SPC opinions simplify service of process

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The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) on 12 September 2016 issued Several Opinions on Further Promoting the Separation of Complicated Cases from Simple Ones and Optimizing the Allocation of Judicial Resources, which aim to streamline and promote efficiency in the service of process in Chinese civil litigation proceedings.

MAJOR IMPLICATIONS

The effect of the opinions is that when parties agree upon an address for notices to be sent, and provide for this in an agreement, that address would be identified by Chinese courts as a valid address for service in civil proceedings. This means that claimants will now find Chinese court proceedings less onerous. Service upon the agreed address will be deemed effective if the Chinese court sends the judicial documents to the valid address, irrespective of whether the delivery is successful.

Story_4_picThe simplified process also confirms that even if the mail does not reach the intended recipient for whatever reason, the Chinese court will still consider the service as completed and can proceed to hear the case in the absence of the recipient. This can include circumstances where the recipient refuses to accept the mail or the recipient is no longer at that address. As a result, a respondent to court proceedings, especially a foreign party, faces increased risk of becoming exposed to a default judgment.

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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by e-mailing Danian Zhang (Shanghai) at: danian.zhang@bakermckenzie.com

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