil cases, the people’s court may distinguish between right and wrong and mediate disputes according to the principle of parties’ voluntariness and based on clear facts.
Article 86 When a people’s court conducts mediation, a single judge or a collegial bench may preside in the mediation. Mediations shall be conducted locally whenever possible.
When a people’s court conducts mediation, it may employ simplified methods to notify the parties and witnesses to appear in court.
Article 87 When a people’s court conducts mediation, it may request assistance from relevant units or individuals. The invited units or individuals shall assist the people’s court in mediation.
Article 88 A mediation agreement must be based on voluntariness of both parties, and shall not be reached through compulsion. The content of the mediation agreement may not contravene the law.
Article 89 When a mediation agreement is reached, the people’s court shall draw up a written mediation agreement. A mediation agreement shall clearly set forth the claims of the action, the facts about the case, and the result of the mediation.
The mediation statement shall be signed by the judge and the court clerk, sealed by the people’s court, and served on both parties.
Once the mediation agreement is signed and exchanged by both parties, it shall become legally binding.
Article 90 The people’s court need not draw up a mediation agreement for the following cases when an agreement is reached through mediation:
(1)Divorce cases in which both parties have become reconciled after mediation;
(2)Adoption cases in which adoptive relationship has been retained through mediation;
(3)Cases in which the claims can be immediately satisfied; and
(4)Other cases that do not require mediation statements.
Any agreement that does not require a mediation agreement shall be entered into the transcript and become legally effective after the transcript is signed or sealed by both parties, the judge, and the court clerk.
Article 91If no agreement is reached through mediation or if one party retracts his reconciliation before the mediation agreement is served, the people’s court shall render a judgment without delay.
Chapter 9 Property Preservation and Advance Enforcement
Article 92 If it becomes impossible or difficult to enforce a judgment because of the acts taken by one of the parties or for other reasons, the people’s court may, upon the request of the other party, make an order to preserve the property. In the absence of such requests, the people’s court may, when necessary, also order to adopt property preservation measures.
When a people’s court has decided to adopt property preservation, it may instruct the applicant to provide a surety; if the applicant fails to do so, his application may be rejected.
After receiving a party’s application, if the case is urgent, the people’s court must make an order regarding property preservation within 48 hours; if a people’s court makes an order for property preservation, it shall enforce the preservation immediately.
Article 93 Any interested party whose lawful rights and interests, due to urgent circumstances, would suffer from un-remediable harms if he fails to petition for property preservation immediately, may, before filing the lawsuit, petition to the people’s court for the adoption of property preservation measures. The petitioner shall provide a surety; if the petitioner fails to do so, his petition may be rejected.
After receiving a party’s petition for property preservation, the people’s court shall make a ruling within 48 hours; if property preservation is granted by a ruling, the preservation thereof shall be enforced immediately.
If the petitioner fails to file a lawsuit within 15 days after the people’s court has adopted the preservation measures, the people’s court shall cancel the property preservation.
Article 94 Property preservation shall be limited to the scope of the claim or to the property related to the case.
The measures of property preservation may include seizure, detain, freeze, or other methods as prescribed by law.
When a people’s court freezes a property, it shall notify the person whose property is frozen.
Those properties that have already been seized, detained, or frozen shall not be seized or frozen again.
Article 95 If the defending party whose property is preserved provides a security, the people’s court shall cancel the property preservation.
Article 96 Where a petition is wrongfully made, the petitioner shall compensate the defending party for any loss incurred from the property preservation.
Article 97 The people’s court may, at the request of a party, order the measures for the following cases to be enforced in advance:
(1)Cases involving claims of alimonies, supports for children or elders, pension for the disabled or the family of a decedent, or expenses for medical care;
(2)Cases involving claims of wages; and
(3)Cases involving urgent circumstances that require enforcement in advance.
Article 98 The people’s court shall make sure the following conditions are met before making a ruling to enforce the property preservation in advance:
(1)The relationship of rights and obligations between the parties is definite, and the refusal of advance enforcement would seriously affect the life or business operation of petitioners; and
(2)The defending party whose property would be preserved is capable of fulfilling the obligations involved in the advance enforcement.
The people’s court may order the petitioners to provide sureties; if a petitioner fails to do so, his petition may be rejected. If the petitioner loses the lawsuit, he shall compensate the defending party whose property was preserved for any loss incurred from the advance enforcement.
Article 99 If a party is not satisfied with an order on property preservation or advance enforcement, he may petition for reconsideration that can be granted only once. However, the enforcement of the order shall not be suspended during the time of reconsideration.
