Enforcing Contracts in


Below is a detailed summary of the efficiency of contract enforcement. It follows the evolution of a sale of goods dispute, tracking the time, cost and number of procedures involved from the moment the plaintiff files the lawsuit until actual payment.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2014.

This year, Doing Business has collected new data for 162 economies on the overall judicial infrastructure, the level of automation in the court system, the availability of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and the availability of case management. The new data is available under the “Methodology Expansion” tab, below. The data are preliminary and do not have any impact on the Ease of Doing Business 2015 rankings. This data may differ from what will be published in Doing Business 2016.

Compare Mauritania to 188 other economies.

  • Court name: Nouakchott Commercial Court
  • Claim value: MRO 1,432,819
  • City: Nouakchott
Time (days) 370
Filing and service 40
Trial and judgment 190
Enforcement of judgment 140
Cost (% of claim) 23.2
Attorney cost (% of claim) 17.9
Court cost (% of claim) 2.3
Enforcement Cost (% of claim) 3
Procedures (number) 46
Filing and service
1      Plaintiff requests payment: Plaintiff or his lawyer asks Defendant orally or in writing to comply with the contract.
2      A third person formally notifies Defendant: A third person formally notifies Defendant. A person other than the Plaintiff or his lawyer, such as a notary public, formally notifies Defendant of Plaintiff’s request for payment.
3      Plaintiff hires a lawyer: Plaintiff hires a lawyer.
*      Plaintiff files a summons and complaint: Plaintiff files a summons and complaint with the court (orally or in writing).
*      Plaintiff pays court fees: Plaintiff pays court fees (e.g. court duties, stamp duties, or any other type of court fees). Answer ‘yes’ even if Plaintiff recovers these costs.
4      Registration of court case: Registration of court case by the court administration (this can include assigning a reference number to the case).
5      Plaintiff requests service of process on Defendant: Plaintiff requests in writing to the court for an order that process be served on Defendant.
6      Delivery of summons and complaint to person authorized to perform service of process on Defendant: The judge or a court officer delivers the summons to a summoning office, officer, or authorized person (including Plaintiff), for service of process on Defendant.
*      Arrangements for physical delivery of summons and complaint: Plaintiff takes the necessary steps to arrange for physical service of process on Defendant (e.g. instructing a court officer or a private bailiff).
7      Attempt at physical delivery: An attempt to physically deliver summons and complaint to Defendant is made.
8      Second attempt at physical delivery: If a first attempt is not ordinarily successful, a second attempt to physically deliver the summons and complaint to Defendant is required by law or standard practice. (Check ‘yes’ only if a first attempt at physical delivery is not ordinarily successful)
9      Application for substituted service: Because physical delivery is NOT successful, Plaintiff has recourse to substituted service. Substituted service can include, but is not limited to, service by publication in newspapers or affixing of a notice in court or on public bulletin boards. Only ch
10      Court order regarding substituted service: Judge in a court order sets out acceptable means for substituted service in a particular case.
11      Substituted service: Substituted service is completed by publication in newspapers, by affixing a notice in court or on public bulletin boards, etc.
*      Proof of service: Plaintiff submits proof of service to court, as required by law or standard practice.
*      Application for pre-judgment attachment: Plaintiff submits an application in writing for the attachment of Defendant's property prior to judgment.
*      Decision on pre-judgment attachment: Judge decides whether to grant Plaintiff’s request for pre-judgment attachment of Defendant’s property and notifies Plaintiff and Defendant of the decision.
12      Pre-judgment attachment order: Defendant's property is attached prior to judgment. Attachment order either involves physical attachment, or is achieved by freezing, registering, marking, or otherwise separating and restricting Defendant’s movement of specific moveable assets.
13      Custody of assets attached prior to judgment: If physical attachment is ordered, Defendant's attached assets are placed in the custody or control of an enforcement officer or private bailiff.
14      Report on pre-judgment attachment: Court enforcement officer or private bailiff issues and delivers a report on the attachment of Defendant’s property to the judge.
Trial and judgment
*      Defendant files preliminary objections.: Defendant presents preliminary objections to the court. (Preliminary exemptions differ from answers on the merits. Examples of preliminary motions are motions to dismiss on the basis of the statute of limitations or jurisdictional objections, etc.) Checke
*      Plaintiff’s answer to preliminary motions: Plaintiff responds to preliminary motions raised by Defendant. Checked as ‘yes’ if preliminary motions are commonly raised (step 30) and if Plaintiff responds to them immediately.
15      Judge’s resolution on preliminary objections: Judge decides on preliminary objections separately from the merits of the case. Checked as ‘yes’ if preliminary objections are commonly made (step 30) and if judge resolves the question before rendering his decision.
16      Defendant files an answer to Plaintiff’s claim: Defendant files a written pleading which includes his answer or defense on the merits of the case (see assumption 4).
17      Filing of written submissions: Plaintiff and Defendant file written pleadings and submissions with the court and transmit copies of the written pleadings or submissions to one another. The pleadings may or may not include witness statements or expert (witness) statements.
