Sui Zhong Fa  No.103
Notice of Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court on Issuing the Detailed Rules of Courts in Guangzhou for Implementation of Improving the Small Claims Procedure
To all primary courts and all departments of this Court,
In order to implement theDecision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Authorizing the Supreme People's Court to Carry Out the Pilot Program of the Reform of Separation between Complicated Cases and Simple Ones under Civil Procedure in Some Areas and the Measures for the Implementation of the Pilot Program of the Reform of Separation between Complicated Cases and Simple Ones under Civil Procedureof the Supreme People's Court, further scientifically allocate judicial resources, improve the small claims procedure, promote judicial justice, improve judicial efficiency, and meet the diverse judicial needs of the people, these detailed rules are hereby formulated in light of the court trial practice in Guangzhou. These detailed rules have been discussed and adopted by the Judicial Committee of this Court on April 7, 2020 and approved by Guangdong Higher People's Court on June 1, 2020, and are hereby issued to you, please implement them carefully. Please promptly report any new situation or new problem encountered during the implementation to the Office of the Leading Group for Pilot Program of the Reform of Civil Litigation System of Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court.
Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court
June 17, 2020
Detailed Rules ofGuangzhou Courtsfor Implementation of Improving the Small Claims Procedure
In order to actively and steadily promote the pilot program of the reform of separation between complicated cases and simple ones under civil procedure, improve the small claims procedure, further scientifically allocate judicial resources, promote judicial justice, improve judicial efficiency, and meet the diverse judicial needs of the people, in accordance with the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Authorizing the Supreme People's Court to Carry Out the Pilot Program of the Reform of Separation between Complicated Cases and Simple Ones under Civil Procedure in Some Areas and the Measures for the Implementation of the Pilot Program of the Reform of Separation between Complicated Cases and Simple Ones under Civil Procedureof the Supreme People's Court, these detailed rules are hereby formulated in light of the trial practice.
1.The pilot program of the small claims procedure shall, with the aim of reforming according to law, putting the protection of litigation rights in place, and providing convenient and efficient procedures, implement the identification and filing rules for the small claims cases of filing the cases first and screening them later, actively innovate the ''Principle of Two Conveniences'', promote rational allocation of limited judicial resources and the growing judicial needs of the people, and comprehensively improve the quality and efficiency of justice.
2.After accepting a case, the filing department of the primary court shall indicate on paper and electronic materials for filing the procedure applicable to the trial of the case, so as to remind the presiding judge to correctly perform the procedural obligations and the parties to correctly exercise their litigation rights according to law under reasonable procedural expectations.
If the procedure is changed according to the regulations during the trial, such change shall also be made on the paper file and electronic file materials in a timely manner.
3.For a case that the claim of its plaintiff is monetary payment, and its subject matter amount is less than RMB 50,000, it shall be filed as a small claims case, and the small claims procedure shall be applied first. When reviewing the filing of a case, the small claims procedure shall not be disallowed for the following reasons:
(1)The case is a joint lawsuit with either party or both parties involving more than two persons or the plaintiff also lists a third party in the lawsuit, and it is believed that the rights and obligations relationship may be complicated, except the number of person of either party is more than ten;
(2)The plaintiff raises many claims and submitted much evidence, and it is believed that it may be difficult to determine the facts.
4.The following cases are not subject to the small claims procedure:
(1)Cases involving national interests or public interests;
(2)Cases involving mass disputes that may affect social stability;
(3)Cases that have a large social impact and are of general concern to the people;
(4)Cases that are new types or difficult and complicated;
(5)Cases that may conflict with the effective judgments of similar cases made by this Court or a higher court;
(6)Cases that are remanded for new retrial, subject to trial supervision procedures or revoking the judgment by the third party;
(7)Cases involving personal relationships;
(8)Cases involving disputes over the confirmation of ownership, possession, security real rights, and usufructuary rights;
(9)Civil cases involving Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan or foreign affairs;
(10)Cases that require evaluation, appraisal or announcement;
(11)Cases of enforcement objections;
(12)Cases of medical disputes;
(13)Cases of disputes over construction projects;
(14)Other cases in which small claims procedure is deemed inappropriate after the formal review of the filing of the case.
5.If, after reviewing the filing of a case, it is decided that the small claims procedure shall be applied to hear the case, after randomly assigning a sole judge, the filing department may not schedule the date of hearing and the court.
The primary courts may set up a special trial team for the trial of small claims procedure in light of the situation.
6.For a case applying the small claims procedure, the sole judge shall be responsible for the summons of the parties, service and exchange of litigation documents and other preparatory work before the hearing. On the premise of not detracting from the litigation rights of the parties, the trial shall be simple, fast and centralized.
A case applying the small claims procedure shall be concluded within two months from the date of filing. If there are special circumstances that require extension, it may be extended for one month with the approval of the president of this Court.
7. The summons of the parties shall try to use electronic communication tools such as the telephone, SMS of mobile phone, WeChat platform, fax, or e-mail, which can ensure that such summons can be received by the parties, and a record of the summons shall be made carefully.
8. The sole judge shall serve the parties at one time with the Notice of Acceptance, the Notice of Litigation Risks, the Notice of Response, the Instructions for Small Claims Procedure and other litigation documents, determine the defense period, time limit for producing evidence and the date of hearing, and arrange the parties to sign and submit the necessary documents such as the Confirmation forAddress of Service and Method of Service and the Power of Attorney.
9. Where the small claims procedure is applied, if the parties expressly waive the time limit for defense and producing evidence after the sole judge gives full clarification, the sole judge may hear the case immediately or on a fixed date.
