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The purpose of these Rules is to facilitate the just and expeditious resolution of the real issues in civil proceedings at a minimal expense. Accordingly, the Rules are designed to promote a just determination of every civil proceeding without undue delay, expense and technicality and to facilitate the amicable resolution of dispute by use of Alternative Dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism. They shall be construed to secure simplicity in procedure, fairness in administration, efficient and speedy dispensation of justice. Thus, in every proceeding in a Court, a party impliedly undertakes to the Court and to the other parties to proceed in an expeditious way. The Court may dismiss a proceeding or impose a sanction as to costs, if, in breach of the implied undertaking, a party fails to proceed as required by these Rules or on order of the Court.
Parties and their Counsel shall cooperate with the Court to further the overriding objectives of these Rules as stated in Order 2.
ORDR 1: CITATION AND INTERPRETATION
These Rules shall be cited as the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019.
(1) These Rules shall be interpreted in accordance with the Interpretation Laws for the time being in force in Lagos State.
(2) Where in these Rules, Written Statements on Oath and Affidavits are required to be made, if the deponent does not understand English Language such Written Statement on Oath or Affidavit shall be made in a Language he understands and shall be accompanied by interpretation thereof in English Language.
(3) In the construction of these Rules, unless there is anything in the subject or context repugnant thereto, the several words hereinafter mentioned or referred to shall have or include the following meanings:
“ADR” means “Alternative Dispute Resolution”;
“Claimant” includes a Claimant in a Counter-Claim
“Court” means the High Court of Lagos State
“Court Processes” or “Process” includes Writ of Summons, Originating Summons, Originating Process, Notices, Petitions, Pleadings, Orders, Motions, Summons, Warrants and all documents or written communication of which service is required.
“Decision” means any determination of the Court and includes judgment, ruling, decree, order, conviction, sentence or recommendation.
“Defendant” includes a Defendant to a Counter-Claim;
“Guardian” means any person who has for the time being, the charge of or control over a person under legal liability and includes a person appointed to institute or defend an action on behalf of any person under legal disability;
“Law” means the High Court Law, Ch. H%, Laws of Lagos State, 2015;
“Legal Practitioner” means a legal practitioner or counsel within the meaning of the Legal Practitioners’ Act;
“Minor” means a person who has not attained the age of 18 years;
“Originating Process” means any Court process by which a suit is initiated;
“Persons Under Legal Disability” means persons who lack capacity to institute or defend any proceeding by reason of age, insanity, unsoundness of mind or otherwise;
“Pre-Action Protocol” means steps that parties are required to take before initiating proceedings in Court as set out in Form 01 of these Rules;
“Probate Action” means an action for the grant of probate of the Will, or Letters of Administration of the Estate of a deceased person or for the revocation of such a grant or for a decree pronouncing for or against the validity of an alleged Will, and all other incidental matters;
“Referee” means any person who has been appointed by the Court to determine any matter or question or issue of fact in a suit;
“Registrar” means the Chief Registrar, Deputy Chief Registrar, Assistant Chief Registrar, Principal Registrar, Senior Registrar, Higher Registrar, or any other Officer acting or performing the functions of a Registrar;
“Registry” means the Registry of the High Court of Lagos State in the appropriate Judicial Division;
“State of Case” as used in Order 28 Rule 2 means the summary of the case of the parties as contained in the pleadings;
“Taxing Officer” means the Chief Registrar or such other officer of the Court as the Chief Judge may appoint to tax costs.
ORDER 2: OVERRIDING OBJECTIVE
1- The overriding objectives of these Rules shall be as follows:
(i) Mandating the parties to use an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism where the Court considers it appropriate and facilitating the use of such procedure.
(ii) Assisting the parties to settle the whole or part of the case;
(iii) Fixing timetables or otherwise controlling the progress of the case.
(iv) Giving directions to ensure that the trial of the case proceeds quickly and efficiently.
(v) Requiring the Claiamnt and his Legal Practitioner to cooperate with the Court to further the overriding objectives by complying with the requirement of the Pre-Action protocol to wit:
(a) That he has made attempts at amicable resolution of the dispute through mediation, conciliation, arbitration or other dispute resolution options.
(b) That the dispute resolution was unsuccessful and that by a written memorandum to the Defendants, he set out his claim and options for settlement; and
(c) That he has complied as far as practicable, with the duty of full and frank disclosure of all information relevant to the issues in dispute.
(d) The Court may impose appropriate sanctions if a party does not comply with these Rules or an order of the Court.
ORDER 3: APPLICATION
ORDER 4: PLACE OF INSTITUTING AND TRIAL OF SUITS
1. Place of Trial
Subject to the provisions of the law on transfer of suits, the place for trial of any suit shall be regulated as follows:
(1) Actions relating to land or any mortgage or charge or any interest in land, or any inquiry or damage to land and actions relating to personal property distrained or seized for any cause, shall be commenced in the Judicial Division in which the land is situate, or the distrain took place.
(2) Actions for recovery of penalties, forfeitures, and against public officers shall be commence and tried in the Judicial Division in which the cause of action arose.
(3) Actions for the specific performance, or upon the breach of any contract, may be commenced and determined in the Judicial Division in which such contract ought to have been performed or in which the Defendant resides or carries on business.
(4) All other actions may be commenced and determined in the Judicial Division in which the Defendant resides or carries on business.
2. Place of Trial for Several Defendants
Without prejudice to the provisions of sub Rule (4) of Rule 1, where there are several Defendants who reside or carry on business in different Judicial Divisions, the suit may be commenced in any of the Judicial Divisions subject to any order or direction a Judge may make or give as to the most convenient arrangement for trial of the suit.
3. Commencement of action in wrong division
If any suit is commenced in the wrong Judicial Division, it may be tried in that Division unless the Chief Judge otherwise directs.
ORDER 5: FORM AND COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION.
