LITIGATION IS A SKILLED PROFESSION (part 4)

Statement of Defense

As the defending party you have to put up a defense (Statement of Defense) and in this regard this statement should not only be clear and complete but you should also know for instance what formal defenses you should advance. With regard to the latter for instance the plea of limitation of action comes to mind. In many cases the period of limitation of action (verjaring) is five years but sometimes it is a much shorter period. The short period of limitation of six months applies to the annulment of a resolution of a legal entity registered in Curacao (vervaltermijn).

Say that the plaintiff is established abroad, under certain circumstances you can ask the court to let that plaintiff furnish security for the court fees. A defendant must also consider whether or not to bring a counterclaim (eis in reconventie). Both parties must think about the question of whether (and if so which) witnesses ought to be examined or whether an expert might have to be engaged.

Say you are the defendant but for any reason whatsoever you did not enter an appearance and did not put up a defense. You then failed to appear. In that case a default judgment (verstekvonnis) will be pronounced and in most cases the claim of the plaintiff will be awarded. When the default judgment is served on you, for instance because the bailiff has served it on you, you have two weeks to lodge an objection (verzet). This notice of objection is not lodged with the Joint Court of Appeal (Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie) but with the Court of First Instance that pronounced the judgment. (To be continued)

Karel Frielink
Attorney (Lawyer) / Partner

(17 May 2013)

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