Chapter 10 Compulsory Measures against Obstruction of Civil Actions
Article 100 If a defendant who is required to appear in court has been served twice with subpoena but still refuses to appear in court without legitimate reason, the people’s court may summon him to court by force.
Article 101 All litigation participants and other persons shall abide by the court rules.
For those persons who violate the court rules, the people’s courts may reprimand them, evict them from the courts, or impose a fine or detention on them.
For those persons who create uproars, disturb courtrooms, insult, slander, threat, or assault adjudicating personnel, or seriously disrupt the order of courtrooms, the people’s court shall investigate them for criminal liabilities according to law; if the circumstances are minor, a fine or detention may be imposed on the offender.
Article 102 Where any litigation participants or any other persons commit any of the following acts, the people’s courts shall impose a fine or detention on them based on the circumstances; if a crime is committed, the people’s court shall investigate them for criminal liabilities according to law.
(1)Forging or destroying significant evidence, which would obstruct the a people’s court’s adjudication of a case;
(2)Using violence, threats, or bribery to hinder a witness from giving testimony, or instigating, bribing, or coercing others to commit perjury;
(3)Concealing, transferring, selling, or destroying any properties that have been seized or detained, or any properties that have been inventoried and ordered by a court under the offenders’ custody, or transferring the property that has been frozen;
(4)Insulting, slandering, incriminating with false charges, beating up, or retaliating adjudicating personnel, litigation participants, witnesses, interpreters, experts witnesses, inspectors, or personnel assisting in enforcement; or
(5)Using violence, threats, or other means to hinder adjudicating personnel from performing their duties; or
(6)Refusing to comply with legally effective judgments or orders rendered by a people’s court.
Where a unit commits any of the following acts stipulated in the preceding paragraph, the people’s courts may impose a fine or detention on the principal leading personnel of the unit or the person directly responsible; if a crime is committed, the people’s court shall investigate them for criminal liabilities according to law.
Article 103 If a unit that has an obligation to assist in judicial investigation or enforcement commits any of the following acts, the people’s court may order the unit to perform its obligation but also impose a fine on the unit:
(1)Refusing or obstructing a people’s court from investigation or collecting evidence;
(2)Where the unit is a bank, credit union, or other institution engaging in saving deposit business, refusing to assist in inquiring, freezing, or transferring funds after receiving a notification from the people’s court for enforcement assistance;
(3)After receiving a notification on assistance in enforcement from the people’s court, refusing to assist in withholding the income of a defending party whom is ordered to pay or handling the transfer of property titles, relevant negotiable instruments, certificates and licenses, or other properties; or
(4)Refusing to provide other assistance in enforcement order by court.
With respect to a unit that commits any of the acts specified in the preceding paragraph, the people’s court may impose a fine on the principal leading personnel of the unit or the person directly responsible; and may detain them if they still fail to perform the obligation to provide assistance; and may also make judicial suggestions to the supervisory organ or other relevant organs on imposing a disciplinary sanction on the unit.
Article 104 A fine on an individual shall be not more than Renminbi 10, 000 Yuan. A fine on a unit shall be not less than Renminbi 10,000 Yuan and not more than Renminbi 300,000 Yuan.
A detention period shall not be longer than fifteen days.
The people’s court shall deliver detainees to a public security organ for custody. The people’s court may decide to grant the detainee an early release if he admits and is willing to correct his wrongdoing.
Article 105 Any summons by force, fines, or detentions shall be approved by the president of a people’s court.
A warrant shall be issued before carrying out a summon by force.
The rulings of fines and detentions shall be issued in written letter form. If a party does not agree with a decision, he may apply to a people’s court at a higher level for reconsideration and the reconsideration can be granted only once. However, the enforcement of the decision shall not be suspended during the time of reconsideration.
Article 106 Any decision on the adoption of compulsory measures against obstruction of civil actions shall be made by the people’s court. Any unit or individual pressing a debt payment by unlawfully detaining a person or illegally seizing other people’s property shall be investigated for criminal liabilities according to law or may be punished by detention or fine.
Chapter 11 Litigation Expenses
Article 107 Any party filing a civil lawsuit shall pay a case handling fee according to relevant regulations. For cases involving property, the party shall pay other litigation expenses, in addition to case handling fee.
Parties who truly have difficulties to pay litigation expenses may, according to relevant regulations, petition the people’s court to postpone, reduce, or wave the payment.
Procedures for the payment of litigation expenses shall be formulated separately.