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Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China (2007 Amendment) (2007-2012 Annotation Version)

Part ONE General Principles
CHAPTER 1 Purposes, Scope of Regulation and Basic Principles

Article 1 The Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China is formulated according to the Constitution and in the light of the experience and actual conditions of adjudicating civil cases in our country.

Article 2 The purposes of the Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China are to protect the litigation rights exercised by the parties, to ensure that the people's courts find facts, to distinguish right from wrong, to apply the law correctly, to try civil cases promptly, to affirm the rights and obligations in civil affairs, to impose sanctions for civil wrong doings, to protect the lawful rights and interests of the parties, to educate citizens to voluntarily abide by the law, to maintain the social and economic order, and to guarantee the smooth progress of the socialist construction.

Article 3 The provisions of this Law shall apply to all the civil litigation accepted by people's courts regarding disputes over the status of property and personal relations among citizens, legal persons, or other organizations respectively and mutually between citizens, legal persons, or other organizations.

Article 4 All those who involve in civil lawsuits within the territory of the People's Republic of China must abide by this Law.

Article 5 Foreign nationals, stateless persons, foreign enterprises, or organizations, which initiate or respond to lawsuits in people's courts, shall have the same litigation rights and obligations as the citizens, legal persons, or other organizations of the People's Republic of China.
Should the courts of a foreign country impose restrictions on the civil litigation rights of the citizens, legal persons, or other organizations of the People's Republic of China, the people's courts of the People's Republic of China shall follow the principle of reciprocity regarding the civil litigation rights of the citizens, enterprises, or organizations of that foreign country.

Article 6 The adjudication authority over civil cases shall be exercised by the people's courts only.
The people's courts shall adjudicate civil cases independently according to law, and shall not be subject to any interference from an administrative organ, public organization, or individual.

Article 7 The people's courts must take the facts as the basis and take the law as the criterion when adjudicating civil cases.

Article 8 All parties to a civil litigation shall have equal litigation rights. The people's courts shall, when adjudicating civil cases, guarantee and facilitate all parties to exercise their litigation rights, and apply the law equally to all parties.

Article 9 When adjudicating civil cases, the people's courts may mediate the disputes according to the principles of voluntariness and lawfulness; if a mediation agreement can not be reached, the courts shall render judgments without delay.

Article 10 When adjudicating civil cases, the people's courts shall apply the systems of collegial panel, recusal, public trial, and “two trials and the second one is final”.

Article 11 Chinese citizens of all ethnicities shall have the right to use their native spoken and written languages in civil proceedings.
In the areas where an ethnic minority is concentrated or a number of different ethnic nationalities live together, the people's courts shall conduct hearings and publish legal documents in the spoken and written languages commonly used by these people.
The people's courts shall provide translations for any litigation participants who are not familiar with the spoken or written languages commonly used by the local people.

Article 12 When adjudicating civil cases by the people's court, the parties shall have the right to engage in argument.

Article 13 The parties to a civil litigation shall be entitled, within the scope stipulated by law, to dispose their rights of civil affairs and litigation.

[Note:One paragraph is added to Article 13 as paragraph 1: “In civil procedures, the principle of good faith shall be adhered to.”]

Article 14 The people's procuratorates shall have the right to exercise legal supervision over the civil proceedings.

[Note:Article 14 is amended to read: “The people's procuratorates shall have the authority to exercise legal supervision over civil procedures.”]

Article 15 If the civil rights and interests of the state, a collective, or an individual have been infringed, a state organ, public organization, enterprise, or institution may support the injured unit or individual to initiate legal action in a people's court.

Article 16 The People's Conciliation Committees are the organizations for mass to mediate civil disputes derived from private citizens under the guidance of basic people's governments and the basic people's courts.
The People's Conciliation Committees shall conduct all mediations according to legal provisions and the principle of voluntariness. All concerned parties shall enforce mediation agreement. Where any concerned parties refuse mediation, fail to reach a mediation agreement, or retract a mediation agreement, they may initiate legal proceedings in a people's court.
If a People's Conciliation Committee violates the law when mediating civil disputes, the people's court shall correct it.

[Note:Article 16 is deleted.]

Article 17 The people's congresses of the national autonomous areas may formulate some accommodating or supplementary provisions according to the principles of the Constitution and this Law and based on the specific circumstances of their localities. Such provisions made by an autonomous region shall be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for approval. The provisions made by an autonomous prefecture or autonomous county shall be submitted to the standing committee of the people's congress of the relevant autonomous region or province for approval and to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for the record.

CHAPTER 2 Jurisdiction
Section 1 Jurisdiction by Levels of Courts

Article 18 A basic people's court shall have jurisdiction as the court of first instance over civil cases, unless otherwise stipulated in this Law.

Article 19 An intermediate people's court shall have jurisdiction as courts of first instance over the following civil cases:
(1)Major cases involving foreign elements;
(2)Cases that have major impacts in the area of its jurisdiction; and
(3)Cases under the jurisdiction of the intermediate people's courts as determined by the Supreme People's Court.

Article 20 A higher people's courts shall have jurisdiction as the court of first instance over civil cases that have major impacts on the areas of its jurisdiction.

Article 21 The Supreme People's Court shall have jurisdiction as the court of first instance over the following civil cases:
(1)Cases that have major impacts on the whole country; and
(2)Cases that the Supreme People's Court deems should be adjudicated by itself.

Section 2 Territorial Jurisdiction

Article 22 A civil lawsuit brought against a citizen shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the defendant has his domicile; if the defendant's domicile is different from his habitual residence, the lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place of his habitual residence.
A civil lawsuit brought against a legal person or an organization shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the defendant has its domicile.
Where the domiciles or habitual residences of several defendants in the same lawsuit are in the areas under the jurisdiction of two or more people's courts, all of those people's courts shall have jurisdiction over the lawsuit.

Article 23 The civil litigations described below shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the plaintiff has his domicile; if the plaintiff's domicile is different from his habitual residence, the lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place of the plaintiff's habitual residence. The relevant civil litigations are:
(1)Litigations concerning the status of persons who do not reside within the territory of the People's Republic of China;
(2)Litigations concerning the status of persons whose whereabouts are unknown or whom have been declared missing;
(3)Litigations brought against the persons who are undergoing reeducation through labor; and
(4)Litigations brought against persons who are in imprisonment.

[Note:Item (3) of Article 23 is amended to read: “(3) An action instituted against a person who is subject to any compulsory correctional measure.”]

Article 24 A lawsuit brought about a contract dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the defendant has his domicile or where the contract is performed.

Article 25 The parties to a contract may, through the written contract, choose a people's court, which located in the place where the defendant would have his domicile, the contract would be performed, the contract would be signed, the plaintiff would have his domicile, or the subject of the contract would be located, to have jurisdiction over the case, as long as this jurisdiction choice does not violate the provisions of this Law regarding the Jurisdiction by Level and the Exclusive Jurisdiction.

[Note:Article 25 is renumbered as Article 34 and amended to read: “Parties to a dispute over a contract or any other right or interest in property may, by a written agreement, choose the people's court at the place of domicile of the defendant, at the place where the contract is performed or signed, at the place of domicile of the plaintiff, at the place where the subject matter is located or at any other place actually connected to the dispute to have jurisdiction over the dispute, but the provisions of this Law regarding hierarchical jurisdiction and exclusive jurisdiction shall not be violated.”
One article is added as Article 26: “An action instituted for a dispute arising from formation, shareholder eligibility confirmation, profit distribution, dissolution or any other matter of a company shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court at the place of domicile of the company.”]

