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CYPRUS: ESTABLISHING JURISDICTION OF CYPRUS COURTS

Cyprus is a Member State of EU and since its accession is bound by the EU Regulation 44/2001, on Jurisdiction, Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (“Brussels I”). 

Rules of Jurisdiction

The basic principle, is that jurisdiction is to be exercised by the Court of the EU State, in which the defendant is domiciled, regardless of his/her nationality. Domicile of a person is determined, in accordance with the domestic law of the EU Country, where the matter has been raised, before a Court. 

Suing the Defendant in another Member State.
 
Except from the above basic principle on jurisdiction, in certain circumstances, a defendant may be sued in the Court, of another Member State of EU. 
 
Such circumstances include inter alia: 
 

          a) Instances of special jurisdiction:

                    i. Matters relating to contract: there is a general rule, that the matters shall be dealt with by the Courts of the place of performance of the obligation in question; 

                   ii. Matters relating to maintenance: there is a general rule, that the matters shall be brought before the Court, of the place of residency of the maintenance creditor. 

                  iii. Matters relating to liability from wrongful acts (i.e. torts): there is a general rule, that the matters shall be decided by the Courts of the place, where the harmful act occurred, or may occur.

          b) Exclusive Jurisdiction:

                    i. Rights in rem in immovable property or tenancies in immovable property: the Courts of the EU Countries where the property is situated. 

                   ii. The validity of the constitution, the nullity or the dissolution of companies or other legal persons or of the validity of the decisions of their organs: the Courts of the EU Country, in which the legal person has its legal seat; 

                  iii. The validity of entries in public register: the Courts of the EU Country in which the register is kept; 

                  iv. The registration of patents, trademarks, designs or other similar rights: the Courts of the EU Country, in which the registration has been, applied for or taken place etc.

                    v. The enforcement of judgment: the Courts of EU Country, in which the judgment has been, or is to be enforced.

          c) Jurisdiction Clauses:

                     If the parties have entered into a choice of jurisdiction agreement, the agreed Court will have jurisdiction.

      d) Article 6: Jurisdiction in cases of multiple defendants:

          A person domiciles in a Member State of EU, may also be sued, where one of a number of defendants is, in the Court of the place, where any one of them is domiciled, provided that the claims are so closely connected, that it is expedient to hear and determine them together, to avoid the issue of irreconcilable judgments resulting from separate proceedings.

     Decision of European Court of Justice in OWUSU -v- JAKSON.

          In the above landmark decision the European Court of Justice, decided that the Courts of a Member State, have jurisdiction to adjudicate on a cases -(i.e. regardless whether the said Courts are the convenient to adjudicate on the case)- if at least one of the substantive defendants, is residing within the jurisdiction of the Courts of the Member State, even if all the other defendants reside overseas, and outside EU, but provided that the foreign resident defendants have been joined to the action filed against the local defendant, as necessary parties to the said action, and the claims of the claimant against the local defendants, are interconnected with the claims of the claimant against the foreign defendants, and both such claims are based on the same facts.

For further information on this topic please contact Mr. Soteris Pittas at SOTERIS PITTAS & CO LLC, by telephone (+357 25 028460)

or by fax (+357 25 028461) or by e-mail (spittas@pittaslegal.com).

 
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advise should be sought about your specific circumstances.