ORDINARY ADVERSARIAL VERSUS SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS IN THE DUTCH CARIBBEAN

The court only considers the key issues

According to Article 110 and 111 of the Netherlands Antilles Code of Civil Proceedings (NACCP), all adversarial proceedings shall be initiated by means of a petition to the Court of First Instance. Proceedings so initiated are ordinary proceedings, unless the petitioner expressly opts for preliminary relief proceedings (kort geding) under article 226 NACCP. This article provides that in urgent cases which require an immediate decision the plaintiff may request a provisional decision (beslissing bij voorraad).

Article 229 NACCP provides that a provisional decision rendered as a result of this special type of proceeding shall not impact the ‘principal case’, leaving both parties free to commence ordinary proceedings regarding the same matter and that the Court shall not be bound in such proceedings by the provisional decision. In preliminary relief proceedings, the defendant is summoned to appear at a court hearing (art. 226(2) NACCP) and both parties are limited to only presenting their case in that court session.

Generally speaking and compared to the practice in many other jurisdictions, Netherlands Antilles judgments in ordinary proceedings have a tendency to be quite brief. The brevity of such judgments should not be taken as an indication that the judgments are of a temporary or summary nature only. In many cases the nature of the claims brought by the plaintiffs simply require the Court to only to consider a limited number of key issues.

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

(10 April 2010)

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