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Ordinary Proceedings In First Instance

BOOK IV. ORDINARY PROCEEDINGS IN FIRST INSTANCE
CHAPTER 1. INSTITUTION AND FRAME OF SUIT

PARAGRAPH, GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art 213-Suit to be instituted by statement of claim
1.    Without prejudice to the provisions of this Code regarding applications and petitions, every suit shall be instituted by filing a statement of claim in the registry of the court.
2.    Every statement of claim shall comply with the rules contained in Art, 80-93 and 222-236.
3.    Unless the court otherwise directs, the costs of every affidavit or

Art. 214- Register of suits
Without prejudice to the provisions of Art. 229, the registrar shall cause the particulars of every suit to be entered in a book kept for the purpose and called the register of civil suits. Such entries shall be numbered in every year according to the order in which the statements of claim are admitted.

Art. 215- Court fees
1.    Without prejudice to the provisions of Arts, 467-479, no statement of claim shall be admitted under Art. 230 except after payment of the prescribed court fee.
2.    the prescribed court fee shall also be paid upon the filing of a statement of defense containing a counter-claim.

Art. 216- Frame of suit
(1)    Every suit shall as far as practicable be framed so as to afford ground for final decision up on the subjects in dispute and to prevent further litigation concerning them.
(2)    Every suit shall include the whole of the claim which the plaintiff is entitled to make with respect to the cause of action unless he intentionally relinquishes nay portion of his claim so as to bring the suit within the jurisdiction of any court.
(3)    A plaintiff who omits to sue in respect of, or intentionally relinquishes, any portion of his claim shall not afterwards sue with respect to the portion so omitted or relinquish
4. A person entitled to more than one relief with respect to the same cause of action may sue for all or any of such relief, but if he omits except with the leave of the court, to sue for all such relief, he shall not afterwards sue for any relief so omitted.

Art. 217- Joinder of causes of action
1.    Unless otherwise provided, a plaintiff may unite in the same suit several causes of action against the same defendant, or the same defendants jointly.
2.    Any plaintiffs having causes of action in which they are jointly interested against the same defendant or the same defendants jointly, may unite such causes of action in the same suit.

Art. 218- Claims joined for recovery of immovable
No cause of action shall be joined with a suit for the recovery of immovable property, except:
(a)    claims for mesne profits or arrears of rent with respect to such property or any part thereof:
(b)    claims for damages for breach of any contract under which such property or any part thereof is held:
(c)    claims in which the relief sought is based on the same cause of action.

Art. 219- Claims by or against executor, administrator or heir
No claim by or against an executor, administrator or heir as such shall be joined with claims by or against him personally unless the latter claims are alleged to arise with reference to the estate in respect of which the plaintiff off defendant sues or is sued is execution, administrator or heir, or are such as he was entitled to, or liable for, jointly with the deceased person whom he represents.

Art. 220- Objections as to misjoinder
All objections on the ground of misjoinder of causes of action shall be taken at the earliest possible opportunity and, in all cases when issues are settled, at or before such settlement, unless the ground of objection has subsequently arisen, and any such objection not so taken shall be deemed to have been waived.

Art. 221- Separate trail
The court may at any time order separate trials when ever it appears that  causes of action joined in one suit, whether by one  or more plaintiffs, or several claims stated together  in one  statement of claim, or the principal claim and the counter-claim can  not without delay or  embarrassment  be tried or disposed of together.

PARAGRAPH 2. STATEMENT OF CLAIM AND OF DEFENCE
Art. 222- Contents of statement of claim
(1)    Every statement of claim shall contain:
(a)    the name and place of the court in which the action is brought;
(b)    the title of the action:
(c)    the name, description, place of residence and address for service of, the plaintiff and defendant;
(d)    where the plaintiff or defendant is a person under disability, a statement to that effect;
(e)    where the plaintiff is suing in a representative capacity, a statement
(f)    the facts constituting the cause of action, and when and where it arose;
(g)    the facts showing that the court has jurisdiction;
(h)    the facts showing that the defendant is or claims to be interested in the subject-matter and is liable to be called upon to answer the claim;
(i)    where appropriate, a statement of the value of the subject matter of the action.
(2)    In suits by or against the Government, instead of inserting the name and description and place of residence of the plaintiff or defendant, it shall be sufficient to insert the appropriate name of the administrative authority concerned.

