There is no doubt that the most critical element determining the outcome of a case is the evidence submitted to the court. In this article, we will focus on the legal consequences of failing to submit a petition of response, which, within the framework of the relevant legislation and recent precedents, may directly affect the right to submit evidence to a court.
The current Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) no. 6100, which abrogated Law no. 1086 on Civil Procedure, entered into force on 1 October 2011. With the enactment of the CCP, civil procedure provisions have been substantially amended, with the aim to provide a faster and safer judgment process in conformity with the right to a fair trial.
Time limits for submitting the petition for response under CCP
According to the CCP, a respondent may submit a petition for response within two weeks from the delivery of a lawsuit petition. However, if the submission of the response petition within such period is difficult or impossible, a time extension (not exceeding one month) may be granted by the court upon the timely request of the respondent (Art. 127).
Comparing CCP to Law no. 1086 with respect to the legal consequences of failing to submit the petition of response in due course of time
Pursuant to the CCP, a respondent who fails to submit a petition of response within due course of time is deemed to deny all arguments stated in the lawsuit petition (Art. 128).
The above-mentioned assumption was also applicable when Law no. 1086 was in effect, and a respondent who failed to submit the response petition in due course had the opportunity to submit new evidence, however only within the scope of denial.
Unlike Law no. 1086, the CCP has introduced a provision (Article 145) that expressly states that submitting evidence after the expiration of the statutory period is prohibited.
In principle, the statutory period for the parties to submit evidence expires upon the completion of the exchange of petitions, and after this stage, submission of evidence is limited to the materialisation of exceptional circumstances as stated in Article 141 (extension and change of the claim and argument) and Article 145 (late submission of evidence).
According to recent precedents, if a respondent fails to submit a petition of response within the statutory period, the request to submit evidence after this deadline should be rejected by the court, as it is legally not possible for the parties to be granted a time extension to submit evidence after the expiration of the statutory period.
Considering the recent decisions of the Supreme Court Assembly of Civil Chambers, submitting evidence during the course of the exchange of petitions is vital in order not to forfeit the right to submit evidence relating to a lawsuit.