1. Proceedings to be commenced by Writ
(1) Subject to the provisions of these Rules or any applicable law requiring any proceeding to be commenced otherwise than by Writ, a Writ of Summons shall be the form of commencing all proceedings where:
(a) a Claimant claims:
(i) any relief or remedy for any civil wrong or;
(ii) damages for breach of duty, whether contractual, statutory or otherwise, or;
(iii) damages for personal injury to or wrongful death of any person, or in respect of damage or injury to property;
(b) the claim is based on or includes an allegation of fraud, or;
(c) an interested person claims a declaration.
(2) All civil proceedings commenced by Writ of Summons shall be accompanied by a list and copies of the following documents:
(a) a Statement of Claim;
(b) a list of witnesses to be called at the trial;
(c) written statements on oath of the witnesses except witnesses on subpoena;
(d) copies of every document to be relied on at the trial;
(e) Pre-Action Protocol form 01 with necessary documents.
(3) Failure to comply with sub Rule (2) above shall nullify the action.
2. Form of Writ.
Except in cases in which different forms are provided in these Rules, the Writ of Summons shall be in Form 1 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.
3. Forms of Writ for service out of Nigeria.
(1) Any person claiming to be interested or claiming any legal or equitable right under a Deed, Will, enactment or other written instrument may apply by Originating Summons for the determination of any question of construction arising under the instrument and for a declaration of the rights of the persons interested.
(2) Any person claiming any legal or equitable right in a case where the determination of the question whether he is entitled to the right depends upon a question of construction of an enactment, may apply be Originating Summons for the determination of such question of construction and for a declaration as to the right claimed.
(3) A Judge shall not be bound to determine any such question of construction if in his opinion it ought not to be determined on Originating Summons but may make any such orders as he deems fit.
5. Form of Originating Summons.
(1) An Originating Summons shall be in Forms 3, 4 or 5 to these Rules with such variations as circumstances may require.
(2) Subject to the provisions of sub Rule (1) above, an Originating Summons shall be deemed to be issued when—
(a) prepared by the Claimant or his Legal Practitioner;
(b) sealed and filed in the Registry.
(3) An Originating Summons shall be accompanied by:
(a) an affidavit setting out the facts relied upon;
(b) all the exhibits to be relied upon;
(c) a written address in support of the Application;
(d) Pre-Action Protocol Form 01 with necessary document.
(4) Failure to comply with Rule 2 shall nullify the action.
6. Transferred Cases
Where a matter has been transferred from any other Court of competent jurisdiction, any of the parties shall re-file the action in compliance with Order 4 Rules 1 and 42.
7. Filing of Originating Process to be determined by Date.
(1) The Registrar shall indicate the date and time of presentation on every Originating Process presented to him for filing and arrange for service of the process.
(2) An Originating Process shall not be altered after it is sealed except upon application to a Judge.
8. Screening for ADR.
All Originating Processes filed in the Registry shall be screened to determine suitability for ADR and may be referred to the Lagos Multi Door Court House or any appropriate ADR institution or Practitioner in line with the Practice Directions issued by the Chief Judge.
ORDER 6: INDORSEMENT OF CLAIM AND OF ADDRESS.
Every Originating Process shall contain the claim, the relief or remedy sough, the full names and address of the Claimant.
2. Indorsement to show representative capacity.
Where a Claimant sues, or the Defendant is sued in a representative capacity, the Originating Process shall state that capacity.
3. Probate Actions.
In Probate Actions the Originating Process shall state whether a Claimant claims as Creditor, Executor, Administrator, Beneficiary, Next of Kin or in any other capacity
4. Indorsement where the claim is liquidated.
(1) Where the claim is for a debt or liquidated demand only, the Originating Process shall state the amount claimed with cost and shall further state that the Defendant shall pay the amount with costs to the Claimant’s Legal Practitioner within the time allowed for appearance and that upon such payment the proceedings shall terminate.
(2) The Defendant may, notwithstanding payment under this Rule, have the costs taxed and if more than one sixth of the costs shall be disallowed, the Claimant’s Legal Practitioner shall pay the costs of taxation.
5. Ordinary account.
In all cases where a Claimant in the first instance desires to have an account taken, the Originating Process shall so state.
6. Indorsement of address by Claimant or by Legal Practitioner.
(1) A Claimant suing in person shall state on the Originating Process his residential or business address as his address for service and shall include his telephone numbers and e-mail address.
(2) If he lives and carries on business outside the jurisdiction, he shall state an address within the jurisdiction as his address for service.
(3) Where a Claimant sues through a Legal Practitioner, the Legal Practitioner shall state on the Originating Process, his chambers’ address, as the address for service and shall include telephone numbers and e-mail address.
(4) If the Legal Practitioner is based outside the jurisdiction, he shall state in addition a chambers’ address within the jurisdiction as address for service and shall include telephone numbers and e-mail address.
7. Indorsement of Address.
Where an Originating Process is to be served on a Defendant outside the jurisdiction the process shall state the address required in Rule 6.
8. Originating Process without an address or with fictitious address
If the Originating Process does not state an address for service, it shall not be accepted and if any such address is illusory, fictitious or misleading the process may be set aside by a judge on the application of the Defendant.
ORDER 7: EFFECT OF NON – COMPLIANCE.
1. Non-Compliance with Rules.
(1) Any Action filed without compliance with provision of Order 5 Rule (2) or Order 5 Rule 5 shall be a nullity.
(2) Failure to comply with the requirement of these Rules as to time, place, manner, form in connection with any proceeding shall be treated as an irregularity and may not nullify any action taken it any stage of the proceeding.
(3) Where any proceeding is commenced by an Originating Process other than the process prescribed by these Rules, the Judge shall not wholly set aside the proceeding or the Originating Process.
(4) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub Rules (2) and (3), the Judge may give any direction as he thinks fit to regularize the error, act or omission.
2. Application to set aside for irregularity.
(1) An application to set aside any step taken in the course of any proceeding for irregularity may be allowed where it is made within a reasonable time and before the party applying has taken any fresh step after becoming aware of the irregularity.
(2) an application under this Rule may be made by motion and the grounds of objection shall be stated in the motion.
1. Preparing Originating Processes.
Originating Process shall be prepared by a Claimant or his Legal Practitioner, and shall be clearly printed on opaque A4 paper of good quality.