Art. 223- Annexes
(1)    The plaintiff shall attach the statement of claim;
(a)    a list, which he shall certify to be complete, of the witnesses to be called at the hearing, with their full name and  address and the purposes for which they are to be called, and of the documents on which he relies, specifying in whose possession or power such documents are:
(b)    the original and a copy of any document in his possession up on  which he sues;
(c)    where he has no witnesses or documents to produce, a declaration to that effect.
(2)    A sufficient number of copies of the statement of claim and list, documents or declaration annexed there to shall be filed for the purpose of service on all the defendants named therein.
(3)    Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-art. (2), any document upon which the plaintiff sues may, with the permission of the court, be deposited in the registry where it shall be open to inspection by the defendant, instead of being copied and served on the defendant.

Art. 224- Relief to be stated
(1)    The statement of claim shall state specifically the relief f which the plaintiff claims either simply or in the alternative, and it shall not be necessary to ask for general or other relief which may always be given as the court may thin just to the same extent as if it had been asked for.
(2)    Where the plaintiff seeks relief in respect of several distinct claims or causes of action founded upon separate and distinct grounds, they shall be stated as far may be separately and distinctly.
Art. 225- Identification of subject-matter
(1)    Where a claim relates to a specific thing, the statement of claims shall contain such particulars as are necessary to identify such thing.
(2)    Where a claim relates to immovable property, the statement of claim shall contain a description of such property sufficient to identify it and, where such property can be identified by boundaries or number in a public record, the statement of claim shall specify such boundaries or numbers.

Art. 226-Particulars as to amount of claim
(1)    Where the plaintiff seeks the recovery of money the precise amount claimed shall be indicated in the statement of claim.
(2)    Where the plaintiff sues for an amount which will be found due to him on taking unsettled accounts between him  and the defendant then, for  purposes of pecuniary jurisdiction only, the approximate amount claimed shall, when ever possible, be indicated in the statement of claim.
(3)    Where the claim relates to a specific thing, the actual value of such thing shall be indicated inn the statement of claim.
(4)    Where the claim relates to a generic ting, the current price of such thing shall be indicated in the statement of claim.

Art. 227- Claim relating to periodical dues
(1)    Where the claim related to periodical dues payable for a specified period of time, the value of the capital producing such dues shall be indicated in the statement of claim.
(2)    Where the claim relates to periodical dues payable for an unspecified period of time, then, for purposes of pecuniary jurisdiction only, the value of the annual amount of such does multiplied by twenty shall be indicated in the statement of claim.

Art. 228- Establishment, enforcement or termination of right
Where the plaintiff seeks to establish, enforce or terminate a right the actual value of which cannot be indicated in accordance with the preceding Articles,then, for purposes of pecuniary jurisdiction only, statement of claim shall, when ever possible,  indicate the estimated pecuniary  benefit, if any, which would accrue to the plaintiff in consequence of judgment being given in his favor.

Art . 229- Rejection of statement of claim by registrar
The statement of claim shall be rejected by the registrar where:
(a)    it is not in the form provide for by Art, 222;
(b)    it is not accompanied by the annexes  provide for by Art. 233.
(c)    It is not verified in the manner provided for by Art, 92.

Art. 230- Admission of statement of claim by registrar
Where there are no reasons for rejecting the statement of claim under Art. 239, the registrar shall:
(a)    make the entry required by Art. 214;
(b)    examined and compare the original and copy of any document attached to the statement  of claim and, on finding the copy to be correct, shall certify it to be so and file it and shall return the original to the plaintiff after marking it for purposes of identification; and

Art. 231- Rejection of statement of claim by court
(1)    The court shall reject any statement of claim submitted under Art 230 where;
(a)    it does not disclose any cause of action; or
(b)    the suit appears from the particulars in the statement of  claim to be outside the jurisdiction of the court.
(2)    A claim for recovery shall be rejected where the plaintiff fails to produce the securities required by Art. 1403 of the Civil Code.
(3)    On rejecting a statement of claim under sub-art. (1), the court shall record a reasoned order to that effect.