Article 26 A lawsuit brought for insurance contract dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the defendant has his domicile or where the insured subject matter is located.

Article 27 A lawsuit brought for a negotiable instrument dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the negotiable instrument is to be paid or where the defendant has his domicile.

Article 28 A lawsuit brought for a dispute over transportation contract via railway, highway, water, air, or combined transportation shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place of the departure or the destination, or where the defendant has his domicile.

Article 29 A lawsuit brought for a tortious act shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the infringing act took place or where the defendant has his domicile.

Article 30 A lawsuit to claim damages caused by a railway, highway, water, or aviation transportation accident shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the accident took place, where the vehicle or ship first arrived after the accident, where the aircraft first landed after the accident, or where the defendant has his domicile.

Article 31 A lawsuit brought for damages caused by a ship collision or any other maritime accident shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the collision took place or where the collision ship first docked after the accident or where the ship at fault was detained, or where the defendant has his domicile.

Article 32 A lawsuit brought for a maritime salvage shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the salvage took place or where the salvaged vessel first docked after the disaster.

Article 33 A lawsuit brought for a general average shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the ship first docked after the general average adjustment took place or the adjustment thereof was conducted or where the voyage ended.

Article 34 The following cases shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the people's courts herein specified:
(1)A lawsuit brought for real estate shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the real estate is located;
(2)A lawsuit concerning harbor operations shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the harbor is located; and
(3)A lawsuit concerning an inheritance shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court located in the place where the decedent had his domicile upon his death, or where the principal portion of his estate is located.

Article 35 When two or more people's courts have jurisdiction over a lawsuit, the plaintiff may bring his lawsuit in one of these people's courts; if the plaintiff brings the lawsuit in two or more people's courts that have jurisdiction over the lawsuit, it shall be handled by the people's court that accepts the case first.

Section 3 Jurisdiction by Transfer and Jurisdiction by Designation

Article 36 If a people's court discovers that a case it has accepted is not under its jurisdiction, it shall transfer the case to the people's court that does have jurisdiction over the case. The people's court to which a case has been transferred shall accept the case, and if it considers that, according to relevant regulations, the transferred case is not under its jurisdiction, it shall report to a superior people's court for the designation of jurisdiction and shall not transfer the case to another people's court without authorization.

Article 37 If a people's court which has jurisdiction over a case is unable to exercise the jurisdiction for a special reason, the superior people's court shall designate another court to exercise the jurisdiction.
If there is a dispute over a jurisdiction among people's courts, it shall be resolved by the disputing parties through consultation; if the dispute cannot be resolved through consultation, the disputing courts shall ask their superior people's court to designate the jurisdiction.

Article 38 If a party rejects the jurisdiction of his case after the case was accepted by a people's court, the party shall raise the rejection during the period for submitting briefs. The people's court shall examine such objection. If the objection is tenable, the people's court shall rule that the case be transferred to the people's court that does have jurisdiction over the case; if the rejection is untenable, the people's court shall overrule the objection.

[Note:Article 38 is renumbered as Article 127, and one paragraph is added as paragraph 2: “Where a party raises no objection to jurisdiction and responds to the action by submitting a written statement of defense, the people's court accepting the action shall be deemed to have jurisdiction, unless the provisions regarding hierarchical jurisdiction and exclusive jurisdiction are violated.”]

Article 39 People's courts at higher levels shall have the authority to try civil cases over which people's courts at lower levels have jurisdiction as courts of first instance; they may also transfer civil cases over which they themselves have jurisdiction as courts of first instance to people's courts at lower levels for adjudication.
If a people's court at a lower level deems it necessary for a civil case of first instance under its jurisdiction to be tried by a people's court at a higher level, it may request such a people's court to adjudicate the case.

[Note:Article 39 is renumbered as Article 38, and paragraph 1 is amended to read: “A people's court at a higher level shall have the power to try a first instance civil case under the jurisdiction of a people's court at a lower level. If it is necessary to transfer a first instance civil case under its jurisdiction to a people's court at a lower level for trial, a people's court at a higher level shall file a report with its superior for approval of the transfer.”]

CHAPTER 3 Trial Organization

Article 40 Civil cases of first instance shall be tried in a people's court by a collegial bench consisting of both judges and assessors or of judges alone. The numbers of members of a collegial bench shall be odd.
Civil cases to which summary procedure is applied shall be tried by a single judge alone.
When carrying out their duties as assessors, the assessors shall have equal rights and obligations as the judges.

Article 41 Civil cases of second instance shall be tried in a people's court by a collegial bench of judges. The numbers of members of a collegial bench shall be odd.
For the retrial of a remanded case, the people's court of first instance shall form a new collegial bench according to the procedure of first instance.
If a case for retrial was originally tried at first instance, a new collegial bench shall be formed according to the procedure of first instance; if the case was originally tried at second instance or was removed to a people's court at a higher level for trial, a new collegial bench shall be formed according to the procedure of second instance.

Article 42 The president of the court or the chief judge of a division shall designate a judge to serve as the presiding judge of the collegial bench; if the president or the chief judge participates in trial, he himself shall serve as the presiding judge.

Article 43 When deliberating a case, a collegial bench shall observe the principle of minority obeying majority. The deliberations shall be recorded in writing, and the transcript shall be signed by the members of the collegial bench. The dissenting opinions in the deliberations shall be truthfully recorded in the transcript.

Article 44 The adjudicating personnel shall handle the case impartially and according to law.
The adjudicating personnel shall not accept a treat or gift from the parties or their agents.
Any adjudicating personnel who commits embezzlement, accepts bribes, practices favoritism for himself or relatives, twists the law in rendering judgment shall be investigated for legal responsibility; if a crime is committed, the offender shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to law.

CHAPTER 4 Recusal of Adjudicating Personnel

Article 45 Any member of the adjudicating personnel in any of the following circumstances shall be disqualified, and the litigation parties shall also have the right to request, orally or in writing, such an adjudicator to be withdrawn from this case. The relevant circumstances are:
(1)He is a party or a near relative of a party or a near relative of a litigation representative to the case;
(2)He has a personal interest in the case; or
(3)He has some other relationship with a party to the case, which could influence the impartial adjudication.
The above provisions shall also apply to clerks, interpreters, expert witnesses, and examiners.

[Note:Article 45 is renumbered as Article 44 and amended to read: “Under any of the following circumstances, a judge shall voluntarily disqualify himself or herself, and a party shall be entitled to request disqualification of such a judge verbally or in writing:
“(1) The judge is a party to a case or is a close relative of a party to a case or a litigation representative thereof.
“(2) The judge is an interested party to a case.
“(3) The judge has any other relationship with a party to a case or a litigation representative thereof, which may affect the impartial trial of the case.
“Where a judge accepts any treat or gift from a party to a case or a litigation representative thereof or meets with a party to a case in violation of legal provisions, a party shall be entitled to require disqualification of such a judge.
“A judge who commits any conduct in the preceding paragraph shall be subject to legal liability in accordance with law.
“The provisions of the preceding three paragraphs shall also apply to court clerks, interpreters, identification or evaluation experts, and surveyors.”]