2. Sealing of Originating Process.
(1) The Registrar shall seal every Originating Process whereupon it shall be deemed issued.
(2) A Claimant or his Legal Practitioner shall, on presenting any Originating Process for sealing, leave with the Registrar as many copies of the process as there are Defendants to be served and one copy for endorsement of service on each Defendant.
(3) Each copy shall be signed by the Legal Practitioner or by a Claimant where he sues in person and shall be certified after verification by the Registrar as being a true copy of the original process filed.
3. Steps to be taken after sealing.
(1) The Registrar shall after sealing an Originating Process, file it and note on it the date of filing and the number of copies supplied by a Claimant or his Legal Practitioner for service or the Defendants.
(2) The Registrar shall then make an entry of the filing in the cause book and identify the action with a suit number that may comprise abbreviation of the Judicial Division, a chronological number and the year of filing.
4. Copies to be served.
The Registrar shall promptly arrange for personal service on each Defendant of a copy of the Originating Process and accompanying documents duly certified as provided by Rule 2 (3) of this Order.
5. Originating Process with Affidavit for Probate Actions.
(1) The life span of every Originating Process shall be 6 (six) months.
(2) If a Judge is satisfied that it has proved impossible to serve an Originating Process on any Defendant within its life span and a Claimant applies before its expiration for renewal of the process, the Judge may renew the original or concurrent process for 3 (three) months from the date of such renewal.
(3) A renewed Originating Process shall be in Form 6 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.
7. Indorsement of Renewal.
(1) A Judge may order two renewals in each case strictly for good cause and upon prompt application, provided that no Originating Process that has not been served shall be in force for more than 12 (twelve) months.
(2) The Registrar shall state the fact, date, and duration of renewal on every renewed Originating Process.
8. Loss of Originating Process.
Where an Originating Process is lost after issue, a Judge, upon being satisfied of the loss and of the correctness of the process, may order the copy to be filed and sealed in place of the lost Originating Process.
9. Concurrent Originating Process.
A Claimant may at the issuance of an Originating Process or at any time during its life span, cause to be issues one or more concurrent Originating Processes each to bear the same date as the initial process marked ‘CONCURRENT’ and have stated on it the date of issue.
10. Concurrent Originating Process for service within and out of jurisdiction.
An Originating Process for service within jurisdiction may be issued and marked as a concurrent Originating Process with one for service out of jurisdiction and an Originating Process for service out of the jurisdiction may be issued and marked as a concurrent Originating Process with one for service within jurisdiction.
ORDER 9: SERVICE OF ORIGINATING PROCESS.
1. Person to Effect Service.
(1) Service of Originating Process shall be effected by a Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, Bailiff, Special Marshal or other officer of the Court.
(2) The Chief Judge may also appoint and register any Law Chambers, Courier Company or any other person to serve Court processes and such person shall be called a Process Server.
(3) Where a party is represented by a Legal Practitioner, service of Court process of which personal service is not required, may be made on such Legal Practitioner or on a person under his control.
2. Service of Originating Process, etc. how effected.
The Process Server shall effect service of an Originating Process on a party by delivering a copy of the process duly certified as prescribed by Order 8 Rule 2(3) and Rule 4 personally on the party to be served.
3. When Originating Process need not be served personally
No personal service of an Originating Process shall be required where the Defendant has authorized his Legal Practitioner in writing to accept service and such Legal Practitioner enters appearance: Provided that such written authority shall be attached to the Memorandum of Appearance filed by such Legal Practitioner.
4. Mode of Service When not Personal.
All processes in respect of which personal service is not expressly required by these Rules or any applicable law shall be sufficiently served if left with an adult person resident or employed at the address for service given under Order 6 Rule 6.
5. Substituted Service.
(1) Where personal service of an Originating Process is required by these Rules and a Judge is satisfied that prompt personal service cannot be effected, the Judge may upon application by the Claimant make such order for substituted service as may seem just, including service by electronic mails.
6. Service on Persons under Legal Disability.
Where a person under legal disability is a Defendant, service on him or his guardian shall be deemed good and sufficient personal service, unless a Judge otherwise orders:
Provided that personal service on a minor who is over 16 years of age and living independently or doing business shall be good and sufficient.
7. Service on prisoner on detainee.
Where a Detainee or Prisoner is a Defendant, service on the head or other officer in charge of the station, facility or prison where the Defendant is, or on an officer of the agency in charge of the station, facility or prison shall be deemed good and sufficient personal service on the Defendant.
8. Service on a Firm or Partners.
(1) Where persons are sued as partners in the name of a firm, the Originating Process shall be served upon any one or more of the partners or any person having control or management of the partnership business at the principal place of business within the jurisdiction.
(2) Service effected in accordance with sub Rule (1) shall be deemed good service upon the firm whether any of the members are out of the jurisdiction or not, and no leave to issue an Originating Process against them shall be necessary.
(3) In the case of a partnership that has been dissolved to the knowledge of the Claimant before the commencement of the action, the Originating Process shall be served upon every person within the jurisdiction sought to be made liable.
9. Service on Corporation or Company.
Subject to any statutory provision regulating service on a registered company, corporation or body corporate, every Originating Process or other process requiring personal service may be served on the organization by delivery to a Director, Secretary, Trustee or other senior, principal or responsible officer of the organization, or by leaving it at the registered, principal or advertised office or place of business of the organization within the jurisdiction.
10. Service on Foreign Corporation or Company.
(1) When the suit is against a foreign corporation or company within the meaning of Section 54 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act having an office and carrying on business within the jurisdiction, and such suit is limited to a cause of action which arose within the jurisdiction, the Originating Process or other documents requiring personal service may be served on the principal officer or representative of such foreign corporation or company within the jurisdiction.
(2) Where a foreign corporation or company has complied with the provisions of Chapter 3 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, personal service shall be effected on one of the persons authorized to accept service on behalf of the said company.
11. Service on Local Agent of Principal who is out of Jurisdiction.
(1) An Originating Process in an action relating to or arising out of a contract entered into within jurisdiction through an agent residing or carrying on business within jurisdiction on behalf of a Principal residing or carrying out business outside jurisdiction may, before the determination of such agent’s authority or of his business relations with the principal, be served on such agent.
