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Japan: Rules of Personal Status Litigation

Rules of Personal Status Litigation (Tentative translation)

Rules of the Supreme Court No. 24 of November 12, 2003

Chapter I General Provisions

Section 1 General Rules

(Purpose)

Article 1 These Rules shall provide special provisions, etc. under the Rules of Civil Procedure (Rules of the Supreme Court No. 5 of 1996) with regard to the procedures for personal status litigation.

Section 2 Court

Subsection 1 Jurisdiction

(Designation referred to in Article 4, paragraph (2) of the Act; Article 4 of the Act)

Article 2 The place specified by the Rules of the Supreme Court referred to in paragraph (2) of Article 4 (Jurisdiction over an Action Concerning Personal Status) of the Personal Status Litigation Act (Act No. 109 of 2003; hereinafter referred to as the "Act") shall be Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

(Method of Filing Petition for Disposition by Family Court; Article 6 of the Act)

Article 3 (1) The petition referred to in Article 6 (Disposition by the Family Court before which the Conciliation Case was Pending, without Jurisdiction) of the Act shall be filed in writing, except in cases of filing the petition on an appearance date.

(2) When filing the petition referred to in the preceding paragraph, the reasons for the petition shall be made clear.

(Treatment by Family Court upon Making Disposition; Article 6 of the Act)

Article 4 (1) When the petition referred to in Article 6 (Disposition by the Family Court before which the Conciliation Case was Pending, without Jurisdiction) of the Act is filed, the court shall issue an order after hearing the opinion of the opponent.

(2) When a family court issues an order under the provisions of Article 6 of the Act by its own authority, it shall hear the opinions of the parties.

(Treatment in Discretionary Transfer; Article 7, etc. of the Act)

Article 5 (1) When the petition referred to in Article 7 (Transfer for Avoidance of Delay, etc.) or paragraph (1) of Article 8 (Transfer of Litigation Concerning Related Claims) of the Act is filed, the court shall issue an order after hearing the opinion of the opponent.

(2) When a family court issues an order of transfer under the provisions of Article 7 of the Act by its own authority, it may hear the opinions of the parties.

Subsection 2 Counselor

(Designation of Counselor; Article 9 of the Act)

Article 6 When a family court designates a counselor for a case pertaining to personal status litigation, the court shall take care so as to designate a person who is not involved as a domestic relations conciliation commissioner in a case related to conciliation filed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 257 (Principle of Conciliation First) of the Domestic Relations Case Procedure Act (Act No. 52 of 2011) with regard to said case pertaining to personal status litigation.

(Disqualification of, Challenge to and Withdrawal of Counselor; Article 10 of the Act)

Article 7 The provisions of Articles 10 through 12 (Method of Filing Petition for Disqualification or Challenge; Statement of Opinions by Judge with Regard to Disqualification or Challenge; and Withdrawal of Judge) of the Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply mutatis mutandis to a counselor.

(Questions by Counselor)

Article 8 The presiding judge may allow a counselor to directly ask questions to a witness, a party, or an expert witness if the judge finds it to be necessary.

Section 3 Parties

(Notice of Judicial Decision on Appointment of Counsel; Article 13 of the Act)

Article 9 Notice of a judicial decision on the appointment of a counsel pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 13 (Capacity to Sue or Be Sued in Personal Status Litigation, etc.) of the Act shall also be given to the counsel. The same shall apply to a judicial decision on the appointment of a counsel pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (3) of said Article.

(Notice of Order of Intervention by Interested Parties; Article 15 of the Act)

Article 10 Notice of the order referred to in paragraph (1) of Article 15 (Intervention by Interested Parties) of the Act or the order to revoke such order under the provisions of paragraph (5) of said Article shall be given to both parties to the personal status litigation concerned.

Section 4 Litigation Proceedings

(Matters to Be Stated in Complaint)

Article 11 In cases of filing an action concerning personal status, if personal status litigation is already pending with regard to a claim seeking theformation or declaration of the existence or nonexistence of a family relationship which is to be also sought in personal status litigation in connection with said action, the complaint shall contain an indication of the court before which the personal status litigation regarding said claim is already pending and an indication of the case pertaining to said personal status litigation, in addition to the matters provided in paragraphs (1) and (4) of Article 53 (Matters to Be Stated in Complaint) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

(Matters to Be Stated in Complaint of Action Pertaining to Related Claim; Article 17 of the Act)

Article 12 In cases of filing with a family court an action regarding a claim seeking compensation for damages arising from the facts which constitute the statement of claims for personal status litigation pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 17 (Consolidation of Related Claims, etc.) of the Act, the complaint shall contain a statement to the effect that said personal status litigation is already pending before said family court and an indication of the case pertaining to said personal status litigation, in addition to the matters provided in paragraphs (1) and (4) of Article 53 (Matters to Be Stated in Complaint) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

(Documents to Be Attached to Complaint)

Article 13 A complaint of an action concerning personal status shall have attached thereto a transcript of the family register of each party to the family relationship concerned with the action and also transcripts of other family registers and other documents as necessary for clarifying the existence or nonexistence of an interested party provided in paragraph (1) of Article 15 (Intervention by Interested Parties) of the Act, and the name and domicileor residence of such interested party if there is any.

(Waiver or Acknowledgment of Claim on Date for Scheduling Conference; Article 19 of the Act)

Article 14 With regard to the subject matter of the suit in personal status litigation, the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 95 (Date for Scheduling Conference) of the Rules of Civil Procedure (limited to the part pertaining to a waiver or acknowledgment of a claim) shall not apply.

