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General Provisions Regarding Civil Suits

BOOK III. GENERAL PROVISIONS  REGARDING CIVIL SUITS

Art. 79- Scope of application

(1)    The provisions of this Book shall, so far as may be, apply in any proceedings under this Code.
(2)    In applying the provisions of this Book to appeals, so far as may be, the word “plaintiff” shall be held to include an appellant, the word “defendant” a respondent and the word “suit” an appeal.

CHAPTER 1. PLEADINGS

Art. 80- Contents of pleading

(1)    Pleading shall mean a statement of claim, statement of defence, counter-claim, memorandum of appeal, application or petition and any other document originating proceedings or field in replay thereto.
(2)    Every pleading shall be written in ink, printed or typewritten on the prescribed paper and shall contain and contain, only a statement in a concise form of the material facts on which the party relies for his claim or defense and shall be in a form as near as may be to the appropriate Form in the First Schedule to this Code.
(3)    Whenever particulars may be necessary beyond those mentioned in the said appropriate Form, such particulars shall be stated in the pleading, with dates and items if necessary.
(4)    Sums and numbers shall be expressed in words and figures and where a sum is expressed in foreign currency, its equivalent in Ethiopian currency shall be indicated.
(5)    Dates shown in the Gregorian or other calendar shall also indicated in the Ethiopian calendar.

Art. 81- Condition precedent

Any condition precedent, the performance of occurrence of which is intended to be contested, shall be distinctly specified and, subject thereto, an averment of the performance or occurrence of all conditions precedent necessary for the case of the plaintiff or defendant shall be implied in his pleading.

Art. 82- New fact

The plaintiff or defendant, as the case maybe, shall raise by his pleading all matters which show the action counter-claim not to be maintainable, or that the transaction is either void or avoidable in point of law, and all such grounds of defense or reply, as the case maybe, as if not raided would be likely to take the opposite party by surprise or would raise issues of fact not arising out of the preceding pleadings.

Art. 83- Denial to be specific

If shall not be sufficient for a defendant in his statement of defense to deny  generally the grounds alleged by the statement of claim of for a plaintiff in his reply to a counter-claim to deny generally the grounds alleged by the defendant and each party shall deal specifically with each allegation of fact of which he does not admit the truth except damages.

Art. 84- Denial of contract

Where a contract is alleged in any pleading, a bare denial of the same by the opposite party shall be construed only as a denial in fact of such contract or of the matters of fact from which the same may be implied, and not as a denial of the  legality or sufficiency in law of such contract.

Art. 85- Effect of document to be stated

Whenever the contents of any document are material, it shall be sufficient in any pleading to state the effect thereof without setting  out the whole or any part hereof, unless the precise words of the document or any part thereof are material.

Art. 86- Condition of mind

Whenever it is material to allege malice, fraudulent intention, knowledge or other condition of the mind of any person, it shall be sufficient to allege the same as a fact without setting out the circumstances from which thee same may be inferred.

Art. 87- Notice

Whenever it is material to allege notice to any person of any fact matter or thing, it shall be sufficient to allege such notice as a fact, unless the form or the precise terms of such notice, or the circumstances from which such notice may be inferred, are material.

Art. 88- Implied contract or relation

(1)    Whenever any contract or relation between any persons may be implied from circumstance, it shall be, sufficient to allege such contract or relation as a fact  and to refer generally to such circumstances without setting them out in detail.
(2)    Where a person pleading as provided in sub-art. (1) wishes to reply in the alternative on more contracts or relations than one as to be implied from such circumstances are referred to , he may state the same in the alternative.

Art. 89- Legal presumptions

Neither party need in any pleading allege any matter of fact which the law presumes in his favour or as to which the burden of proof lies up on the other party, unless the same has first been specifically denied.

Art. 90- Departure

No pleading shall, except by way of amendment, raise any new ground of claim or contain any allegation of fact inconsistent with the pervious pleadings of the party pleading the same.

Art. 91- Amendment of pleading

(1)    The court may at any time before judgment allow either party to alter or amend his pleading in such manner and on such terms as to costs or otherwise as may be just, and all such amendment shall be made as may be necessary for the purpose of determining the real questions in dispute.
(2)    Where a party who has obtained leave to amend fails to amend within the time fixed by the court, he shall not be permitted to amend thereafter, unless the time is extended by the court.
(3)    A further and better statement of the nature of the claim or defense, or further and better particulars of any matter stated in any pleading may in all cases be ordered by the court of its own motion or on the application of either party upon such terms, as to costs or otherwise, as may be just.
(4) The court may at any time order to be struck out or amended in any pleading any matter which is unnecessary or scandalous or which may tend to prejudice, embarrass or delay the fair trial of the suit.
(5) Where pleadings are so amended as to have the effect of brining the claim within the jurisdiction of a higher court, the court in which the suit was instituted shall transfer the claim to such higher court for trial.

Art. 92- Verification of pleading

(1)    Unless otherwise expressly provided by law, every pleading shall be verified at the foot by the party or by one of the parties pleading or by some other person other than the pleader, directly acquainted with the facts of the case.
(2)    In suits by or against a corporation, any pleading may be signed and certified on behalf of the corporation by the secretary or by any director or other officer of the corporation who is able to depose to the facts of the case.
(3)    In suits by or against the Government, any pleading shall be signed by such person as the Government may, by general or special order, appoint in this behalf, and shall be verified by any person whom the Government may so appoint and who is acquainted with the facts of the case.
(4)    Where persons sue or are sued as partners in the name of their firm under Art. 44, it shall suffice that nay pleading basined or verified by any one of such person.

Art. 93- Pleading to be signed

Every pleading shall be signed by the party or his pleader, if any, or where a party is for good cause unable to sing, by any other person duly authorized by him to sing the same or to sue or defend on his behalf.