(2) A copy of the Originating Process shall also be sent promptly by the Claimant by courier to the Defendant at his address out of the jurisdiction.
12. Service Where Violence Threatened.
Where a person to be served, whether alone or in concert with others, resists service or applies or threatens violence to the Process Server, the Process Server may leave the process within the reach of the person to be served, and this shall be deemed good and sufficient service.
13. Expenses of Service.
(1) The party requiring service of any process shall pay all costs and expenses incidental to service in advance.
(2) The cost for service shall be as directed by the Chief Judge in the Practice Directions.
14. Time of service on certain days.
(1) Service of Court process shall be effected between the hours of 6 (six) in the morning and 6 (six) in the evening.
(2) Save in exceptional circumstances and as may be authorized by a Judge, service shall not be effected on a Sunday or on a public holiday.
15. Recording of service.
(1) A register shall be kept at the Registry in such form as the Chief Judge may direct for recording service of Court process by any Process Server.
(2) The Registrar shall record is the register the names of the Claimant and Defendant, the method of service, whether personal or otherwise, and the manner used to ascertain that the right person was served
(3) Where any process was not served, the cause of failure shall be recorded in the register and every entry in such register or the certified copy shall be prima facie evidence of the matters stated in the register.
16. Service out of Lagos State
Subject to the provisions of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, a Writ of Summons or other Originating Process issued by the Court for service in Nigeria but outside Lagos State shall be endorsed by the Legal Practitioner of the Claimant with the following notice:
“This Summons (or as the case may be) is to be served out of Lagos State of Nigeria and in the ………………………… State”
ORDER 10: SERVICE OUT OF NIGERIA AND SERVICE OF FOREIGN PROCESS.
1. Cases where allow any Originating Process, etc, are allowed out of Nigeria.
A Judge may allow any Originating Process or other process to be served outside Nigeria where:
(a) the whole subject matter of the claim is land situate within jurisdiction, or
(b) any act, deed, will, contract, obligation, or liability affecting land or hereditaments situate within jurisdiction, is sought to be construed, rectified, set aside or enforced; or
(c) any relief is sought against any person domiciled or ordinarily resident within jurisdiction, or
(d) the claim is for the administration of the personal Estate of any deceased person, who at the time of his death was domiciled within jurisdiction or for the execution (as to property situate within jurisdiction) of the trusts of any written instrument, which ought to be executed according to the law in force in Lagos State, or
(e) the claim is brought against the Defendant to enforce, rescind, dissolve, annul or otherwise affect a contract or to recover damages or other relief in respect of a contract:
(i) made within jurisdiction, or
(ii) made by or through an agent residing or carrying on business within jurisdiction on behalf of a principal residing or carrying on business out of jurisdiction and
(iii) which by its terms or by implication is to be governed by the applicable Law in Lagos State, or the parties have agreed that the court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any claim in respect of such contract,
(f) a claim is brought against the Defendant in respect of contract for breach committed within jurisdiction notwithstanding that such was preceded or accompanied by a breach out of jurisdiction which rendered performance of the contract which ought to have been performed within jurisdiction impossible;
(g) the claim is founded on a tort committed within jurisdiction, or
(h) an injunction is sought in respect of anything to be done, or any nuisance to be prevented or removed within jurisdiction, whether or not damages are claimed, or
(i) any person out of the jurisdiction is a necessary or proper party to an action property brought against any person duly served within jurisdiction, or
(j) the claim is by a mortgagee or mortgagor in relation to a mortgaged property situate within jurisdiction, seeking any of the following reliefs—
(i) sale, foreclosure, delivery of possession by the mortgagor,
(ii) redemption, reconveyance, delivery of possession by the mortgagor,
(iii) any judgment or order for payment of any monies due under the mortgage;
(k) the proceedings relate to a person under legal disability, or
(l) the proceedings relate to probate matters, or
(m) any proceedings under any law or Rule of Court has been instituted by any Originating Process.
2. Agreement as to service.
Where parties have by their contract prescribed the mode or place of service, or the person that may serve or who maybe served, service of any process issued for a claim arising out of the contract as prescribed in the contract shall be deemed good and sufficient service.
3. Service abroad by Letter of Request.
(1) Where leave is granted to serve an Originating Process in any foreign Country with which no Convention in that regard has been made, the following procedure may be adopted:
(a) a party wishing to serve a process under this Rule shall file a praecipe in Form 8 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require;
(b) the process to be served shall be sealed with the seal of the Court for service out of Nigeria, and shall be transmitted to the Solicitor General of the Federation by the Chief Registrar, together with a copy translated into the language of that country if not English, and with a request for its further transmission to the appropriate authority in that country.
(c) the request shall be in Form 7 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require;
(d) a certificate, declaration, affidavit or other notification of due service transmitted through diplomatic channels by a Court or other appropriate authority of the foreign country, to the Court, shall be deemed good and sufficient proof of service;
(e) where a certificate, declaration, affidavit or other notification transmitted under paragraph (d) of this Rule states that efforts to serve a process have failed, a Judge may, on an ex-pate application, order substituted service, which shall be effected by transmitting the sealed order, process and its copy to the Solicitor General of the Federation together with a request in Form 9 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub Rule (1), a Claimant may with the leave of a Judge serve any originating process by courier.
(3) Despite the provisions of this Rule where lands, funds, choses in action, rights or property within the jurisdiction are sought to be dealt with, the Court may, without assuming jurisdiction over any person outside jurisdiction, cause such person to be informed of the nature or existence of the proceedings.
