Lawsuits spike after rules eased

Updated: 2015-06-10 07:39

By Zhang Yi(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

90% of cases in May were filed in courts immediately, says spokesman

The number of lawsuits filed in May jumped by nearly 30 percent across the country compared with the same period last year, after a new litigation policy eased rules for filing complaints in courts.

Sun Jungong, spokesman for the Supreme People's Court, said that as of May 1, courts at all levels are strictly prohibited from declining to take a case when the action meets legal criteria.

He said the top court has intensified its efforts to protect litigation rights of individuals and entities by specifying the procedures for filing a case in a court.

"The move is part of the campaign of advancing the rule of law," he said.

"A court is not allowed to refuse to receive the indictment of a case, and it must issue a voucher of receipt to the plaintiff with the date on it when it receives any material from litigators," he said.

"Then the court must approve the filing if the indictment and other materials of the case are up to legal requirements," Sun said.

"The court has to give the plaintiff a proper cause if it decides not to file the case. If the court is not able to make a decision in the date required by law, it must approve the filing of the case," he said.

Courts have no right to refuse filing a case on the ground that the plaintiff didn't pay court fees, he added.

Before the new policy, courts had the right to deliberate on the cause of a lawsuit and reject a complaint without a hearing.

Under the new policy, if an indictment or other materials of a case are not up to the standards of litigation, the court must inform litigators in a written notice of the requirements for filing a case and ask them to hand in what is required by a certain date. If they fail to do so, the court has to issue a notice of objection to filing the case and stipulate the reasons.

Sun said that 90 percent of the cases in May were filed in courts immediately after the litigators handed in their materials.

Cases that were not able to be filed mostly involved indictments and relevant materials that failed to meet the legal requirements.

According to the top court, the lawsuits filed against government administrations increased 221 percent nationwide in May compared with the same period last year. Such cases in Tianjian this May were seven times that of May last year and five times more than last year in Shanghai and Shanxi province.

To better regulate the courts' practices on filing a case, the top court sent teams to oversee the procedure of filing cases in 10 cities and regions in May and solicited opinions from lawyers and other litigators.

Gu Weiqiang, vice-president of the top court in Shanghai, said that cases filed in the city increased by 20 percent in May, and that nearly 98 percent of the cases were filed in the courts immediately after the materials were handed in.

"We are exploring more channels to provide convenience for people," Gu said.