Article 46 When a party makes a request to disqualify an adjudicator, he shall make an explanation and submit the request at the beginning of the proceedings; a request for recusal may also be submitted before the end of court debate if the recusal reason is uncovered after the proceeding begins.
If a recusal decision is waiting for a people's court to decide, the personnel who have been requested to be disqualified shall temporarily be suspended from participating in the proceedings, but with the exception of cases that require emergency measures.

Article 47 The recusal of a court president who serves as the presiding judge shall be decided by the adjudicating committee; the recusal of adjudicators shall be decided by the court president; the recusal of other personnel shall be decided by the presiding judge.

Article 48 The decision of a people's court on a request for recusal shall be made orally or in writing within three days after the request was made. If a party is not satisfied with a recusal decision, it may apply for reconsideration once. During the period of reconsideration, the personnel who have been requested to be disqualified shall not be suspended from participating in the proceedings. The decision of a people's court on an application for reconsideration shall be made within three days after receiving the application and the person who has made the application for reconsideration shall be notified of the decision.

CHAPTER 5 Litigation Participants
Section 1 Parties

Article 49 Any citizen, legal person or any other organization may become a party to a civil lawsuit.
Legal persons shall be represented by their legal representatives in litigation. Other organizations shall be represented by their principal leading personnel in litigation.

Article 50 The parties shall have the right to appoint representatives, request recusals of adjudicating personnel, collect and provide evidence, engage in debate, request mediation, file an appeal, and apply for an enforcement of judgments.
The parties may consult the materials relating to the court proceedings of the case and copy the materials and other legal documents pertaining to the case. However, materials involving state secrets, trade secrets, or the private affairs of individuals shall be exceptions.
The parties must exercise their litigation rights according to the law, observe litigation procedures and carry out legally effective written judgments or orders and mediation statements.

Article 51 The two parties may reach a settlement agreement on their own.

Article 52 The plaintiff may relinquish or modify his claim. The defendant may confirm or repudiate the claim and shall have the right to file a counterclaim.

Article 53 When one party or both parties consist of two or more persons and the subject matter of the action is the same or under the same category, the people's court may adjudicate them together upon the consent of all the parties. Such adjudication is called joint litigation.
If a party of two or more persons of a joint litigation who have the common rights and obligations with respect to the subject matter of action and the act of any of them is recognized by the others of the party, such an act shall bind the rest of the party; if a party of two or more persons have no common rights and obligations with respect to the subject matter of action, any acts taken by any one of them shall not bind the rest of the party.

Article 54 A joint litigation in which one party has numerous litigants may be brought by the representatives elected by the litigants of the party. The act of litigation taken by these representatives shall bind all litigants of the party whom they represent. However, any substitution of representatives, relinquishing claims, acceptance of claims of the opposing party, or negotiating settlement shall be approved by the litigants of the party.

[Note:One article is added as Article 55: “For conduct that pollutes environment, infringes upon the lawful rights and interests of vast consumers or otherwise damages the public interest, an authority or relevant organization as prescribed by law may institute an action in a people's court.”]

Article 55 Where the subject matters of an action is under the same category and one of the parties has numerous litigants but the exact number of the litigants is uncertain when the lawsuit is filed, the people's court may issue a public notice to explain the nature of the case and the claims of the litigation and informing those interested persons who are entitled to the claim to register their rights with the people's court within a fixed period of time.
Those who have registered their rights with the people's court may elect representatives from among themselves to proceed with the litigation; if the election fails its purpose, such representatives may be determined by the people's court through consultation with those who have registered their rights with the court.
The acts of litigation taken by these representatives shall bind all litigants of the party whom they represent. However, any substitution of representatives, relinquishing claims, acceptance of claims of the opposing party, or negotiating settlement shall be approved by the litigants of the party.
The judgments or written orders rendered by the people's court shall bind all those interested persons who have registered their rights with the court. Such judgments or written orders shall apply to those who have not registered their rights but have instituted legal proceedings during the time of the statute of limitation.

Article 56 If a third party considers that he has the independent right to claim the subject matter of the action of both parties, he shall have the right to bring an action.
If a third party does not have the independent right to claim the subject matter of the action of both parties but the outcome of the case will affect his legal interest, it may file a request to join the litigation or the people's court may notify him to join the litigation. If a people's court holds a third party to bear a civil liability, such a third party shall have the litigation rights as a party to the litigation.

[Note:One paragraph is added to Article 56 as paragraph 3: “Where a third party as mentioned in the preceding two paragraphs fails to participate in an action, which is not attributable to the third party's fault, and there is evidence that an effective judgment, ruling or consent judgment is entirely or partially erroneous and causes damage to the third party's civil rights and interests, the third party may, within six months from the day when the third party knows or should have known that the third party's civil rights and interests have been damaged, institute an action in the people's court which entered the judgment, ruling or consent judgment. If, after trial, the third party's claims are supported, the people's court shall modify or revoke the original judgment, ruling or consent judgment; or if the third party's claims are not supported, the claims shall be dismissed.”]

Section 2 Litigation Representatives

Article 57 For litigation-incompetent persons, their guardians shall be their legal representative in their litigations. If all legal representatives try to avoid their duties of representation, the people's court may appoint one of them as the litigation represent.

Article 58 Each party or legal representative may appoint one or two persons to act as his litigation representatives.
Lawyers, a party's near relatives, persons recommended by relevant public organizations or the units to which a party belongs, or any other citizens approved by a people's court may be entrusted as the party's litigation representatives.

[Note:Paragraph 2 of Article 58 is amended to read: “The following persons may serve as a litigation representative:
“(1) A lawyer or legal service worker at the basic level.
“(2) A close relative or staff member of a party.
“(3) A citizen recommended by the community of or the entity employing a party or recommended by a relevant social group.”]

Article 59 When a party entrusts a person to be his litigation representative, he shall submit a power of attorney bearing his signature or seal to the people's court.
The power of attorney must specify the matters and authority scopes entrusted. A litigation representative must possess special authorization from his principal to be able to accept, relinquish, or modify the claim, to reach a settlement, or bring a counterclaim or an appeal.
When a citizen of the People's Republic of China, who is residing abroad, mails or entrusts someone to deliver a power of attorney to China, he shall have the power of attorney certified by the Chinese embassy or consulate to that country. If there is no Chinese embassy or consulate in that country, he shall have the power of attorney certified by an embassy or a consulate of a third country, which has diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and is stationed in the country, and then be transferred to the embassy or consulate of the People's Republic of China stationed in that third state for verification; he may have the power of attorney certified by a local patriotic overseas Chinese organization.

Article 60 A party who changes or revokes the authority of his litigation representative shall inform the people's court in writing and the court shall notify the other party of the change or revocation.

Article 61 Lawyers who serve as litigation representatives or other litigation representatives shall have the right to investigate and collect evidence, and may consult relevant materials to the case. The scopes and measures of consulting relevant materials to a case shall be regulated by the Supreme People's Court.

Article 62 For a divorce case in which a party has appointed a litigation representative, that party shall appear in court in person unless he is incapable of expressing his own opinion. A party who is truly unable to appear in court due to a special reason shall submit his opinion in writing to the people's court.

[Note:“will” in Article 62 is changed into “ideas.”]

CHAPTER 6 Evidence

Article 63 Evidence shall be classified as follows:
(1)documentary evidence;
(2)physical evidence;
(3)audio and visual material;
(4)testimony of witnesses;
(5)statements of involving parties;
(6)conclusions of expert witnesses; and
(7)transcripts of inspection and examination.
Any of the above-mentioned evidence must be verified before it can be taken as a basis for finding a fact.

