Ningbo court assists in upholding foreign case decision

    Updated : 2015-08-03

1. Brief

A sales contract dispute arose involving the Ningbo Yongchang Co and the Fuliguboer Co of Poland, where Yongchang started the litigation in courts in Poland’s Zielona Gora, in 2004, and Opole, in 2006, requesting payment of $65,454 plus interest by the Polish company. The two courts rejected the request but an appeals court in Wrocław decided to support Yongchang’s request, then, the Poland’s high court overturned the Wroclaw court decision and remand the case to the court for retrial. On April 8, 2009, the Wroclaw court rejected Yongchang’s request and ordered the company to refund the $54,521that the Polish company had paid, as well as court costs. The judgment took effect on May 12, 2009. Then, on April 8, 2011, the Polish company sent papers to the Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court for enforcement of the judgment. On Feb 5, 2013, the Polish company forwarded additional papers and the case was put on file. But Yongchang objected on the grounds that the date for compulsory enforcement of the judgment had passed and that its agent in Poland could not handle the case.

2. Results

The Ningbo Intermediate People's Court heard the case and had to decide on whether it could be admitted in accordance with China’s Civil Procedure Law and a treaty on civil and criminal case assistance with Poland. The court decided that the Polish company’s filing had not exceeded the time limit for submitting documents for law enforcement, or the termination or suspension of action under Chinese law. In addition, it decided that the attorney-agent’s behavior was valid because Yongchang had given the same attorney certificate of authorization to attend to litigation, and that this described the general authorization of the agent. The company also received $54,521 from the Polish company, as well as court costs. The court announced its final ruling on March 12, 2014 and recognized the judgment of the Wrocław court, with the civil file number I ACa 231/9, on April 8, 2009.

3. Significance

China has signed agreements on judicial assistance in civil and commercial cases with more than 30 countries; some of which contain the content on mutual recognition and enforcement of a civil and commercial judgment. This case is a typical one for representing Chinese court’s role in judicial assistance by admitting the results and enforcement decision made by a foreign court, in accordance with the law, for protecting the rights of both parties.