Small Claim Court In Litigation Process

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Small Claim Court In Litigation Process

  1. What is the meaning of Small Claim Court?

Based on Article 1 section (1) Supreme Court Regulation Number 4 of 2019 (“SCR 4/2019”), Small claim court is inspection procedures in court towards the small claim court (in connection of default or an act against the law) with nominal material claim in maximum of IDR 500.000.000,- (five hundred million Rupiah) which shall be done by small procedures and small verification process. Requirement of maximum nominal in this claim is new, which Supreme Court Regulation Number 2 of 2015 (“SCR 2/2015”) previously stipulated that a small claim court in only applied for maximum claim nominal of IDR 200.000.000,- (two hundred million Rupiah). Other than that, excluded from Small Claim Court, is dispute which proceed through special court and disputes over land rights. The purpose of this Small Claim Court is to reduce numbers of disputes in Supreme Court, given to consideration which, approximately there are 19.370 cases registered under Supreme Court, specifically in 2019. Reasonably compared to limited number of judges in Indonesia, then chances are sluggish process of dispute resolution will surely be inevitable.

Small Claim Court resolution is also limited up to 25 days starting from the first day of trial, unlike general civil lawsuit which already set maximum up to 5 months even more for specific disputes. The swift procedure contributes to distinguished dispute investigation in Small Claim Court compared to general civil lawsuit. In addition, Small Claim Court is now may be done by the e-court procedures.

 

  1. Then, What about the Location Appointment in order to File a Claim?

Previously, based on SCR 2/2015, Plaintiff must be domiciled in the same jurisdiction as the Defendant. However, following the SCR 4/2019, the rule is no longer valid. Therefore, shall Plaintiff is located out of Defendant’s  address or domicile jurisdiction, Plaintiff may still file a claim along with appointing the representative, by incidentile representative or the Defendant’s domicile with a letter of assignment from the Plaintiff’s institution.

Despite of the claim nominal which is relatively small, and the limited time of Small Claim Court settlement process up to 25 days counted from the first day of trial, the judge who inspects the case is a single judge appointed by the Chief of the Court. In a small claim court, judge’s role is to inspect the Small Claim Court’s material dispute based on the requirements under Article 3 and Article 4 SCR 4/2019. Furthermore, this single judge is also actively carry out explanation concerning :

  • Procedure of balanced Small Claim Court to each party;
  • To take effort in carrying out amicable dispute settlement, including to suggest each party for amicable resolution outside the court;
  • To guide each party in verification process; and
  • To explain the legal remedy which may be done by the Parties.

Generally, hereby the dispute inspection process in small claim court:

  • The Plaintiff files a claim in court Registrar’s office;
  • The Plaintiff is obliged to attach a proven legalization letter by the time the Plaintiff files the Small Claim Court;
  • The court registrar will inspect the registration requirements, shall there is unfulfilled requirements, then the Small Claim Court will be returned to the Plaintiff;
  • The Head of court detemined the advance fee which the Plaintiff must pay. If the Plaintiff could not afford to pay, then the Plaintiff may file a claim for free;
  • The Head of court assign a judge to inspect the Small Claim Court dispute and a subtitute clerk to help the judge in inspecting the dispute. The procedures start from the registration, assign a single judge and a subtitute clerk in maximum of 2 (two) days; 
  • The preliminary examination: the judge investigate the claim theory to evaluate whether if the claim is categorized as Small Claim Court or civil lawsuit. Shall during inspection, the judge discovers that the dispute is not categorized as a Small Claim Court, then the judge will form a court decision stating the dispute is not a Small Claim Court and the judge will cross out the dispute from the registration and will order a refund of remaning court fees to the Plaintiff. This type of court decision is not allowed to be challenged by any legal remedy.
  • If the Plaintiff could not attend on the first trial without valid reasons, then the claim will be invalid. The consequence is the Plaintiff must file a new claim in district court. What is the consequence if the Defendant could not attend the first day of trial? For the Defendant, there is a toleration given by the judge. There will be a second attempt to summon the Defendant. If the Defendant could not attend for the second trial after the second summon letter, the judge will make a verstek’s verdict. If the verstek’s verdict has been made, the Defendant could still file a conterclaim (verzet) in a period of 7 days after the judge’s verdict;
  • First trial: the judge is obliged to take effort in carrying out amicable settlement by also considering the maximum deadline of dispute process. Shall there is amicable resolution, then judge will create the Parties could not be reconciliated, then the court procedures will Amicable Deed Decision to bind the parties. However, if there is no resolution in first trial, then the trial will be continue to the reading of claims and answers from Defendant. Each Party will be provided several mediation processes, since the dispute settlement time of Small Claim Court procedures is limited only for 25 days;
  • In the Small Claim Court procedures, the Party could not file a provision, exception, reconvention, intervention, replict, duplict, or conclusion. For the acknowledged claims or undisputed action, then it is not necessary to be verified in court. Whilst, for the disputed claims, then the judge will verify through the verification procedures reffering to the prevailing laws; and
  • Judge’s verdict. If the Parties could not attend on the day of judge’s verdict will be read, the bailiff will convey the information of judge’s verdict in maximum of 2 (two) days after the judge’s verdict is read.
  1. What about the Appeal?