18      Adjournments: Court procedure is delayed because one or both parties request and obtain an adjournment to submit written pleadings. Check as ‘yes’ if this commonly happens.
*      Court appointment of independent expert: Judge appoints, either at the parties' request or at his own initiative, an independent expert to decide whether the quality of the goods Plaintiff delivered to Defendant is adequate. (see assumption 5-b).
19      Notification of court-appointment of independent expert: The court notifies both parties that the court is appointing an independent expert (see assumption 5-b).
*      Delivery of expert report by court-appointed expert: The independent expert, appointed by the court, delivers his or her expert report to the court (see assumption 5-b).
*      Setting of date(s) for oral hearing or trial: Judge sets the date(s) for the oral hearing or trial.
*      List of (expert) witnesses: The parties file a list of (expert) witnesses with the court (see assumption 5-a).
20      Summoning of (expert) witnesses: The court summons (expert) witnesses to appear in court for the oral hearing or trial (see assumption 5-a).
21      Adjournments: Court proceedings are delayed because one or both parties request and obtain an adjournment to prepare for the oral hearing or trial as a matter of common practice.
22      Oral hearing (prevalent in civil law): The parties argue the merits of the case at an oral hearing before the judge. Witnesses and a court-appointed independent expert may be heard and questioned at the oral hearing.
23      Adjournments: Court proceedings are delayed because one or both parties request and obtain an adjournment during the oral hearing or trial, resulting in an additional or later trial or hearing date.
24      Order for submission of final arguments: The judge sets a deadline for the submission of final factual and legal arguments.
*      Final arguments: The parties present their final factual and legal arguments to the court either by oral presentation or by a written submission.
25      Judgment date: The judge sets a date for delivery of the judgment.
26      Notification of judgment in court: The parties are notified of the judgment at a court hearing.
27      Writing of judgment: The judge produces a written copy of the judgment.
28      Registration of judgment: The court office registers the judgment after receiving a written copy of the judgment.
29      Court notification of availability of the written judgment: The court notifies the parties that the written judgment is available at the courthouse.
30      Plaintiff receives a copy of the judgment: Plaintiff receives a copy of the written judgment which is 100% in favor of Plaintiff (see assumption 6).
31      Defendant is formally notified of the judgment: Plaintiff or court formally notifies the Defendant of the judgment. The appeal period starts to run from the day the Defendant is formally notified of the judgment.
32      Appeal period: By law Defendant has the opportunity to appeal the judgment during a specified period. Defendant decides not to appeal. Seller decides to start enforcing the judgment when the appeal period ends (see assumption 8).
33      Order for reimbursement by Defendant of Plaintiff's court fees: The judgment orders Defendant to reimburse Plaintiff for the court fees Plaintiff has advanced, because Defendant has lost the case.
Enforcement of judgment
34      Plaintiff retains an enforcement agent to enforce the judgment.: Plaintiff retains the services of a court enforcement officer such as a court bailiff or sheriff, or a private bailiff.
*      Plaintiff requests an enforcement order: Plaintiff applies to the court to obtain the enforcement order ('seal' on judgment).
35      Plaintiff advances enforcement fees: Plaintiff pays the fees related to the enforcement of the judgment.
36      Attachment of enforcement order to judgment: The judge attaches the enforcement order (‘seal’) to the judgment.
*      Delivery of enforcement order: The court's enforcement order is delivered to a court enforcement officer or a private bailiff.
*      Plaintiff’s request for physical enforcement: As Plaintiff commonly fears that Defendant might physically resist the taking into custody of its previously attached movable assets, Plaintiff requests the judge or the police authorities to obtain police assistance during the physical enforcement of the
37      Judge's order for physical enforcement: Judge orders the police to assist with the physical enforcement of the attachment of Defendant's movable assets. Check as “yes” only if the pretrial order of attachment for Defendant’s moveable assets does not ordinarily involve physical seizure of the as
38      Request to Defendant to comply voluntarily with judgment: Plaintiff, a court enforcement officer or a private bailiff requests Defendant to voluntarily comply with the judgment.
39      Contestation of selection of assets identified for sale: A party, Plaintiff or Defendant, which was not involved in the designation of the assets for attachment, contests the selection of assets for enforcement of judgment through a sale.
40      Plaintiff identifies Defendant's assets for attachment: Plaintiff identifies Defendant's assets for attachment.
41      Attachment: Defendant’s movable goods are attached (physically or by registering, marking or separating assets).
42      Report on execution of attachment: A court enforcement officer or private bailiff delivers a report on the attachment of Defendant's movable goods to the judge.
43      Sale through public auction: The Defendant’s movable property is sold at public auction.
44      Judge's decision on bids: Judge determines the adequacy of the bids presented at public auction.
45      Distribution of proceeds: The proceeds of the public auction are distributed to Plaintiff (and, where applicable, to other creditors, according to the rules of priority).
46      Reimbursement of Plaintiff’s enforcement fees: Defendant reimburses Plaintiff's enforcement fees which Plaintiff had advanced previously.
47      Payment: Court orders that the proceeds of the public auction or the direct sale be delivered to Plaintiff.