[Note:Article 63 is amended to read: “Evidence includes:
“(1) statement of a party;
“(2) documentary evidence;
“(3) physical evidence;
“(4) audio-visual recordings;
“(5) electronic data;
“(6) witness testimony;
“(7) expert opinion; and
“(8) transcripts of survey.
“Evidence must be verified before being used as a basis for deciding a fact.”]

Article 64 A party shall have the responsibility to provide evidence in support of its own propositions.
For the evidence that cannot be obtained by any parties or their litigation representatives because of some realistic reasons or for the evidence that the people's court considers necessary for adjudicating the case, the people's court shall investigate and collect such evidence.
The people's court shall, according to the procedure prescribed by law, collect and examine evidence comprehensively and objectively.

[Note:Two articles are added as Article 65 and Article 66:
“Article 65 A party shall provide evidence for its claims in a timely manner.
“A people's court shall, according to the claims of a party and the circumstances of trial of a case, determine the evidence to be provided by a party and the time limit for provision of evidence. Where it is difficult for a party to provide evidence within the time limit, the party may apply to the people's court for an extension, and the people's court may appropriately extend the time limit upon application of the party. Where a party provides any evidence beyond the time limit, the people's court shall order the party to provide an explanation; and if the party refuses to explain or the party's explanation is not acceptable, the people's court may, according to different circumstances, deem the evidence inadmissible or adopt the evidence but impose an admonition or a fine on the party.
“Article 66 A people's court shall issue receipts for evidentiary materials submitted to the court by a party, indicating the name of evidence, number of pages, number of copies, original or photocopy, time of receipt, and other matters, to which the signatures or seals of the court personnel receiving the same shall be affixed.”]

Article 65 The people's court shall have the authority to obtain evidence from any relevant units or individuals, and such units or individuals may not refuse to provide evidence.
The people's court shall verify and determine the validity of documentary evidence provided by relevant units or individuals.

Article 66 Evidence shall be presented in the court and cross-examined by parties, however, evidence that involves state secrets, trade secrets, or individual privacy shall not be presented in an open court session.

Article 67 The people's court shall admit the legal acts, legal facts and documents that are notarized according to legal procedures as a basis for finding facts, except when there is contrary evidence that is sufficient to invalidate the notarization.

[Note:Article 67 is renumbered as Article 69 and amended to read: “A people's court shall regard legal facts and documents notarized under statutory procedures as a basis for deciding facts, unless there is any evidence to the contrary which suffices to overturn the notarization.”]

Article 68 Any document submitted as evidence shall be the original one. Physical evidence shall also be original. If it is truly difficult to present the original document or physical evidence, then duplications, photographs, copies, or extracts of the original evidence may be admitted.
If a document in a foreign language is submitted as evidence, a Chinese translation shall be appended.

Article 69 The people's court shall authenticate audio and visual materials and decide whether they can be admitted as a basis for finding the facts after examining them and comparing them with other evidence of the same case.

Article 70 All units and individuals who have information about a case shall have the obligation to testify in court. The responsible persons of relevant units shall encourage the witnesses to give testimony. When it is truly too difficult for a witness to appear in court, he may, with the approval of the people's court, submit a written testimony.
Any person who is incapable of expressing his opinion properly shall not testify.

[Note:Article 70 is divided into three articles as Article 72, Article 73 and Article 74 and amended to read:
“Article 72 Any entity or individual which knows any circumstances of a case shall have the obligation to testify in court. The person in charge of a relevant entity shall support a witness in testifying.
“A person who is unable to appropriately express his or her ideas shall not testify.
“Article 73 Upon notice by a people's court, a witness shall testify in court. Under any of the following circumstances, a witness may testify by written testimony, audio-visual transmission technology, audio-visual recordings or any other means as permitted by a people's court:
“(1) The witness is unable to appear in court for health reasons.
“(2) The witness is unable to appear in court for remote residence and travel difficulty.
“(3) The witness is unable to appear in court for a force majeure such as a natural disaster.
“(4) The witness is unable to appear in court for any other justifiable reason.
“Article 74 The travel, room and board, and other necessary expenses of a witness for performing his or her obligation of testifying in court, as well as loss of working time, shall be assumed by the losing party. A party which applies for a witness to testify shall advance the same; or if no party applies and the people's court notifies a witness to testify, the people's court shall advance the same.”]

Article 71 The people's court shall examine the statements of the parties in connection with other evidence of the case to decide whether such statements can be taken as a basis for finding the facts.
The refusal of a party to make a statement shall not prevent the people's court from finding the facts of a case based on other evidence.

Article 72 When a people's court deems it necessary to make an evaluation of a specialized issue, it shall refer the issue to an authentication department authorized by law for the evaluation. In the absence of such department, the people's court shall appoint an authentication department to make the evaluation.
The authentication department and the expert witness designated by the department shall have the right to consult the case materials necessary for the evaluation and direct inquiries to the parties and witnesses when circumstances require.
An authentication department and expert witness shall present its or his conclusion of the evaluation in writing and sign it or put his seal on it. With respect to an evaluation made by an expert witness, the unit to which the expert witness belongs shall certify his status by affixing its seal to the expert conclusion.

[Note:Article 72 is divided into three articles as Article 76, Article 77 and Article 78 and amended to read:
“Article 76 A party may apply to the people's court for identification regarding a specialized issue for ascertaining the facts of a case. Where a party applies for identification, the parties on both sides shall determine a qualified identification expert by consultation; or if such consultation fails, the people's court shall specify one for them.
“Where no party applies for identification but the people's court deems it necessary to conduct identification regarding a specialized issue, the people's court shall employ a qualified identification expert to conduct identification.
“Article 77 An identification expert shall have the right to access the case file needed for conducting identification and, when necessary, may interview a party or a witness.
“An identification expert shall issue a written identification opinion and affix his or her signature or seal to the identification document.
“Article 78 Where a party raises any objection to an identification opinion or a people's court deems it necessary to require an identification expert to testify in court, the identification expert shall testify in court. If, upon notice by the people's court, the identification expert refuses to testify in court, the identification opinion shall not be used as a basis for deciding facts; and the party which has paid the identification fees may require that the identification fees be refunded.”
One article is added as Article 79: “A party may apply to the people's court for notifying a person with expertise to appear in court to offer an opinion regarding an identification opinion issued by an identification expert or regarding a specialized issue.”]

Article 73 When inspecting or examining physical evidence on site, the inspector must show his credentials issued by a people's court. He shall invite the local basic organization or the relevant unit to send personnel to participate in the inspection. The parties concerned or the adult members of their families shall be present; however, their refusal to appear on the scene shall not prevent the inspection from proceeding.
Upon notification by the people's court, the relevant units and individuals shall have the obligation to preserve the site and provide assistance for the inspection.
The inspector and examiner shall prepare a written record for the circumstances and results of the inspection or examination. The inspector, examiner, the party concerned and the invited participants shall affix their signatures or seals to the record.

Article 74 Under circumstances where there is a likely-hood that evidence may be destroyed, lost or too difficult to obtain later on, any litigation participants may apply to the people's court for the preservation of the evidence. The people's court may also take initiative to preserve such evidence.