4. Where leave is granted or not required.
(1) Where leave is granted or is not required in a civil suit and it is desired to serve any process in a foreign country with which a Convention in that regard had been made, the following procedure shall, subject to any special provisions contained in the Convention, be adopted:
(a) the party desiring such service shall file a request in Form 10 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require and the request shall indicate whether service shall be effected:
(i) directly through diplomatic channels or;
(ii) through the foreign judicial authority;
(b) the request shall be certified by or on behalf of the person making the request and accompanied by:
(i) the original document with its translation in the language of the country where service is to be effected;
(ii) a copy of the document with the translation for every person to be served and further copies as the Convention may require;
(c) subject to specific provision of the Convention, where service is required to be made on a Nigerian subject directly through diplomatic channel, translation and copies of the document need not accompany the request;
(d) the documents to be served shall be sealed with the seal of the Court for use out of the jurisdiction and forwarded by the Chief Registrar to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs for onward transmission to the foreign country;
(e) an official certificate, transmitted through the diplomatic channel by the foreign judicial authority, or by a Nigerian diplomatic agent to the Court, establishing the fact and the date of the service of the document, shall be deemed to be sufficient proof of service.
(2) A Judge, in granting leave to serve a process out of jurisdiction under this order, may upon request in appropriate cases direct that courier shall be used by the party effecting service.
5. Service of Foreign Processes.
Where in any civil or commercial matter pending before a Court or Tribunal of a foreign country a Letter of Request from such Court or Tribunal for service on any person or citation in such matter is transmitted to the Court by the Lagos State Attorney General indicating or suggesting that effect be given to same, the following procedure shall be adopted:
(a) the Letter of Request for service shall be and two copies of the process or citation to be served shall be accompanied by a translation in English language;
(b) service of the processor citation shall be effected by a Process Server unless a Judge otherwise directs;
(c) such service shall be effected by delivering to and leaving with the person to be served one copy each of the process or citation, and the translation in accordance with the Rules and practice of the Court regulating service;
(d) after service has been effected, the Process Server shall file an affidavit of service furnishing particulars of charges for effecting the service. The affidavit shall be transmitted to the Chief Registrar with one copy of the process;
(e) the Chief Registrar shall examine the Process Service’s particulars of charges and certify the amount payable in respect of the service;
(f) the Chief Judge shall forward to the Attorney General, the approved amount for service, evidence of service and a certificate appended to it.
6. Inapplicability of Rule 4.
The provisions of Rule 4 of this Order shall not apply to or render invalid, defective or insufficient any otherwise valid or sufficient mode of service in any foreign country with which a Convention has been made, provided that no mode of service expressly excluded by the Convention shall be allowed.
7. Service on behalf of foreign tribunals.
Where request for service of any process or document on a person jurisdiction is received by the Chief Judge in respect of a civil suit pending before a Court or Tribunal from the appropriate authority in a foreign country with which a Convention in that regard has been made, the following procedure shall subject to any provision in the Convention, be adopted:
(a) the Process Server shall deliver the original or a copy, along with a copy of its translation to the party to be served;
(b) the Process Server shall submit the particulars of the costs and expenses of service to the Chief Registrar who shall certify the amount payable in respect of the service;
(c) the Chief Registrar shall transmit a certificate establishing the fact and date of service or indicating reasons for failure to serve, to the appropriate foreign authority and also notify the authority as to the amount certified under paragraph (b) of this Rule.
8. Substituted service of foreign process.
Upon application, a Judge may order substituted or other mode of service of the foreign process.
ORDER 11: APPEARANCE
1. Mode of entry of Appearance.
(1) A Defendant served with an Originating Process shall, within the period prescribed in the process for appearance, file in the Registry the original and copy of a duly completed and signed memorandum of Appearance as in Form 11 with such modifications or variations as circumstances may require.
(2) On receipt of the Memorandum of Appearance, the Registrar shall make entry and stamp the copy with the seal showing the date he received it and return the sealed copy to the person making the appearance.
(3) A Defendant entering appearance shall not later than seven (7) days thereafter serve a sealed copy of the Memorandum of Appearance on a Claimant’s Legal Practitioner or the Claimant if the sues in person.
2. Defendant appearing in person or represented by Legal Practitioner.
(1) A Defendant appearing in person shall state in the Memorandum of Appearance an address for service which shall be within Lagos State.
(2) Where a Defendant appears by a Legal Practitioner, the Legal Practitioner shall state in the Memorandum of Appearance, his full names, chamber’s address within Lagos State, Telephone numbers and E-mail address.
(3) Where any such Legal Practitioner is the agent of another Legal Practitioner he shall state his full names, full address of chambers, telephone numbers within Lagos State and E-mail address, and the full names, full address of chambers, telephone numbers within Lagos State, E-mail address of the principal Legal Practitioner.
3. Fictitious address.
Where any Memorandum of Appearances does not contain an address or where the address for service is illusory, fictitious, or misleading, the appearance may be set aside by a Judge upon the application of a Claimant on notice to the Defendant.
4. Defendants appearing through same Legal Practitioner.
If two or more Defendants in the same action appear through the same Legal Practitioner, the Memorandum of Appearance shall include the names of all the Defendants.
5. Late Appearance.
If a Defendant files an appearance after the time prescribed in the Originating Process, he shall pay to the Court a fee of One Thousand Naira (N1,000.00) for each day of default.
6. Intervener in Probate matters.
In Probate matters, any person not named in the Originating Process may intervene and appear in the matter on filing an affidavit showing his interest in the Estate of the deceased.
7. Recovery of Land.
Any person not named as a Defendant in an Originating Process for recovery of land may with leave of a Judge appear and defend, on filing an affidavit sowing that he is in possession of the land either by himself or through his tenant.
8. Landlord Appearing.
Any person appearing to defend an action for the recovery of land as landlord in respect of a property which he is in possession through his tenant, shall state in his appearance that he appears as landlord.
9. Person under legal disability appearing.
A person under legal disability shall enter an appearance by this Guardian.
In this Order the word “Tenant” includes a sub-tenant or any person occupying any premises whether on payment of rent or otherwise.
ORDER 12: DEFAULT OF APPEARANCE.
1. Default of appearance generally.
Where any Defendant fails to appear upon proof of service of the Originating Process, a Claimant may proceed under the appropriate provisions of these Rules.
2. Default of appearance by person under legal disability.
(1) Where no appearance has been entered for a person under legal disability after service of Originating Process, a Claimant may apply to a Judge for an order that a guardian appointed for the Defendant.
(2) Notice of the application shall be served on the person intended to be appointed as a guardian, who when appointed may appear and defend.