Each Party could file a request of appeal in a period of  7 days after the judge’s decision or after the notification of court decision, by submitting the application form written to the registrar’s court. Shall each Party submit the application exceeding the required time limit, then the application would not be accepted with the head of court’s stipulation based on the letter of statement by the court registrar.

The judge’s decision for appeal request will be pronounced in the period of 7 days after the date of the judge assembly decision. The notification of appeal must be conveyed to the Parties at the latest 3 days after its recitation. The appeal decision is final and legally binding and could not be challenged by any legal remedy. The final and legally binding decision will be implemented voluntarily. But if there is a Party that could not implement the court decision voluntarily, then the Chief of Court has the right to establish an “aanmaning” stipulation in maximum of 7 days after the Party recieived the execution letter. The head of court would stipulate the implementation of “aanmaning” in the period of 7 days after the stipulate of “aanmaning”.

 

General Comparison Table Of Litigation Process In Civil Lawsuit And Small Claim Court

Comparison of Civil Lawsuit and Small Claim Court

 

Civil Lawsuit

Small Claim Court

Determined location to claim resgistration

Defendant’s domicile.

If the Plaintiff lives in another jurisdiction out of the Defendant’s domicile, then the Plaintiff may still file a claim and assign a representative, an incidentile representative or the Defendant’s domicile with a letter of assignment from the Plaintiff’s institution.

Nominal of Maximum Claim

Unspecified

It is limited to the maximum of Rp500.000.000,- (five hundred thousand rupiahs) and the dispute is not obligated to be resolved in special court or disputes over land rights.

Term of Dispute Resolution

Based on Circular Letter of Supreme Court Number 2 of 2014 concerning Case Settlement in the Court of First Instance and Appeals in 4 (four) Justice Fields, explains that:

  • In District Court will be limited up to the maximum of 5 months;
  • The Appeals in the high court will be limited to the maximum of 3 months.

It is limited to the maximum of 25 days.

The Inspection Procedures

Evidence of letter inspection will be scheduled particularly in court.

Bring the legalized letter at the time of claim registration.

Number of Judge

Judges consisted of 3 individuals.

Single judge.

Answering procedures in court

All Parties reserve rights to submit provision, exception, reconvention, intervention, replict, duplict, or conclusion.

All parties are not allowed to submit provision, exception, reconvention, intervention, replict, duplict, or conclusion.

The Limitation of the Legal Remedies

Maximum 14 days after judges’ verdict has been recitated or received.

Maximum 7 days after judges’ verdict has been recitated or received.

Legal Remedies

Appeal, Cassation, Judicial Review.

May only be proceed to exception process, there is no Appeal, Cassation, or Judicial Review.

 

This Article is generally made for the purpose of ANR Law Firm publication only and should not be treated as legal advice for your legal problem. Shall you have any further questions regarding this topic, you may contact the Advocate who authored this article at anrlawfirm@anr-lawfirm.com.

Authors: Wynda Kenisa Putri, S.H., M.H.

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