Thursday, March 21, 2013

Procedural Pitfalls to Avoid in Omani Litigation Cases

It is always important, when considering filing a court case in Oman, to attend to administrative pre-requisites so that there are no time delays in the process.

First, there needs to be a power of attorney in favour of your lawyer. A power of attorney executed in Oman has to be signed in front of a Ministry of Justice notary in Oman. Alternatively, if the power of attorney is executed in another country outside of Oman, it will need to (i) be signed in front of a notary in that country, then (ii) be stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that country and finally (iii) be stamped by the Omani Embassy in that country.

Next, the claimaint must pay a filing fee. For monetary claims, the filing fee normally will be 2% of the amount claimed, up to a maximum fee of RO 3,000. For non-monetary claims (e.g., seeking a declaratory judgment), the filing fee will often be a fixed amount.

Thirdly, the Omani Court staff insists that, as regards any Omani defendant, it is the responsibility of the claimant to provide the exact physical location details in Oman of the defendant’s office. Often, the court staff will refuse to register the case if these details are not provided on the first page of the statement of claim.

Finally, all exhibits have to be translated into Arabic and stamped by a certified translator in Oman.

In summary, in order to file and pursue a court case in Oman in an expeditious manner, it is necessary to pay close attention to and comply with procedural requirements such as those described above.