[Note:Article 74 is renumbered as Article 81 and amended to read: “Where any evidence may be extinguished or may be hard to obtain at a later time, a party may, in the course of an action, apply to the people's court for evidence preservation, and the people's court may also take preservation measures on its own initiative.
“Where any evidence may be extinguished or may be hard to obtain at a later time, if the circumstances are urgent, an interested party may, before instituting an action or applying for arbitration, apply for evidence preservation to a people's court at the place where the evidence is located or at the place of domicile of the respondent or a people's court having jurisdiction over the case.
“Other procedures for evidence preservation shall be executed by reference to the relevant provisions of Chapter IX of this Law regarding preservation.”]

CHAPTER 7 Time Periods and Service
Section 1 Time Periods

Article 75 Time periods shall include those prescribed by law and those designated by a people's court.
Time periods shall be computed by hour, day, month, and year. The hour and day from which a time period begins shall not be computed as within that time period.
If the expiration date of a time period falls on a holiday, the day immediately following the holiday shall be regarded as the expiration date.
A statutory time period shall not include the time spent in transmittal of documents. A litigation document that is mailed before a deadline shall not be regarded as overdue.

Article 76 If a party fails to meet a deadline due to reasons beyond his control or other justifiable reasons, he may petition for an extension of the time limit within 10 days after the obstacle is removed. The requested extension shall be subject to approval by a people's court.

Section 2 Service

Article 77 A receipt shall be required for every litigation document that is served and it shall bear the signature or seal of the recipient of the service and the date of receipt.
The date of receipt as signed by the recipient of the service shall be regarded as the date the document is served.

Article 78 Litigation documents shall be served directly on the recipient of the service. If the recipient of the service is a citizen, the documents may, in the case of his absence, be served on an adult member of the recipient's family who lives with him. If the recipient of the service is a legal person or any other organization, the document shall be served on the legal representatives of the legal person, the principal leading personnel of any other organization, the personnel of the legal person or any other organization in charge of receiving such documents; If the recipient of the service has a litigation representative, the documents may be served on the litigation representative. If the recipient of the service has designated an agent to receive his litigation documents and has informed the people's court of it, the documents may be served on the agent.
The date of receipt as signed by the adult family member living with the recipient of service, or persons in charge of receiving documents of the legal persons or other organizations, or litigation representative, or agents designated to receive his documents shall be regarded as the date the document is served.

Article 79 If the recipient of a service or any of his adult family members living with him refuses to accept a legal document, the person serving the document shall ask the representatives of the relevant basic organization or unit to which the recipient of the service belongs to appear on the scene, explain the situation to them, and record the reasons of the refusal and the date on the receipt. After the person serving the document and the witnesses have affixed their signatures or seals on the receipt, the document may be left at the place where the recipient of the service stays and the service shall be considered completed.

[Note:Article 79 is renumbered as Article 86 and amended to read: “Where the person to be served refuses to receive or his or her cohabiting adult family member refuses to receive process, the process server may invite the representatives of relevant grassroots organizations or the entity employing the person to be served to be present, provide an explanation on the refusal, record the cause of refusal and date on the service acknowledgement, to which the process server and witnesses shall affix their signatures or seals, and drop process at the domicile of the person to be served; and may also drop process at the domicile of the person to be served and record the service of process by photograph, video and other means, and process shall be deemed served.”
One article is added as Article 87: “With the consent of the person to be served, a people's court may serve process by fax, email and other means capable of confirming receipt by the person to be served, except a judgment, ruling and consent judgment.
“Where a means in the preceding paragraph is adopted, the date when a fax, an email or any other means reaches the specific system of the person to be served shall be the date of service of process.”]

Article 80 If direct delivery service of a litigation document proves too difficult, such a service may be entrusted to the other people's court, or it may be served by postal service. If a document is served by post, the date as stated on the receipt shall be regarded as the date the document is served.

Article 81 If the recipient of a service is in the military, the document shall be forwarded to him via the political organ at or above the regimen level in the unit to which the recipient belongs.

Article 82 If the recipient of the service is undergoing imprisonment, the document shall be forwarded to him via the prison or the unit of rehabilitation through labor where he is serving his sentence.
If the recipient of the service is undergoing reeducation through labor, the document shall be forwarded to him via the unit supervising his reeducation through labor.

[Note:Article 82 is renumbered as Article 90 and amended to read: “Where the person to be served is incarcerated, process shall be served on the person through the incarceration facility.
“Where the person to be served is subject to any compulsory correctional measure, process shall be served on the person through the compulsory correctional facility.”]

Article 83 Any organization or unit that receives a litigation document to be forwarded must immediately deliver it to the recipient of the service for a receipt. The date as stated on the receipt shall be regarded as the date the document is served.

Article 84 If the whereabouts of a recipient is unknown, or if a document cannot be served by the other methods prescribed in this section, the document shall be served by public announcement. Sixty days after the date of the public announcement, the document shall be deemed to have been served.
The reasons for service by public announcement and the procedures taken shall be recorded in the case files.

CHAPTER 8 Mediation

Article 85 In handling civil cases, the people's court may distinguish between right and wrong and mediate disputes according to the principle of parties' voluntariness and based on clear facts.

Article 86 When a people's court conducts mediation, a single judge or a collegial bench may preside in the mediation. Mediations shall be conducted locally whenever possible.
When a people's court conducts mediation, it may employ simplified methods to notify the parties and witnesses to appear in court.

Article 87 When a people's court conducts mediation, it may request assistance from relevant units or individuals. The invited units or individuals shall assist the people's court in mediation.

Article 88 A mediation agreement must be based on voluntariness of both parties, and shall not be reached through compulsion. The content of the mediation agreement may not contravene the law.

Article 89 When a mediation agreement is reached, the people's court shall draw up a written mediation agreement. A mediation agreement shall clearly set forth the claims of the action, the facts about the case, and the result of the mediation.
The mediation statement shall be signed by the judge and the court clerk, sealed by the people's court, and served on both parties.
Once the mediation agreement is signed and exchanged by both parties, it shall become legally binding.

Article 90 The people's court need not draw up a mediation agreement for the following cases when an agreement is reached through mediation:
(1)Divorce cases in which both parties have become reconciled after mediation;
(2)Adoption cases in which adoptive relationship has been retained through mediation;
(3)Cases in which the claims can be immediately satisfied; and
(4)Other cases that do not require mediation statements.
Any agreement that does not require a mediation agreement shall be entered into the transcript and become legally effective after the transcript is signed or sealed by both parties, the judge, and the court clerk.

Article 91 If no agreement is reached through mediation or if one party retracts his reconciliation before the mediation agreement is served, the people's court shall render a judgment without delay.

CHAPTER 9 Property Preservation and Advance Enforcement

[Note:“Property preservation” in the title of Chapter IX is changed into “preservation.”]

Article 92 If it becomes impossible or difficult to enforce a judgment because of the acts taken by one of the parties or for other reasons, the people's court may, upon the request of the other party, make an order to preserve the property. In the absence of such requests, the people's court may, when necessary, also order to adopt property preservation measures.
When a people's court has decided to adopt property preservation, it may instruct the applicant to provide a surety; if the applicant fails to do so, his application may be rejected.
After receiving a party's application, if the case is urgent, the people's court must make an order regarding property preservation within 48 hours; if a people's court makes an order for property preservation, it shall enforce the preservation immediately.