Number of Procedures 47
Specialized commercial courts -1
Total Number of Procedures 46.0

  * Not counted in the total number of procedures
Indicator Questions
In the measured city, is there a small claims court or a fast-track procedure for small claims?

A small claims court is a court with limited jurisdiction to hear cases with relatively small amounts of money. These courts usually have relaxed rules of civil procedure, relaxed rules of evidence and are characterized by the use of plain language.
Is voluntary post-filing mediation available?

Voluntary post-filing mediation is a type of mediation that originates from the court after the case is filed. Voluntary refers to the possibility for the parties to opt out.
Is case management available within the competent court?

Case management refers to a set of principles or techniques for controlling the movement of cases through the court, enhancing procedural efficiency and facilitating the day-to-day activities of judges, court users and court staff. Commonly used techniques in case management include setting tight timelines for key steps in processing cases, setting firm and credible hearing dates, arranging pretrial and scheduling conferences and requiring early disclosure.
If case management is available within the competent court, are any of its components automated?

Automated case management techniques could offer: (i) the ability for lawyers and judges to effectively track the status of cases and their position in the court process from the moment a case is filed until the moment the case is resolved; (ii) detailed workload statistics and management reports; (iii) the ability to monitor case processes.
Is a pre-trial conference part of the case management system before the competent court?

A pre-trial conference is a meeting designed to narrow down contentious issues and evidentiary questions before the trial. Its purpose is to expedite the trial process while discouraging unnecessary pretrial motions or other delay tactics.
Are Supreme Court and Appellate Court judgments published online or in official gazettes? No
Fearing that the defendant may dissipate assets, move assets out of the jurisdiction or become insolvent, would the plaintiff be allowed to request and obtain attachment of the defendant's movable assets prior to obtaining a judgment? Yes
Is it possible to carry out service of process electronically (by e-mail, SMS, fax, etc.)? No

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