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Legal Procedures in Aruba: Summary proceedings and sale of pledged property

Legal Procedures in Aruba: Summary proceedings and sale of pledged property

Introduction

The Court of First Instance of Aruba, in summary, proceedings (in Dutch: kortgeding), can grant various interim measures to relieve parties involved in a legal dispute temporarily. These measures can include, for example, an order for the preservation of evidence, an order for the payment of an outstanding debt, an order for the eviction of a tenant, or an order for the sale of a pledged property. The specific type of measure granted will depend on the case’s nature, and the parties involved’s circumstances. When deciding whether to grant an interim measure, the judge will consider factors such as the situation’s urgency, the likelihood of success in the main proceedings, and the balance of interests between the parties. A decision in summary proceedings from the Court of First Instance of Aruba can usually be obtained in four to six weeks. In exceptional cases, an order can be issued on the same day, but consider this “same day service” as the exception, not the rule.

Sale of pledged property 

Under certain circumstances, the Court of First Instance of Aruba may authorize the sale of a pledged property before a final judgment is issued. A creditor holds a property’s pledge or security interest, and the debtor defaults on their debt. The creditor can request permission to sell the pledged property by filing a summary proceeding. In summary proceedings, the Court will examine the evidence and decide if the conditions are met. If it determines that the conditions are met, the Court may issue an order authorizing the sale of the pledged property at a public auction. The proceeds from the sale will be used by the creditor to pay the remaining debt.

Procedure:

The following is a general overview of the procedure to be followed in a summary proceeding in Aruba:

  1. Filing of a request: The party seeking the interim measure must file a written request for summary proceedings with the court. The request must include a description of the claim, the interim measure sought, and the grounds for the claim.
  2. Notice: The court will issue a notice to the opposing party, informing them of the request and providing an opportunity to respond.
  3. Hearing: A hearing will be held where both parties can present their case to the judge. The judge may request additional information or evidence from either party.
  4. Decision: The judge will decide on the request, granting or denying the interim measure sought. If the interim measure is granted, the judge will issue an order outlining the terms of the interim measure.
  5. Enforcement: If the interim measure is granted, the party seeking the interim measure may need to take further steps to enforce the order, such as arranging for the sale of a pledged property.

I want to let you know that the specific procedure for summary proceedings may vary depending on the nature of the claim.

Appeal

Parties can appeal to the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba (“Joint Court”). The Joint Court will review the facts and circumstances of the case to determine whether the Court of First Instance of Aruba made any errors of law or fact in their decision. An appeal must be filed within a certain period, which is relatively short. Obtaining a decision from the Joint Court can take several months to over a year.

Supreme Court

Following a decision by the Joint Court, parties in Aruba can appeal to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal in the Netherlands, and it has jurisdiction over certain civil, criminal, and tax matters, including those arising in Aruba. However, the Supreme Court only hears cases on appeal in limited circumstances, such as when important legal questions are at issue or when the lower courts have issued conflicting decisions.

Caveat

It is important to note that the appeals process of summary proceedings in Aruba can be complex and may require the assistance of a qualified attorney. An attorney can advise on the specific procedures and requirements for appeal in a particular case and can assist with preparing and filing the necessary documents.

Gomez Coffie’s litigation team is ready, willing, and able to assist you.

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