[Note:Article 92 is renumbered as Article 100 and amended to read: “For a case where, for the conduct of a party or for other reasons, it may be difficult to execute a judgment or any other damage may be caused to a party, a people's court may, upon application of the opposing party, issue a ruling on preservation of the party's property, order certain conduct of the party or prohibit the party from certain conduct; and if no party applies, the people's court may, when necessary, issue a ruling to take a preservative measure.
“A people's court may order the applicant to provide security for taking a preservative measure and, if the applicant fails to provide security, shall issue a ruling to dismiss the application.
“After accepting an application, a people's court must, if the circumstances are urgent, issue a ruling within 48 hours; and if it rules to take a preservative measure, the measure shall be executed immediately.”]

Article 93 Any interested party whose lawful rights and interests, due to urgent circumstances, would suffer from un-remediable harms if he fails to petition for property preservation immediately, may, before filing the lawsuit, petition to the people's court for the adoption of property preservation measures. The petitioner shall provide a surety; if the petitioner fails to do so, his petition may be rejected.
After receiving a party's petition for property preservation, the people's court shall make a ruling within 48 hours; if property preservation is granted by a ruling, the preservation thereof shall be enforced immediately.
If the petitioner fails to file a lawsuit within 15 days after the people's court has adopted the preservation measures, the people's court shall cancel the property preservation.

[Note:Article 93 is renumbered as Article 101 and amended to read: “Where the lawful rights and interests of an interested party will be irreparable damaged if an application for preservation is not filed immediately under urgent circumstances, the interested party may, before instituting an action or applying for arbitration, apply to the people's court at the place where the property to be preserved is located or at the place of domicile of the respondent or a people's court having jurisdiction over the case for taking preservative measures. The applicant shall provide security and, if the applicant fails to provide security, the people's court shall issue a ruling to dismiss the application.
“After accepting an application, a people's court must issue a ruling within 48 hours; and if it rules to take a preservative measure, the measure shall be executed immediately.
“Where the applicant fails to institute an action or apply for arbitration in accordance with law within 30 days after the people's court takes a preservative measure, the people's court shall remove preservation.”]

Article 94 Property preservation shall be limited to the scope of the claim or to the property related to the case.
The measures of property preservation may include seizure, detain, freeze, or other methods as prescribed by law.
When a people's court freezes a property, it shall notify the person whose property is frozen.
Those properties that have already been seized, detained, or frozen shall not be seized or frozen again.

[Note:Article 94 is divided into two articles as Article 102 and Article 103 and amended to read:
“Article 102 Preservation shall be limited to the extent specified in an application or the property in connection with the case.
“Article 103 Property shall be preserved by seizure, impoundment, freezing of account or any other means prescribed by law. After preserving any property, a people's court shall immediately notify the person whose property is preserved.
“Property which has already been seized or frozen shall not be repeatedly seized or frozen.”]

Article 95 If the defending party whose property is preserved provides a security, the people's court shall cancel the property preservation.

[Note:Article 95 is renumbered as Article 104 and amended to read: “Where, in a property dispute case, the respondent has provided security, the people's court shall issue a ruling to remove preservation.”]

Article 96 Where a petition is wrongfully made, the petitioner shall compensate the defending party for any loss incurred from the property preservation.

[Note:“Property preservation” in Article 96 is changed into “preservation.”]

Article 97 The people's court may, at the request of a party, order the measures for the following cases to be enforced in advance:
(1)Cases involving claims of alimonies, supports for children or elders, pension for the disabled or the family of a decedent, or expenses for medical care;
(2)Cases involving claims of wages; and
(3)Cases involving urgent circumstances that require enforcement in advance.

Article 98 The people's court shall make sure the following conditions are met before making a ruling to enforce the property preservation in advance:
(1)The relationship of rights and obligations between the parties is definite, and the refusal of advance enforcement would seriously affect the life or business operation of petitioners; and
(2)The defending party whose property would be preserved is capable of fulfilling the obligations involved in the advance enforcement.
The people's court may order the petitioners to provide sureties; if a petitioner fails to do so, his petition may be rejected. If the petitioner loses the lawsuit, he shall compensate the defending party whose property was preserved for any loss incurred from the advance enforcement.

Article 99 If a party is not satisfied with an order on property preservation or advance enforcement, he may petition for reconsideration that can be granted only once. However, the enforcement of the order shall not be suspended during the time of reconsideration.

[Note:“Property preservation” in Article 99 is changed into “preservation.”]

CHAPTER 10 Compulsory Measures against Obstruction of Civil Actions

Article 100 If a defendant who is required to appear in court has been served twice with subpoena but still refuses to appear in court without legitimate reason, the people's court may summon him to court by force.

Article 101 All litigation participants and other persons shall abide by the court rules.
For those persons who violate the court rules, the people's courts may reprimand them, evict them from the courts, or impose a fine or detention on them.
For those persons who create uproars, disturb courtrooms, insult, slander, threat, or assault adjudicating personnel, or seriously disrupt the order of courtrooms, the people's court shall investigate them for criminal liabilities according to law; if the circumstances are minor, a fine or detention may be imposed on the offender.

Article 102 Where any litigation participants or any other persons commit any of the following acts, the people's courts shall impose a fine or detention on them based on the circumstances; if a crime is committed, the people's court shall investigate them for criminal liabilities according to law.
(1)Forging or destroying significant evidence, which would obstruct the a people's court's adjudication of a case;
(2)Using violence, threats, or bribery to hinder a witness from giving testimony, or instigating, bribing, or coercing others to commit perjury;
(3)Concealing, transferring, selling, or destroying any properties that have been seized or detained, or any properties that have been inventoried and ordered by a court under the offenders' custody, or transferring the property that has been frozen;
(4)Insulting, slandering, incriminating with false charges, beating up, or retaliating adjudicating personnel, litigation participants, witnesses, interpreters, experts witnesses, inspectors, or personnel assisting in enforcement; or
(5)Using violence, threats, or other means to hinder adjudicating personnel from performing their duties; or
(6)Refusing to comply with legally effective judgments or orders rendered by a people's court.
Where a unit commits any of the following acts stipulated in the preceding paragraph, the people's courts may impose a fine or detention on the principal leading personnel of the unit or the person directly responsible; if a crime is committed, the people's court shall investigate them for criminal liabilities according to law.

Article 103 If a unit that has an obligation to assist in judicial investigation or enforcement commits any of the following acts, the people's court may order the unit to perform its obligation but also impose a fine on the unit:
(1)Refusing or obstructing a people's court from investigation or collecting evidence;
(2)Where the unit is a bank, credit union, or other institution engaging in saving deposit business, refusing to assist in inquiring, freezing, or transferring funds after receiving a notification from the people's court for enforcement assistance;
(3)After receiving a notification on assistance in enforcement from the people's court, refusing to assist in withholding the income of a defending party whom is ordered to pay or handling the transfer of property titles, relevant negotiable instruments, certificates and licenses, or other properties; or
(4)Refusing to provide other assistance in enforcement order by court.
With respect to a unit that commits any of the acts specified in the preceding paragraph, the people's court may impose a fine on the principal leading personnel of the unit or the person directly responsible; and may detain them if they still fail to perform the obligation to provide assistance; and may also make judicial suggestions to the supervisory organ or other relevant organs on imposing a disciplinary sanction on the unit.

[Note:Article 103 is renumbered as Article 114, and item (2) of paragraph 1 is amended to read: “(2) The relevant entity refuses to assist in property inquiry, seizure, freezing, transfer or sale, after receiving a notice of enforcement assistance from the people's court.”]