Art 232- Effect of rejection
(1)    Where a statement of claim is rejected, the registrar shall;
(a)    in cases of rejection under Art. 229, return the statement of claim and annexes to the plaintiff and give him the reason for such rejection:
Provided that, where the plaintiff is dissatisfied with the reason given for the rejection, he may apply within five days to the court for a revision of the registrar’s decision;
(b)    in cases of rejection under Art. 231, refund the plaintiff with the prescribed portion of the court fee paid on filing the statement of claim and enter a note of the rejection in the register of civil suits.
(2)    The rejection of a statement of claim under Art. 229 or 231 shall not of its own force preclude the plaintiff from filling a new statement of claim with respect to the same cause of action.

Art.233- Service of statement of claim
Where there are no reasons for rejecting a statement of claim under Art. 231, the court shall cause the statement of claim and annexes to be served on the defendant together with a summons requiring him to appear with his statement of defense on a day to be fixed in the summons and informing him that the case will be proceeded with notwithstanding that the does not appear or that he appears without his statement of defense.

Art. 234- Contents of statement of defence
(1)    Every statement of defense, to which there shall be attached the annexes mentioned in Art. 223, shall contain;
(a)    the name and place of the court in which the defence is filed;
(b)    the number of the suit;
(c)    the facts, if any, showing that the claim is inadmissible on grounds of want of capacity or jurisdiction, or limitation;
(d)    a concise statement of the material facts on which the defendant relies for his defence and generally of any ground of defence which, if not raised, would be likely to take the opposite party by surprise or, to raise issues of fact not arising out of the statement of claim;
(e)    a specific denial of any fact stated in the statement of claim which is not admitted:
(f)    precise details of the counter- claim, if any, in which case the provisions of Art.  224 shall apply by analogy.
(2)    The provisions of Art. 223 (3) shall apply by analogy in appropriate cases.

Art. 235- Evasive denial
(1)    Where a defendant denies an allegation of fact in the statement of claim, he shall not do so evasively, but answer the point of substance and if an allegation is made with divers circumstances, it shall not be sufficient to deny it along with those circumstances,
(2)    Every allegation of fact in the statement of claim, if not denied specifically or by necessary implication, or stated to be not admitted in the statement of defence, shall be taken to be admitted except as against a person under disability:
Provided that the court may in its discretion require any fact so admitted to be proved otherwise than by such admission.

Art. 236- Particulars of set-off
(1)    Where in a suit for the recovery of money the defendant claims to set-off against the plaintiff’s demand any ascertained sum of money legally recoverable by him from the plaintiff, not exceeding the pecuniary limits of the jurisdiction of the court, and both parties fill the same character as they fill in the plaintiff’s suit, the defendant shall in his statement of devence give the particulars as to the debt sought to be set-off.
(2)    The statement of defence shall have the same effect as a statement of claim in aross-suit so as to enable the court to give a final judgment with respect both to the original claim and to the set-off.

Art. 237- Defense or set-off founded upon separate grounds
Where the defendant relies upon several distinct grounds of defense or set-off founded upon separate and distinct facts, they shall be stated, as far as may be, separately and distinctly.

Art. 238- Examination of statement of defense
(1)    On the day fixed under Art. 233, the court shall examine the statement of defense and the provisions of Art. 229 shall apply by analogy in appropriate cases.
(2)    Where the statement of defense is not rejected under sub-art.
(1)    the court shall examine whether it contains a counter-claim of claim of set-off and the provisions of Art. 231 shall apply by analogy in appropriate cases so far as concerns such counter claim or claim of set-off.
(3)    Where a statement of defense is rejected under this Article, the case shall be preceded within accordance with the provisions of the following Chapter notwithstanding such rejection.

Art. 239- Further pleadings
(1)    Where a statement of defense containing a counter-claim or claim of set-off is not rejected under Art. 238, the court shall ask the plaintiff to state whether he wishes to reply thereto and shall, if he so wishes, require him to submit a written reply within time as it shall fix.
(2)    On the expiration of the period of time fixed under sub-art. (1), the court shall declare the pleadings closed notwithstanding that the plaintiff fails to submit his reply or that the reply is inadmissible on any of the grounds mentioned in  Arts, 229 and 231 and the case shall thereupon be  proceeded with in accordance with the provisions of the following Chapter.

Art. 240- Notice to admit documents
(1)    Either party may, by notice in the form prescribed by the Third Schedule to this Code, call upon the other party to produce or admit any document.
(2)    Such notice shall be given not later than ten days before the hearing so as to enable the opposite party to reply thereto before the hearing or to produce the document at the hearing.