3. Liquidated demand.
(1) Where the claim in the Originating Process is for a liquidated demand and the Defendant or all of several Defendants fail to appear, a Claimant may apply to a Judge for a judgment in respect of the claim on the Originating Process or such lesser sum and interest as a Judge may order.
(2) Where the claim in the Originating Process is for a liquidated demand against several Defendants and one or more of the Defendants fails to enter appearance, a Claimant may apply to a judge for judgment against the Defendants who failed to appear and may execute the judgment without prejudice to his right to proceed with the action against those who have appeared.
4. Judgment in default of appearance.
(1) Where the claim in the Originating Process is for pecuniary damages, or for detention of goods with or without a claim for pecuniary damages, and the Defendant or all of several Defendants fail to appear, a Claimant may apply to a Judge for judgment.
(2) Where the claim in the Originating Process under this Rule is against several Defendants and one or more of the Defendants failed to enter appearance, a Claimant may apply for judgment against the Defendant(s) who failed to appear.
(4) Judgment may be granted upon the application of the Claimant under the provision of sub Rule (3) of this Rule, subject to the filing of such particulars as a Judge may direct, and ascertaining the value of goods and the damages or damages only as the case may be.
5. Detention of goods, damages and liquidated demand.
(1) Where the claim in the Originating Process is for pecuniary damages or for detention of goods with or without a claim for pecuniary damages, including a liquidated demand and any of the Defendants fails to appear, a Claimant may apply for judgment.
(2) judgment may be granted upon the application of the Claimant under sub Rule (1) of this Rule, subject to the filing of such particulars as a Judge may direct, and ascertaining the value of the goods and the damages, or the damages only as the case may be.
6. Recovery of land.
If no appearance is entered within the time prescribed in the Originating Process in a claim for recovery of land, a Claimant may apply for judgment stating that the person whose title is asserted in the Originating Process is entitled to possession of the land.
or if appearance is entered but the defence is limited to part only, a Claimant may apply to a Judge for judgment stating that the person whose title is asserted in the Originating Process shall recover possession of the land, or of that part of it to which the defence does not apply.
7. Mesne Profits.
Where the claim in an Originating Process is for recovery, mesne profits, arrears of rent, damages for breach of contract or wrong or injury to the premises, a Claimant may apply for judgment as in Rule 6 of this Order for the land, and may proceed to prove the other claims.
8. Judgment for Costs: upon payment, satisfaction etc.
(1) In any case to which Rules 3 to 6 of this Order do not apply and one or more of the Defendants failed to appear, but by reason of payment, satisfaction, abatement of nuisance, or any other reason, it is unnecessary for a Claimant to proceed, he may apply for judgment as to costs.
(2) Such application referred to under sub Rule (1) of this Rule shall be filed and served in the manner in which service of the Originating Process was effected or in such manner as a Judge may direct.
9. Setting aside Judgment.
(1) Where judgment is entered pursuant to any of the preceding Rules of this Order, a Judge may set aside or vary such judgment on terms upon an application by the Defendant.
(2) The application shall be made within a reasonable time, sowing a good defence to the claim and a just cause for the default.
10. Default of appearance in actions not otherwise specifically provided for.
In all claims not specifically provided for under this Order, where the party served with the Originating Process does not appear within the time prescribed in the Originating Process, a Claimant may proceed as if appearance had been entered.
11. Compulsory Service.
Notice of any application under this Order shall be served on the other party.
ORDER 13: SUMMARY JUDGMENT.
1. Where Claimant believes there is no defence.
Where a Claimant believes that there is no defence to his claim, he may file with his Originating Process, the Statement of Claim, a list and copies of documents to be relied upon, a list and the depositions of his witnesses and an application for summary judgment supported by an affidavit stating the grounds for his belief, and a written brief in respect of same.
2. Delivery of extra Copies.
A Claimant shall deliver to the Registrar as many copies of all the processes and documents referred to in Rule 1 of this Order as there are Defendants.
4. Where Defendant intends to defend.
Where a part served with the processes and documents referred to in Rule 1 of this Order intends to defend the suit, he shall not later than the time prescribed for defence, file:
(a) his Statement of Defence;
(b) a list of depositions of the witnesses;
(c) a list and copies of all documents to be used in his defence; and
(d) a Counter Affidavit and a written brief in reply to the application for summary judgment.
5. Leave to Defend.
(1) Where it appears to a Judge that a Defendant has a good defence and ought to be permitted to defend the claim he may be granted leave to defend.
(2) Where it appears to a Judge that the Defendant has a good defence to part of the claim but no defence to other parts of the claim, the Judge may enter judgment for that part of the claim to which there is no defence and grant leave to defend that part to which there is a defence.
6. Where there are several Defendants.
Where there are several Defendants and it appears to a Judge that one or more of the Defendants have a good defence, the Judge may permit such Defendants to defend and enter Judgment against the other Defendants.
ORDER 14: APPLICATION FOR ACCOUNT.
1. Application how Made.
An application for account may be made at any time after the time prescribed for defence and shall be supported by an affidavit filed on a Claimant’s behalf, stating concisely the grounds of his claim to an account.
2. Order for account.
Where an Originating Process for an account under Order 5 Rule $ or involves taking an account, and the Defendant fails to appear or appearance fails to satisfy a Judge that there is a preliminary question to be tried, the Judge shall on application make an order for the proper accounts, with all necessary inquiries and directions.
3. Account may be taken by a Judge or Referee.
Where an order is made for account under this Order, the account may be taken by a Judge or a Referee appointed by the Judge.
ORDER 15: PARTIES.
1. Persons claiming jointly or severally.
(1) Any person claiming right to relief whether jointly or severally may be joined as Claimants in one action.
(2) Judgment may be entered without any amendment for any of the Claimants found to be entitled to the relief sought or any part of such relief.
2. Action in name of wrong Claimant.
Where an action has been commenced in the name of a wrong person or where it is doubtful whether it has been commenced in the name of the right Claimant, a Judge may order the substitution or addition of any other person as Claimant on such terms as may be just.
