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 Mauritius to 188 other economies.

  • 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
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? Yes
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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