Article 104 A fine on an individual shall be not more than Renminbi 10, 000 Yuan. A fine on a unit shall be not less than Renminbi 10,000 Yuan and not more than Renminbi 300,000 Yuan.
A detention period shall not be longer than fifteen days.
The people's court shall deliver detainees to a public security organ for custody. The people's court may decide to grant the detainee an early release if he admits and is willing to correct his wrongdoing.

[Note:Article 104 is renumbered as Article 115 and paragraph 1 is amended to read: “The amount of a fine on an individual shall not be more than 100,000 yuan. The amount of a fine on an entity shall not be less than 50,000 yuan but not be more than 1 million yuan.”]

Article 105 Any summons by force, fines, or detentions shall be approved by the president of a people's court.
A warrant shall be issued before carrying out a summon by force.
The rulings of fines and detentions shall be issued in written letter form. If a party does not agree with a decision, he may apply to a people's court at a higher level for reconsideration and the reconsideration can be granted only once. However, the enforcement of the decision shall not be suspended during the time of reconsideration.

Article 106 Any decision on the adoption of compulsory measures against obstruction of civil actions shall be made by the people's court. Any unit or individual pressing a debt payment by unlawfully detaining a person or illegally seizing other people's property shall be investigated for criminal liabilities according to law or may be punished by detention or fine.

CHAPTER 11 Litigation Expenses

Article 107 Any party filing a civil lawsuit shall pay a case handling fee according to relevant regulations. For cases involving property, the party shall pay other litigation expenses, in addition to case handling fee.
Parties who truly have difficulties to pay litigation expenses may, according to relevant regulations, petition the people's court to postpone, reduce, or wave the payment.
Procedures for the payment of litigation expenses shall be formulated separately.

Part TWO Trial Procedure
CHAPTER 12 Ordinary Procedure of First Instance
Section 1 Filing and Accepting Lawsuits

Article 108 The following conditions must be met before a lawsuit is filed:
(1)The plaintiff must be a citizen, legal person, or an organization having a direct interest with the case;
(2)There must be a specific defendant;
(3)There must be a concrete claim, a factual basis, and a cause for the lawsuit; and
(4)The lawsuit must be within the scope of civil lawsuits to be accepted by the people's courts and within the jurisdiction of the people's court to which the lawsuit is filed.

Article 109 When filing a lawsuit, the motion of complaint shall be submitted to the people's court with enough copies of the motion for all members of defendants.
If a plaintiff is truly difficult to write a motion of complaint, he may file his complaint orally, and the court shall record his complain in the transcript and inform the other party.

Article 110 A motion of complaint shall clearly state the following items:
(1)The name, sex, age, ethnicity, occupation, working unit, and address of parties or, if the parties are legal persons or organizations, their names and addresses and the names and positions of their legal representatives or principal leading personnel;
(2)The claims of the lawsuit and the facts and grounds on which the lawsuit is based; and
(3)Evidence and its source, as well as the names and addresses of witnesses.

[Note:Article 110 is renumbered as Article 121, and item (1) is divided into two items as item (1) and item (2) and amended to read:
“(1) the name, gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, employer, domicile and contact methods of the plaintiff; or the name and domicile of a legal person or any other organization and the name, title and contact methods of the legal representative or primary person in charge thereof;
“(2) information on the defendant, including but not limited to name, gender, employer and domicile; and information on a legal person or any other organization, including but not limited to name and domicile.”
One article is added as Article 122: “Where mediation is appropriate for the civil dispute involved in an action instituted by a party in a people's court, mediation shall be conducted first, unless the parties refuse mediation.”]

Article 111 People's courts shall accept the lawsuits filed in conformity with the provisions of Article 108 of this Law. For the lawsuits described below, people's courts shall handle them according to their specific circumstances:
(1)For the cases within the scope of administrative lawsuits according to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Law, the plaintiffs shall be informed to file administrative lawsuits;
(2)For the cases where both parties have voluntarily reached a written agreement according to law to submit their contract disputes to an arbitration agency for an arbitration, no one shall file a lawsuit in a people's court and the plaintiffs shall be notified to submit the disputes to the arbitration agencies for arbitration;
(3)For the disputes which, according to law, should be handled by other organs, the plaintiffs shall be notified to petition the relevant organs for settlement;
(4)For the cases that are not within their jurisdictions, the people's courts shall notify the plaintiffs to bring their lawsuits to the proper people's courts that have the jurisdictions;
(5)Where one side of the parties file lawsuits against the same cases in which their judgments or orders have become legally effective, the people's courts shall notify the plaintiffs to file a grievance instead except those cases in which the orders rendered by the people's courts to allow the lawsuits to be withdrawn;
(6)If cases that are not permitted by law to be filed within a specified period of time are filed during the same period of time, they shall not be accepted by any courts; or
(7)For those divorce cases in which the judgments did not grant divorce or both parties have become reconciled after mediation and for those adoption cases in which the judgments have been given to maintain the adoptive relationship or that have been mediated to maintain the adoptive relationship, if there is no new developments or reasons, the plaintiffs are bared from filing new lawsuits regarding the same cases in six months.

[Note:Article 111 is renumbered as Article 124, in which “A people's court must accept an action instituted under Article 108 of this Law; and handle the following actions according to different circumstances:” is changed into ”A people's court shall handle the following actions according to different circumstances:”
Item (2) is amended to read: “(2) Notifying the plaintiff to apply to an arbitral institution for arbitration, if, in accordance with law, both parties shall apply for arbitration under a written arbitration agreement reached between them and are prohibited from instituting an action in a people's court.”
Item (5) is amended to read: “Notifying the plaintiff to petition for retrial, except for a ruling of a people's court which allows withdrawal of an action, if a party institutes an action again for a case for which a judgment, ruling or consent judgment has come into force.”
Two articles are added as Article 112 and Article 113:
“Article 112 Where the parties, maliciously in collusion, attempt to infringe upon the lawful rights and interests of other persons by litigation, mediation or any other means, a people's court shall dismiss their claims and impose a fine or detention on the parties according to the severity of the circumstances; and if suspected of any crime, they shall be subject to criminal liability in accordance with law.
“Article 113 Where the party against whom enforcement is sought, maliciously in collusion with other persons, evades performance of obligations determined in a legal instrument by litigation, arbitration, mediation or any other means, a people's court shall impose a fine or detention on them according to the severity of the circumstances; and if suspected of any crime, they shall be subject to criminal liability.”]

Article 112 When a people's court receives a motion of complaint or an oral complaint and finds the complaint meets the requirements of a civil lawsuit after reviewing the complaint, the court shall accept the case within seven days and notify the parties involved; if the complaint does not meet the requirements of a civil lawsuit, the court shall, within seven days, make a ruling to reject the complaint. If the plaintiff does not agree with the ruling, he may appeal on the ruling.

[Note:Article 112 is renumbered as Article 123 and amended to read: “A people's court shall protect the right to sue enjoyed by a party in accordance with law. A people's court must accept an action instituted under Article 119 of this Law. A people's court shall, within seven days, docket a case which meets the conditions for instituting an action and notify the party; or issue a ruling within seven days to refuse to accept an action which fails to meet the conditions for instituting an action, and the plaintiff may appeal against the ruling.”]

Section 2 Pretrial Preparation

Article 113 The people's court shall deliver a copy of a motion of complaint to the defendant within five days from its acceptance of a case, and the defendant shall file a motion of defense within 15 days after receiving the copy of the motion of complaint.
If the defendant files a motion of defense, the people's court shall deliver a copy of the motion of defense to the plaintiff within five days after receiving the motion of defense. If the defendant fails to file a motion of defense, it shall not prevent the case from being heard by the people's court.