3. Misjoinder and Counter-Claim.
Where in commencing an action, any person has been wrongly or improperly included as a Claimant and a Defendant has set up a Counter-Claim or Set-Off, such Defendant so included, notwithstanding the inclusion of such Claimant or any step taken in the proceeding.
4. Any person may be joined as Defendant.
(1) Any person against whom the right to any relief is alleged to exist, whether jointly, severally or in the alternative may be joined as Defendant.
(2) Judgment may be entered without any amendment against one or more of the Defendants as may be found to be liable, according to their respective liabilities.
5. Action in name of wrong Defendant.
Where an action has been instituted against a wrong Defendant or where the name of a Defendant has been incorrectly stated, a Judge may upon application order a substitution or addition of an person as Defendant or correction of any such name on an terms as may be just.
6. Defendant need not be Interested in all the Reliefs Sought.
(1) A Defendant may not be interested in every cause of action or the relief prayed for included in any proceeding against him.
(2) Upon considering the defence filed and an application by the Defendant, the Judge may make such Order to prevent Defendant from being embarrassed or put to expense by being required to attend any proceedings in which he may have no interest.
7. Joinder of Persons severally or jointly and severally liable.
A Claimant may at his option join as parties to the same action all or any of the persons severally, or jointly and severally liable on any one contract, including parties to bills of exchange and promissory notes.
8. Claimant in doubt as to person against who redress is to be sought.
(1) Where a Claimant is in doubt as to the person against whom he is entitled to claim redress, he may join two or more Defendants in such manner as may be prescribed by these Rules or an order of the Court.
(2) The extent to which any of the Defendants is liable shall be determined by the Judge.
9. Persons under legal disability.
Persons under legal disability may sue or defend by their guardians appointed for that purpose.
Any person who is to be named in an action as guardian of a person under legal disability or other party or as a relation shall file a written authority for that purpose in the Registry.
11. Trustees, Executors, etc May be sued as Representing the Estate.
(1) Any Trustee, Executor or Administrator may sue and be sued on behalf of the property or Estate for which they are trustees or representatives without joining any beneficiary of the trust or Estate, and shall be considered as representing such person.
(2) The Judge may, at any stage of the proceedings order any beneficiary to be made parties in addition to or in lieu of the Trustees, Executors or Administrators.
(3) This Rule shall apply to Trustees, Executors and Administrators in proceedings to enforce a security by foreclosure or otherwise.
12. Numerous Persons.
(1) Where there are numerous persons having the same interest in one suit, one or more of such persons may sue or be sued on behalf of or for the benefit of all persons so interested.
(2) Where there are numerous persons having the same interest in one suit and they seek to defend the action, a Judge may allow one or more of such persons to defend the action on behalf of, or for the benefit of all persons so interested.
13. Representation of Persons or Classes of Persons in Certain Proceedings.
(1) The Judge may, if satisfied that in any proceeding concerning;
(a) the administration of an Estate; or
(b) property subject to a trust; or
(c) land held under customary law as family or community property; or
(d) the construction of any written instrument including a statute.
(i) the person, class or some member of the class interested cannot be ascertained or cannot readily be ascertained or if ascertained cannot be found;
(ii) the person or the class and the members of the class can be ascertained and found but it is expedient that one or more persons be appointed to represent that person or class or some members of the class, make an order appointing one or more persons to represent such person, class or some members of the class.
(2) The decision of the Judge shall be binding on the person or class of persons so represented and notice of the appointment made under this Rule including all processes filed in Court shall be served on any person so appointed.
(3) If in any proceeding mentioned in sub-Rule (1) of this Rule, several persons having the same interest in relation to the matter to be determined appear by separate Legal Practitioners, not more than one set of costs of the hearing shall be allowed to these persons unless the Judge considers that the circumstances justify separate representation, and the judgment or order shall be framed accordingly.
(4) In this Rule, the word “class” includes the persons recognized by Customary Law as members of a family or as members of a land owning community.
14. Power to approve Compromise.
(1) Where in any proceeding mentioned in Rule 13(1) of this Order, compromise is proposed and the persons interested in or may be affected by the compromise (including unborn or unascertained persons) are absent or not parties to the proceedings but:
(a) there are some other persons having the same interest before the Court who assent to the compromise or on whose behalf the Court sanctions the compromise; or
(b) the absent persons are represented by a person under Rule 13 of this Order who so assents;
A Judge may if satisfied that it is expedient and in the interest of absent persons approve the compromise and order that such compromise shall be binding.
(2) The absent persons shall not be bound where the Order under sub-Rule (1) (b) of this Rule has been obtained by fraud or non-disclosure of material facts.
15. Where there is no Personal Representative.
(1) Where a person interested in any proceeding dies and it appears that the deceased has no personal representative the Judge may, by Order appoint any person to represent the Estate with Notice to any person as the Judge may deem fit.
(2) Notice of such Order under sub Rule (1) pursuant to the appointment shall be given to the person so appointed either personally or as the Judge may direct.
(3) The Order and any subsequent Order made under sub Rules (1) and (2) shall bind the Estate of the deceased person in the same manner in every respect as if a duly constituted legal personal representative of the deceased had been a party to the proceedings.
(4) Where a sole or sole surviving Claimant or Defendant in a proceeding dies and the cause of action survives but the person entitled to proceed with the suit fails to proceed, a Judge may on the application of either the deceased’s Legal Practitioner or the opposing party order any person to take the place of the said deceased and proceed with the suit,
(5) In default of such application or where the person substituted fails to proceed, judgment may be entered for the Defendant or as the case may be for the person against whom the proceedings might have been continued.
16. Proceedings not defeated by Misjoinder or Non-joinder.
(1) No proceedings shall be defeated by reason of misjoinder or non-joinder of parties, and a Judge may deal with the matter in controversy as it relates to the rights and interest of the party actually before him.
(2) A Judge may at any stage of the proceeding upon application of either party or suo motu, and on such terms as may appear just order that the names of any party improperly joined be struck out.
(3) A Judge may order that the name of any person who ought to have been joined or whose presence before the Court is necessary to completely adjudicate upon the matter and settle the questions involved in the proceedings, be added.
