It is relatively easy to represent yourself before Ethiopian courts in certain cases. The most important thing is to get your submission forms right. There are little technical oral arguments. We have selected few but frequent areas that need minimum lawyer assitance. If you want to do it follow the tab.
1. collect the evidence
If you have a bounced check and want to get the amount of money indicated on the check paid and bring an action before a court, the first thing that you have to do before anything is collect your evidence. The following are important piece of evidence:
a. The check
b. Bank statement
c. Background contract if any
2. Decide where to bring the action
Decide where to bring the action or in other words you have to think about jurisdiction. For instance if the parties are in Addis Ababa and
a. If the amount you claim is less than Birr 500,000 the case should be brought before Federal first instance court (Lideta)
b. If the amount is more than Birr 500,000 then Federal high court (Lideta)
3. Decide on the procedure
Once you have decided where to bring the action, then you have two options to proceed with the case
a. Ordinary procedure
b. Summary procedure
4. Ordinary procedure
Under the ordinary procedure the defendant is permitted to present a defense and there is high likelihood that the case will be delayed. Under the ordinary procedure the defendant is allowed to
a. Reply to the claim in writing
b. Present oral argument
c. Present evidence
5. Summary procedure
If you opt for the summary procedure then there is high likelihood that the case be resolved quickly. In summary proceeding:
a. The defendant has to show that he has reason to defend the claim
b. If he does not appear and contest or appear and his reasons to defend are fond to be unsatisfactory by the court and then the court render judgment
c. If the defendant is allowed to defend the proceeding is the same as the ordinary procedure.
6. Download statement of claim
Download the statement of claim from here if you want to present the case under the summary procedure.
Liquidation of Succession
Collect death certificate of the deceased if there is any, power of attorney of other heirs if there are any, and decide on witness list.
Decide where to file the application
Certificate of inheritance are processed before lower level courts. For instance, if the deceased died in Addis Ababa, the Addis Ababa City first instance court shall have the power. There are city courts in each sub cities (Arada, Kirkos, etc). So you have to submit the application to respective court where the deceased has his last address.
The procedure has been simplified in the past three years. Though you list down witnesses the court does not ask you to hear them. What you have to do is present the application with affidavit and you will get your certificate of inheritance the same day.
Download the application
Please download the application from here.
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Lawyer Deadline 03.27.2015