Upon the Chairman of Dubai Judicial Council issued the Resolution No. ( 6 ) of 2022 for establishing The Special Court of Inheritance, Dubai Judicial Institute announced holding an open meeting with His Excellency Judge / Mohammed Jassim Al Shamsi, Head of The Special Court of Inheritance, under the title “Procedures and Jurisdiction of The Special Court of Inheritance” on 09/01/2022 and 09/13/2022 via ” Microsoft Team “ where Lawyers and Legal Consultants were invited to join this meeting
The meeting explained the reasons of establishing the Court of Inheritance, the formalities of filing cases, and related provisions and controls.
Here is a comprehensive summary on the important conditions and procedures to be followed before the Court of Inheritance, in order to achieve the maximum benefit from the purpose of its establishment.
The Inception of the court
The Special Court of Inheritance in Dubai was established on 01/09/2022 to be one of the special courts provided for in Article ( 30 ) bis ( 2 ) of the Federal Civil Procedures Law No. ( 11 ) of 1992 and its amendments, whose works and procedures was regulated by Section ( 9 ) of Chapter ( 2 ) of Executive Regulations of Federal Civil Procedures Law No. ( 57 ) of 2018 and its amendments. Through those special courts the state aims at achieving prompt justice and keep abreast of new cases that require to be considered by expertise and experienced judges.
The Special Court of Inheritance is competent to consider all disputes related to inheritance whose value is not less than the quorum of the Court of Cassation (AED 500,000), which arises after establishment of the court, including disputes arise of inheritance files in deliberation before the Personal Status Court before the inception of the Special Court of Inheritance.
Judges of the Special Court of Inheritance have been selected from the experienced judges of different judicial departments in civil, commercial, real estate and personal status courts, to be supervise the court in its beginning.
Inheritance File, and Inheritance Case
Personal Status court maintains its jurisdiction on all Inheritance Files in the first place. The inheritance settlement formalities start by filing inheritance case before Personal Status Court, as per adopted by Dubai Courts. where, the inheritance Judge in Personal Status Court is in charge for the settlements and formalities of the entire file.
In case there is a dispute related to the inheritance, and it is failed to be settled amicably between the parties, the Inheritance Judge shall refer the dispute to the Special Court of Inheritance, provided that the case falls within its jurisdiction. Then, the Preparation Judge at the Special Court of Inheritance proceeds the required formalities before referring the case to the competent judicial department.
The Preparation Judge
The Preparation Judge at the Special Court of Inheritance is concerned with reviewing the file and proposing an amicable settlement to the dispute parties. In case a settlement has been reached, the preparation judge shall draft a settlement agreement to be signed by parties then to be authenticated. The agreement shall have the same executive powers as the writ of execution.
The preparation judge has same powers and responsibilities of the inheritance judge and may as well issue the necessary decisions in this regard, such as appointing a guardian of the inheritance or dividing the inheritance among the heirs.
In addition, the preparation judge shall be also responsible for registering cases, determine their fees, and managing them before the court with the same powers and responsibilities as the Supervising Judge and Case Manager.
Provided that, the case shall not be referred to a judicial circuit which none of its members undertook the competent preparatory or management works.
Filing Inheritance Cases before The Special Court of Inheritance
- By a written agreement between parties.
- Referral by the Inheritance Judge at the Personal Status Court.
- Referral by one of the Special judicial departments.
Substantive Division of Inheritance Cases
Cases referred to the Special Court of Inheritance are substantively divided according to reason and subject of each dispute, as follows : –
- Personal Status Cases related to Inheritance
- Civil Cases related to Inheritance
- Commercial Cases related to Inheritance
- Real estate Cases related to Inheritance
Note: Special Court of Inheritance does not have jurisdiction over cases related to assets which no longer included in the inheritance.
Ratione Materiae and Case-Value Jurisdiction of Special Court of Inheritance
The Special Court of Inheritance has exclusive jurisdiction for Cases with an estimated value not less than the quorum of the Court of Cassation which is AED 500,000. Its scope can be defined as the cases in which the judgment entails: –
- Adding or Removing money or assets of the inheritance.
- Adding or removing a person of the inheritance.
- Dividing the inheritance between the heirs.
Cases referred to one of another special court are excluded from the jurisdiction of the Special Court of Inheritance.
The court shall have jurisdiction over inheritance lawsuits related to Muslims and non-Muslims, except in the event that the non-Muslim registered their will in (DIFC), then the dispute arising out of the same shall be subject to the regulations applicable at the center.
Territorial Jurisdiction of The Special Court of Inheritance
Territorial Jurisdiction of The Special Court of Inheritance is regulated by Paragraph ( 3 ) of Article ( 9 ) of Personal Status Law No. ( 28 ) of 2005 and its amendments, which is determined according to the last domicile, residence or workplace of the deceased in any of the emirates. In case the deceased did not have any of the previous places in the state, the jurisdiction shall be to the court where one of the deceased’s properties is located.
In addition, It is also subject to the local jurisdiction stipulated in Article ( 34 ) of the Civil Procedures Law No. ( 11 ), according to which the jurisdiction in Inheritance Division cases is held to the court where last domicile of the deceased.
Legal Effect of The Special Court of Inheritance
A judgement rendered by the Special Court of Inheritance is deemed final, and cannot be appealed except by :
- A petition of Reconsideration
- Rescinding the judgement, according to Article No. ( 187 ) of the Federal Civil Procedures Law.
Fees for Cases before the Special Court of Inheritance
The preparation judge shall be responsible for determining the fees of the cases before being referred to the competent judicial department. The competent judicial department may reconsider the fee if required during the case proceeding. The fees are determined according to the Substantive Division of Inheritance Cases.
In other words, in the event the preparation judge decides the dispute to be registered as a civil case related to the Inheritance, its fees shall be determined as same as the civil cases fees filed before Dubai Courts and in accordance with the provisions of Law No. ( 21 ) of 2015 regarding judicial fees in Dubai Courts and its amendments., and if the case is registered as a personal status case related to inheritance, then it is subject to the same fees as personal status cases.
Prepared by/ Mr. Mohamed Samaha
Abdullatif Aljassmi Advocates and Legal Consultants
21 Sep 2022