If theparties do not waive the time limit for defense and producing evidence, the defense period and the time limit for producing evidence shall be calculated separately, and each shall not exceed seven days.
10.For a case filed for the summary procedure, if it is a simple monetary payment case with the subject matter amount more than RMB 50,000 but less than RMB100,000, the parties may be actively consulted before hearing whether they agree to apply the small claims procedure. If the parties agree, it may be changed into the small claims procedure.
11.For a case applying the small claims procedure, if one of the following circumstances is found during the service and hearing, it shall be changed into the summary procedure through an oral ruling:
(1)Cases that require evaluation, appraisal, or disagree with the pre-litigation evaluation or appraisal results;
(2)The whereabouts of either party is unknown;
(3)The parties raising an objection to the application of the small claims procedure, and the objection is valid after review;
(4)The parties apply for increasing or changing the claims, or adding the parties to the case, resulting in the subject matter amount of the case more than RMB50,000 but less than RMB100,000, and either party disagrees to continue the small claims procedure;
(5)The parties apply for increasing or changing the claims, or adding the parties to the case, resulting in the subject matter amount of the case more than RMB100,000;
(6)Either party files a counterclaim;
(7)The cause of the change of circumstances involved;
(8)Model litigation cases;
(9)Other circumstances that it is inappropriate to continue to apply the small claims procedure.
12.In the following circumstances, cases applying small claims procedure, and cases that are changed from small claims procedure into summary procedure, may be changed into the ordinary procedure through oral ruling:
(1)There is a possibility of false litigation in the case;
(2)The civil litigation acts are seriously illegal and it is necessary to decide whether to impose civil sanctions or transfer the case to the investigative agency;
(3)Other difficult and complicated situations are found during the trial, and it is not appropriate to continue to apply the small claims procedure or the summary procedure.
13.If the procedure is changed through oral ruling, it shall ensure that the record of the announcement is complete. If the ordinary procedure adopts the collegiate panel, the parties shall be notified of the members of the collegiate panel and their opinions shall be consulted.
14.If the small claims procedure is changed into the summary procedure, the sole judge may rule for the change in court. The ongoing procedure may not be interrupted and the case shall continue to be heard. If the small claims procedure or the summary procedure is changed into the ordinary procedure, it shall be reported to the division head of the court for approval.
If the small claims procedure ischanged into the summary procedure or a sole judge trial of the ordinary procedure, the court may not hold a hearing with consent of the parties; if the trial is changed into a collegiate trial of the ordinary procedure, the court shall hold a hearing again.
15.If the parties have an objection to the application of the small claims procedure, but the reason is only that it deprives their rights to appeal or other reasons, which are untenable, it shall be dismissed orally or in writing. If the plaintiff refuses to appear in court or withdraws from the court midway, the case shall be dealt with as withdrawn; if the defendant refuses to appear in court, or withdraws from the court midway, it shall be dealt with as a trial by default.
16.If either party has an objection to the change of the small claims procedure, and the reason for the objection is untenable, it shall be dismissed by oral notification. If such party refuses to appear in court and withdraws from the court midway, it shall be dealt with in accordance with the preceding article.
17.If the defendant raises an objection to the jurisdiction of the small claims case in the defense period, it does not certainly trigger the rescheduling or cancellation of the hearing. Through a written review, if the reasons for the objection are untenable, it shall be dismissed through oral ruling, and the defendant shall be informed that the hearing shall not be rescheduled. If the reasons for the objection are tenable, a written ruling shall be made to transfer the case.
18.In case the court holds a hearing in small claims procedure, if the conditions are met, audio and video recordings shall be made in the entire process, and the audio and video materials shall be attached to the file in time to ensure that the court trial procedure is simple and convenient, the links and the simplified contents of the adjudicative documents are well documented.
Hearinga small claims case is not restricted by the trial procedure. The sole judge may direct the trial directly around the plaintiff's claims or the focus of the disputes, try to conclude the trial at one time, make adjudication in court and briefly explain the grounds for the adjudication. If it is really necessary to hold another hearing, it shall be limited to two times.
For judgment pronounced in court,except the parties require serving by post in court, the primary court shall inform the parties of the time and the address for receive adjudicative documents, and the time for applying for the enforcement. Parties who do not receive adjudicative documents within time limit shall be seemed as being served.
19.For a case applying the small claims procedure, its adjudicative documents may indicate no evidence producing, cross-examination, statement, debate, dispute focus and others of the parties, but indicate the basic information of the parties, cause of the case, trial process, claims of the plaintiff, the application procedure of the case, the facts ascertained by the court, the brief reason for adjudication, the grounds for the adjudication, main text of the adjudication, the burden of litigation costs, and the notice of the first instance and the final trial.
20.For a case applying the small claims procedure to hear, it shall state in the trial process part in the adjudicative document that the small claims procedure shall be applicable to this case in accordance with the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Authorizing the Supreme People's Court to Carry Out the Pilot Program of the Reform of Separation between Complicated Cases and Simple Ones under Civil Procedure in Some Areas.
21.If for a judgment, or a ruling for dismissing an objection to the jurisdiction or a lawsuit made by application of the small claims procedure, the parties insist on appeal or file an appeal based on the wrong litigation rights instruction, they shall be notified that there is no right of appeal. If the case has been filed, it shall be ruled to terminate the lawsuit.
22.The trial administration departments of the primary courts shall conduct statistics on the application of small claims procedure quarterly, and the trial administration department of Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court shall circulate the application of small claims procedure in primary courts in this municipality quarterly.