(4) A person under legal disability shall not be added as a Claimant, suing without a guardian and any person added as the guardian of such Claimant must give a written consent.
(5) Any person whose name is added as a Defendant shall be served with the Originating Process or Notice in the manner prescribed in these Rules or in such manner as may be prescribed by a Judge and the proceedings against such person shall be deemed to have begun upon the service of such Originating Process or Notice.
17. Application to add or strike out a party.
(1) Any application to add, strike out, substitute or vary the name of a Claimant or Defendant may be made to a Judge by motion on Notice.
(2) Where the application is to ad a Claimant or a Defendant, it shall be accompanied by the proposed Statement of Claim or Defence as the case may be, all the documents intended to be used and the depositions of all the witnesses, but where the application is to substitute a deceased party with another person the application may not be accompanied by the documents specified in this sub-Rule.
18. Where Defendant is added.
(1) Where a Defendant is added or substituted the Claimant shall amend the originating process accordingly.
(2) The amended originating process shall be filed and served on the new Defendant in the same manner as the original Defendant unless otherwise directed by the Judge.
19. Third Parties may be joined by any of the Parties.
(1) Where it appears to a Judge that any person not being a party to the proceedings may bear eventual liability either wholly or ir part, the Judge may upon an application ex-parte stating the grounds for believing that such Third Party may bear liability allow the person to be joined as a third party by any of the Defendants.
(2) The Order and existing processes shall be served on the Third Party within the time prescribed for filing the Defence.
20. Appearance by Third Party.
Where a person is joined as a Third Party he may after service, enter appearance within 8 days or within 30 days if he resides or carries on business outside jurisdiction or within such further time as a Judge may order.
21. Default by Third Party.
If a Third Party duly served with the Order and all existing processes does not enter an appearance or fails to file appropriate pleadings he shall be deemed to have admitted the claims and be bound by the judgment of the Court in respect of such claims.
22. Subsequent Third Party.
A person joined as a Third Party in any proceeding may in the same manner join any other person and the expression “Third Party” shall apply to every person so joined.
23. Claim against co-Defendant.
A Defendant may make a claim against a Co-Defendant in his Counter-Claim.
24. Actions by and against Firms.
(1) Persons carrying or business within jurisdiction as partners in the name of a firm or business, when the cause of action arose may sue or be sued in the name of such firm or business.
(2) Upon an application by any party to such an action the Judge may direct that a statement of the names and addresses of the persons who were partners in the firm or business when the cause of action arose be furnished and verified on oath or as the Judge may otherwise direct.
25. Disclosure of Partners’ names.
(1) When an Originating Process is issued by partners suing in the name of a Firm, the Claimants or their Legal Practitioners shall, upon written demand by or on behalf of any Defendant, declare the names and addresses of all the persons constituting the firm on whose behalf the action is brought in writing.
(2) Where the Claimants or their Legal Practitioners fail to comply with the demand under sub-Rule (1) the Judge may upon application by the Defendant and such terms as may be considered just, stay proceedings in the action.
(3) Where the names of the partners are declared, the suit shall proceed in the same manner and respect as if the partners had been named as Claimants in the Originating Process but the proceedings may continues in the name of the Firm.
26. Appearance of Partners.
(1) Persons sued as partners in the name of a Firm, shall appear individually in their own names; but subsequent proceedings shall continue in the name of the Firm.
(2) Were an Originating Process is served upon a person having the control or management of a partnership business not being a member of the firm, the person shall not be required to enter appearance.
27. Application of Rules to Actions between Co-Partners.
This Order shall apply to proceedings between a Firm and one or more of its partners; and between Firms having one or more partners in common, provided such Firms carry on business within the jurisdiction.
28. Persons trading as Firms.
Any person carrying on business within the jurisdiction in a name or style other than his personal name may be sued in such name or style as if it were the name of a firm, and, so far as the nature of the case will permit, all Rules relating to proceedings against Firms shall apply.
29. Action not abated where cause of action survives.
No proceeding shall abate or become defective by:
(a) reason of death or bankruptcy of any of the parties, if the cause of action survive;
(b) the assignment, creation or devolution of any Estate or title pendent lite whether the cause or action survives or not.
(c) reason of the death of either party between the finding on issues of fact and judgment, judgment may in such case be entered notwithstanding the death of the party.
30. Order to carry on Proceedings.
(1) Where by reason of—
(a) death or bankruptcy, or any other even occurring after the commencement of a proceeding, a change or transfer of interest or liability occurs; or
(b) any person interested coming into existence after the commencement of the proceeding, it becomes necessary or desirable that a person be made a party or that a person being a party should continue in another capacity, an order may be granted upon an application ex parte for the continuation of the proceedings between such existing parties or the existing party and any new party.
(2) An Order obtained under this Rule shall be served upon the new party and existing party or the Legal Representative unless the application is made by the new party.
(3) A new party served with the Order granted under sub-Rule (2), shall –
(a) where applicable enter an appearance in the same manner as if he had been served with the Originating Process
(b) subsequently be served with the Originating Process and all existing processes.
(4) Upon being served under sub-Rule (3) of this Rule, the party shall file his pleadings and other documents as if he had been an original party in the proceedings.
31. In Case of Assignment, Creation or Devolution of Estate or Title.
In case of an assignment of title pendent lite, creation or devolution of any Estate, the cause or matter may be continued by or against the person to title has been assigned or upon whom such Estate has devolved.
32. Application to Discharge Order by Person under Disability having a Guardian.
Where any person who is under no legal disability or being under any legal disability but having a guardian in the proceedings is served with an Order under Rule 30 such person may apply to a Judge to discharge or vary such Order at any time within fourteen 14 days from the service of the Order.
33. By persons under disability having no guardian.
(1) An Order under Rule 30 served on a person under legal disability without a guardian in any proceeding shall have no effect.
(2) The person may within fourteen (14) days from the appointment of a guardian apply to a Judge to discharge or vary such Order.
34. Acts may be done by Legal Practitioner or Agent.
Where by these Rules an act may be done by any party in a proceeding, such act may be done by the party either in person, or by his Legal Representative or agent unless where an agent is expressly barred under these Rules.
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