Bridge over Barrier, Judicial Services Continue during Epidemic Control, Haikou Maritime Court Facilitates Settlement among Parties via "Internet Trial"
During the COVID-19 epidemic control, Haikou Maritime Court views the epidemic control and the case handling as equally important. Given the severe epidemic, the Court strictly followed the quarantine measures, while continuing resolving disputes with the help of information technology. On February 14 morning, the Judges of Haikou Maritime Court, using the internet trial system, successfully facilitated a settlement among parties based in three different locations. It has laid the foundation for a satisfactory result of this enforcement case.
An asset management company in Hainan applied with the Haikou Maritime Court for compulsory enforcement, on the basis that 9 respondents, including a company in Yangzhou and others, did not fulfill the obligation affirmed in the effective judgment. On February 12, Haikou Maritime Court handled case docketing for the enforcement application according to law. The case was accepted at the key stage of the COVID-19 epidemic control. Upon acceptance of the case, the handling judge immediately issued enforcement notices and property declaration orders to the respondents. At the same time, the judge started property investigation towards the respondents via the internet. The judges also carefully studied the case and discussed on possible enforcement approaches.
As the case involved a subject matter in a huge amount and various respondents, including both legal and natural persons based in different locations such as Yangzhou of Jiangsu, Shenzhen of Guangdong and Shanghai, the judges communicated with the parties via telephone. They found that the applicant and the respondents all think it is acceptable to settle the case. Considering the big picture of epidemic control, in order to properly resolve the dispute without worsening the COVID-19 outbreak, the judges decided to handle the case “on air” via the Internet Trial System. The case handlers first sought the parties’ agreement on an internet trial, then immediately started to prepare for it. They contacted technicians for equipment commissioning. On the other hand, they coordinated with the parties, guiding them through the installment of the internet trial system as well as the registration and login of a user’s account. The case handlers also helped the parties to get familiar with the processes, details and operations of the system.
As the video trial commenced, the handling judge checked the identification of the parties and their agents ad litem, as well as the power of attorneys. Based on previous communication with the parties and as organized by the judge, the trial went on as the respondents explained their plans for fulfilling the enforcement, while the applicant mentioned their concerns over the case. The judge led the parties to negotiate on a cooperative win-win perspective. Under the coordination of the Court, the parties patiently communicated with one another and finally reached an enforcement settlement on the amount, the plan and the approach for the repayment. The parties then signed the enforcement transcript electronically via the internet trial system.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak occurred, Haikou Maritime Court have been actively responding to the call of the Party Central Committee, the State Council, the Supreme Court, the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial Government and the Higher Court of the Province to strictly follow relevant decisions and implement corresponding arrangements. While taking measures for the COVID-19 epidemic control, Haikou Maritime Court continued exploring feasible approaches to deliver trial and enforcement services during such a special time so as to effectively protect the lawful rights of the parties of any case. The internet trial system allowed the Court and the parties to connect to a video trial right at their own location and successfully facilitated the parties’ settlement. Haikou Maritime Court adopted such creative and effective approach to provide judicial services to the people, which is a powerful solution to the difficulty faced by judicial enforcements during the control of the severe epidemic.