[Note:Article 113 is renumbered as Article 125 and amended to read: “A people's court shall, within five days after docketing a case, serve a copy of the written complaint on the defendant, and the defendant shall submit a written statement of defense within 15 days after receiving the complaint. The written statement of defense shall state the name, gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, employer, domicile and contact methods of the defendant; or the name and domicile of a legal person or any other organization and the name, title and contact methods of the legal representative or primary person in charge thereof. The people's court shall, within five days after receiving the written statement of defense, serve a copy of it on the plaintiff.
“The defendant's failure to submit a written statement of defense shall not affect the trial of the case by the people's court.”]

Article 114 When a people's court decides to accept a case, the court shall inform the parties orally or in the notice of case acceptance or in the notice of litigation response, with their rights and obligations to the litigation.

Article 115 The parties shall be promptly notified after the members of a collegial bench are decided.

Article 116 The adjudicating personnel shall carefully examine the case materials and carry out investigation and collection of necessary evidence.

Article 117 The personnel sent by a people's court to conduct an investigation shall first show their credentials to the person being investigated. The written record of an investigation shall be checked by the person investigated and then signed or sealed by both the investigator and the investigated.

Article 118 A people's court may, when necessary, entrust a people's court in another locality to conduct an investigation.
The entrusting people's court shall clearly set out the matters and requirements of the entrusted investigation. The entrusted people's court may, on its own initiative, conduct further investigation.
The entrusted people's court shall complete the investigation within 30 days after receiving the letter to entrust the investigation. If for some reasons the entrusted court cannot complete the investigation, it shall notify the entrusting people's court in writing within the 30 days.

Article 119 When a party who must appear in a joint litigation but fails to do so, the people's court shall notify him to participate in the proceeding.

Section 3 Courtroom Trial

Article 120 Civil cases adjudicated by people's courts shall usually be heard publicly, except for the cases that involve state secrets or the private affairs of individuals, or are otherwise provided by law.
A divorce case or a case involving trade secrets may not be heard publicly if a party so requests.

Article 121 When adjudicating civil cases, the people's courts may, whenever necessary and possible, send out circuit tribunals to hold trials on the spot.

Article 122 The people's court shall notify the parties and other participants in a civil case three days before the opening of a court session. If a case is to be heard publicly, the names of the parties, the cause of action, and the time and location of the court session shall be announced publicly.

Article 123 Before a court session is called to order, the court clerk shall find whether or not the parties and other participants of the case are present and announce the rules of court order.
At the beginning of a trial, the presiding judge shall check the identities of parties who appear in court, announce the cause of action and the names of the adjudicating personnel and court clerks, inform the parties of their relevant litigation rights and obligations, and ask the parties whether or not they wish to apply for the withdrawal of any court personnel.

Article 124 Courtroom investigation shall be conducted in the following order:
(1)Opening statements presented by both parties;
(2)Informing the witnesses of their rights and obligations, testimonies given by the witnesses, and reading the statements of absentee witnesses;
(3)Presenting documentary evidence, physical evidence, and audio and visual reference material;
(4)Reading the conclusions of expert witnesses; and
(5)Reading the transcripts of investigation and examination.

[Note: “identification conclusion” in Article 124 is changed into “expert opinion.”
Article 124 is renumbered as Article 138, and item (3) is amended to read: “(3) Documentary evidence, physical evidence, audio-visual recordings, and electronic data are adduced.”]

Article 125 The parties may present new evidence during a court session.
With the permission of the court, the parties may cross-examine witnesses, expert witnesses, and inspectors.
The parties may request a new investigation, expert evaluation, or inspection and such requests are subject to the approval of the people's court.

Article 126 The additional claims of a plaintiff, the counterclaims of a defendant, and the claims of any third-party related to the same case may be combined and tried together.

Article 127 Courtroom debates shall be conducted in the following order:
(1)Opening statement presented by the plaintiff and his litigation representative;
(2)Responding statement presented by the defendant and his litigation representative;
(3)Statements or defending statements presented by third parties and their litigation representatives; and
(4)Debate between the two sides.
At the end of a courtroom debate, the presiding judge shall ask each side to present his final opinions in the order of plaintiff going first, defendant second, and third party last.

Article 128 At the end of a courtroom debate, a judgment shall be made according to law. Where mediation is possible prior to the rendering of a judgment, a session of mediation may be conducted; if mediation proves to be unsuccessful, a judgment shall be made without delay.

Article 129 If a plaintiff who has been served with a legal subpoena from a people's court refuses to appear in court without proper reason, or if he walks out during a court session without the permission of the court, the court may consider the plaintiff has withdrawn his complaint; under these two circumstances, if the defendant files a counterclaim, the court may enter a default judgment.

Article 130 If a defendant who has been served with a legal subpoena from a people's court refuses to appear in court without proper reason, or if he walks out during a court session without the permission of the court, the court may enter a default judgment.

Article 131 If a plaintiff applies to withdraw his complaints before a judgment is pronounces, the people's court shall make a ruling regarding the application.
If a people's court decides to reject an application of withdrawing a complaint and the plaintiff who has been served with a subpoena refuses to appear in court without proper reason, the people's court may enter a default judgment.

Article 132 Under any of the following circumstances, their trail at courtroom may be postponed:
(1)Parties and other litigation participants who must appear in court fail to appear in court without proper reasons;
(2)A party requests the recusal of an adjudicating personnel without an advance notice;
(3)It is necessary to summon new witnesses to court, collect new evidence, make a new expert evaluation, hold another examination, or make a supplementary investigation; or
(4)Their circumstances that warrant the postponement.

[Note:One article is added as Article 133: “A people's court shall handle accepted cases according to different circumstances:
“(1) Initiating the procedure for urging debt repayment at the court's discretion, if the parties are not in dispute and the prescribed conditions are met for initiating the procedure for urging debt repayment.
“(2) Resolving disputes in a timely manner through mediation, if pre-trial mediation is allowed.
“(3) Determining the application of summary procedure or formal procedure according to the circumstances of a case.
“(4) Clarifying the focus of disputes by requiring the parties to exchange evidence and other means, if it is necessary to hold a court session.”]

Article 133 The court clerk shall record the entire court proceedings into a transcript and the transcript shall be signed by the adjudicating personnel and the court clerk.
The courtroom transcript shall be read out in court or the parties and other litigation participants may be notified to read the transcript while in court or come to court to read the transcript within five days. If a party or other litigation participants consider that there are omissions or errors in the transcript regarding their statements, they shall have the right to apply for additions or corrections. If such additions or corrections are not made, their application shall be recorded into the case file.
The courtroom transcript shall be signed or sealed by the parties and other litigation participants. If there is any refusal to do so, the refusal shall be recorded in a note to be attached to the file.

Article 134 People's courts shall publicly pronounce their judgments in all case regardless if the cases were tried publicly or privately.
If a judgment is pronounced in court, the written judgment shall be issued and delivered within ten days; if a judgment is pronounced later on a fixed date, the written judgment shall be issued immediately after the pronouncement.
Upon pronouncement of a judgment, the parties must be informed of their right of appeal, the time limit for appeal, and the court to which they may appeal.
Upon pronouncement of a divorce judgment, the parties must be informed that none of them can marry another person before the judgment takes legal effect.

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