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.

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  • Court name: Supreme Court of Mauritius, Commercial Division
  • Claim value: MUR 538,851
  • City: Port Louis
Time (days) 519
Filing and service 15
Trial and judgment 325
Enforcement of judgment 179
Cost (% of claim) 25
Attorney cost (% of claim) 22
Court cost (% of claim) 2
Enforcement Cost (% of claim) 1
Procedures (number) 34
Filing and service
1      Plaintiff requests payment: Plaintiff or his lawyer asks Defendant orally or in writing to comply with the contract.
2      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.
3      Registration of court case: Registration of court case by the court administration (this can include assigning a reference number to the case).
*      Assignment of court case to a judge: Assignment of court case to a judge (through a random procedure, automated system, ruling of an administrative judge, court officer, etc).
4      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).
*      Mailing of summons and complaint: Court or process server, including (private) bailiff, mails summons and complaint to Defendant.
5      Attempt at physical delivery: An attempt to physically deliver summons and complaint to Defendant is made.
*      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.
6      Guarantees securing attached property: Plaintiff submits guarantees or bonds to secure Defendant against possible damages to attached property.
7      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.
8      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.
9      Hearing on pre-judgment attachment: A hearing takes place as a matter of law or standard practice to resolve the question of whether Defendant’s assets can be attached prior to judgment. This process may include the submission of separate summons and petitions.
Trial and judgment
10      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.
11      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).
12      Deadline for Plaintiff to reply to Defendant's defense or answer: Judge sets a deadline for Plaintiff’s submission of a reply to the Defendant's defense or answer.
13      Plaintiff’s written reply to Defendant's answer: Plaintiff responds to Defendant’s answer with a written pleading, which may or may not include witness statements or expert (witness) statements.
*      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).
*      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).
14      Summoning of (expert) witnesses: The court summons (expert) witnesses to appear in court for the oral hearing or trial (see assumption 5-a).
15      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.
16      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.
17      Trial (prevalent in common law): The parties argue the merits of the case at (an) oral session(s) before the court. Witnesses and expert witnesses are questioned and cross-examined during trial.
18      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.
*      Request for closing of the evidence period: Plaintiff or Defendant requests the judge to close the evidence period.
19      Closing of the evidence period: The court makes the formal decision to close the evidence period.
20      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.
21      Judgment date: The judge sets a date for delivery of the judgment.
22      Notification of judgment in court: The parties are notified of the judgment at a court hearing.
23      Writing of judgment: The judge produces a written copy of the judgment.
24      Court notification of availability of the written judgment: The court notifies the parties that the written judgment is available at the courthouse.
25      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).
26      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
*      Plaintiff hires a lawyer: Plaintiff hires a lawyer to enforce the judgment or continues to be represented by a lawyer during the enforcement of judgment phase.
27      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).
28      Plaintiff advances enforcement fees: Plaintiff pays the fees related to the enforcement of the judgment.
*      Delivery of enforcement order: The court's enforcement order is delivered to a court enforcement officer or a private bailiff.
29      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.
30      Identification of Defendant's assets by court official or Defendant for purposes of enforcement: The judge, a court enforcement officer, a private bailiff or the Defendant himself identifies Defendant's movable assets for the purposes of enforcing the judgment through a sale of Defendant’s assets.
31      Attachment: Defendant’s movable goods are attached (physically or by registering, marking or separating assets).
32      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.
33      Enforcement disputes before court: The enforcement of the judgment is delayed because Defendant opposes aspects of the enforcement process before the judge.
34      Sale through public auction: The Defendant’s movable property is sold at public auction.
35      Reimbursement of Plaintiff’s enforcement fees: Defendant reimburses Plaintiff's enforcement fees which Plaintiff had advanced previously.
36      Payment: Court orders that the proceeds of the public auction or the direct sale be delivered to Plaintiff.

Number of Procedures 36
Electronic filing of court cases -1
Specialized commercial courts -1
Total Number of Procedures 34.0
* Not counted in the total number of procedures

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