Forcing Enforcement

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For anyone who has spent months (or years) trying to enforce judgments in China, there is some positive New Year news reported in People’s Daily.

    “China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has just issued a set of new regulations to improve effectiveness in enforcing court rulings. The new regulations set a time limit of six months for executing court rulings involving property.”

My fairly limited experience of Chinese court schedules (especially in more remote areas) has left me with a feeling that (even in relation to directions from the SPC) schedules are often “lost in translation” en route to local courts. It will be interesting to see how this directive works in practice. In addition to various procedural requirements, the regulations note that:

    “The income, bank deposits, securities, immovable properties, vehicles, machinery, intellectual property rights, and investment earnings of people affected by a court ruling should be investigated — as well as their debt situation — and the investigation should last no longer than one month.

    The court is also obliged to host public hearings if the party that applies to enforce a ruling is not satisfied with the execution result.”

This all seems very positive. However, one month seems short for the Court to complete a comprehensive investigation, especially if the target (and its friends in local government departments) does not feel like complying. And what of the sources for the information? In one case I am involved with the court has refused to accept as proof of assets the target company’s annual return that was filed with the local Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC)!

I fear some dead ends will be found on the road ahead. Perhaps some of our blogging lawyer friends would like to comment on the outlook?

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