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SASH_Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3285
Experience:  LLB (Hons)
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My Partner has been served a Summons to appear at a court in

Customer Question

My Partner has been served a Summons to appear at a court in Tunisia regarding her divorce from a Tunisian man in 2015. What should she do?
JA: What steps has your partner taken? Has she filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No, the divorce was finalised here in England in 2015. There is an arrangement order in place for the children.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county does your partner live in?
Customer: Bury St Edmunds
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, that's it thanks
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  SASH_Law replied 7 days ago.

Good afternoon, I'm Lea and I will assist you with your query.

Did she receive the decree absolute for the divorce here in England? Does she have a copy?

Does the summons she received from Tunisia detail what the husband is claiming?

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Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Lea,
Yes, she has a copy of the decree absolute,
Its hard to make out the detail as its a translation from Arabic.
It says the Plantiff asks for the exequatur of the divorce decree pursuant to the articles 14, 16 and 17 of the provate international law code.
Expert:  SASH_Law replied 7 days ago.

As a general rule, judgments and decisions issued by foreign courts cannot be executed in the Tunisian territory unless they are declared executory (i.e. enforceable) by the Tunisian courts that check if they comply with certain requirements.

Exequatur is not granted to foreign judicial decisions if:-

The subject of the dispute falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Tunisian courts.-

The Tunisian courts have already rendered a decision that cannot be appealed by ordinary means on the same subject, between the same parties and for the same cause.-

The foreign decision is contrary to public order within the meaning of Tunisian private international law or has been issued following a procedure that did not preserve the rights of the defence.-

The foreign judgment has been annulled, or its enforcement suspended in accordance with the law of the country where it was pronounced or is not yet enforceable in the country where it was rendered.-

The State where the judgment or decision was made did not respect the rule of reciprocity.

It would seem, therefore, from the little you have included, that the ex husband is trying to get the order agreed in Tunisia...however I would strongly suggest that you find a Tunisian lawyer who can read the original Arabic document so that your partner knows exactly how to respond to the court summons.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok, That makes sense. The court summons was for the 9/10/2020 and we've only just received the document today. Obviously she wouldn't have gone to Tunisia anyway but should that be something to be concerned about?
Expert:  SASH_Law replied 7 days ago.

There is always something to be concerned about when you are named on court documents and miss the hearing.

She needs to contact the court to find out what has taken place and explain she only received the summons after the hearing, or instruct a lawyer in Tunisia to find out what has happened.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
The closing paragraph reads " We kindly ask you to honor to order the exequatur of the decree BV15D00292 issued by the court of Bury St Edmunds.
Expert:  SASH_Law replied 7 days ago.

Yes, as I said above, it seems he is trying to get the order agreed in Tunisia. (See the final paragraph of my answer above).

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Ok, that wouldn't affect anything here in England though would it? If we have no intention of going to Tunisia then what ever happens there has no bearing on our lives here?
Expert:  SASH_Law replied 7 days ago.

No, it just means he wants the divorce here recorded in Tunisia. Nothing untoward.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
ok, that's great. many thanks for your help.
Expert:  SASH_Law replied 7 days ago.

You're very welcome.

All the best.