(Subpoena of Party; Article 21 of the Act)

Article 15 Where a party who is ordered to appear on the date for his/her examination pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 21 (Order for a Party to Appear, etc.) of the Act does not appear without justifiable grounds, the provisions of Article 111 (Subpoena) of the Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply mutatis mutandis to the subpoena of such party, notwithstanding the provisions of the proviso to Article 127 (Application Mutatis Mutandis of Provisions Concerning Examination of Witness) of said Rules.

Section 5 Auxiliary Provisions

(Notice of Pendency to Interested Parties; Article 28 of the Act)

Article 16 The notice under the provisions of Article 28 (Notice of Pendency to Interested Parties) of the Act shall be given to the persons specified in the right column of the appended table according to the categories of actions set forth in the middle column of said table, whose name and domicile or residence is confirmed in the case record.

(Notice of Judgment Becoming Final and Binding to Administrator of Affairs Relating to Family Registers)

Article 17 When a judgment in personal status litigation becomes final and binding with regard to any matter that requires a notification or correction relating to a family register, a court clerk shall give notice of this without delay to the person who administers affairs relating to family registers in the place of the registered domicile of each party to the family relationship pertaining to said personal status litigation.

(Application of the Rules of Civil Procedure; Article 29 of the Act)

Article 18 For the purpose of application of the provisions of the Rules of Civil Procedure with regard to procedures for personal status litigation, the term "district court" in Article 104 (Notice of Recommissioning of Examination of Evidence) of said Rules shall be deemed to be replaced with "family court."

Chapter II Special Provisions for Marital Relationship Litigation

Section 1 Ancillary Disposition

(Method of Filing Petition for Ancillary Disposition; Article 32 of the Act)

Article 19 (1) The petition referred to in paragraph (1) of Article 32 (Judicial Decision on Ancillary Disposition, etc.) of the Act shall be filed in writing.

(2) The document referred to in the preceding paragraph shall contain statements of the objective of and reasons for the petition and shall have attached thereto a copy of any document which is to serve as evidence and which is material.

(3) The document referred to in paragraph (1) in cases of filing a petition for a disposition regarding the ratios for the division of the amount of standard remuneration, etc. shall have attached thereto the documents specified in the following items according to the categories of dispositions set forth in these items:

(i) a disposition under the provisions of Article 78-2, paragraph (2) of the Employees' Pension Insurance Act (Act No. 115 of 1954): a document which contains the information referred to in Article 78-4, paragraph (1) of said Act and which has been provided pursuant to the provisions of said paragraph;

(ii) a disposition under the provisions of Article 93-5, paragraph (2) of the National Public Officers Mutual Aid Association Act (Act No. 128 of1958): a document which contains the information referred to in Article 93-7, paragraph (1) of said Act and which has been provided pursuant to the provisions of said paragraph;

(iii) a disposition under the provisions of Article 105, paragraph (2) of the Local Public Officers, etc. Mutual Aid Association Act (Act No. 152 of1962): a document which contains the information referred to in Article 107, paragraph (1) of said Act and which has been provided pursuant to the provisions of said paragraph; and

(iv) a disposition under the provisions of Article 93-5, paragraph (2) of the National Public Officers Mutual Aid Association Act as applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to Article 25 of the Private School Personnel Mutual Aid Association Act (Act No. 245 of 1953): a document which contains the information referred to in Article 93-7, paragraph (1) of the National Public Officers Mutual Aid Association Act as applied pursuant to Article 25 of the Private School Personnel Mutual Aid Association Act and which has been provided pursuant to the provisions of Article93-7, paragraph (1) of the National Public Officers Mutual Aid Association Act as applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to Article 25 of the Private School Personnel Mutual Aid Association Act.

(4) The document referred to in paragraph (1) shall be served upon the opponent.

(Examination of Facts; Article 33, etc. of the Act)

Article 20 (1) In litigation in connection with an action for a divorce or the revocation of a marriage, efforts shall be made to conduct examination of facts by making use of expert knowledge in medicine, psychology, sociology, economics and other fields if such examination of facts is found to be necessary in consideration of the course of the proceedings, results of examination of evidence and other circumstances.

(2) In the case referred to in the preceding paragraph, when a court has a family court research law clerk conduct examination of facts by making use of the expert knowledge referred to in said paragraph, the court shall specify the matters that require such examination of facts.

(Commission of Examination in the course of Examination of Facts; Article 33 of the Act)

Article 21 (1) In the course of examination of facts, a court may commission a government agency, public office or any other person whom it considers appropriate to conduct the necessary examination or may request a bank, trust company, the employer of a person concerned, or any other person to make the necessary report regarding the deposits, trust property, income or other matters of the person concerned.

(2) The commissioning procedures of a court referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be carried out by a court clerk.

(Notice of Hearing Date; Article 33 of the Act)

Article 22 Notice of the hearing date referred to in paragraph (4) of Article 33 (Examination of Facts) of the Act shall be given to the parties; provided, however, that this shall not apply if it is found that such notice is likely to hinder the examination of facts.

(Recording of Summary of Examination of Facts; Article 33, etc. of the Act)

Article 23 A court clerk shall clarify the summary of the examination of facts in the case record.

(Notice of Examination of Facts; Article 33, etc. of the Act)

Article 24 When a court conducts an examination of facts, the court shall give notice of the examination to the parties, except when the court finds no particular need to do so.

(Disqualification and Withdrawal of Family Court Research Law Clerk; Article 34-2 of the Act)

Article 24-2 The provisions of Articles 10 through 12 (Method of Filing Petition for Disqualification or Challenge; Statement of Opinions by Judge with Regard to Disqualification or Challenge; and Withdrawal of Judge) of the Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply mutatis mutandis to a family court research law clerk.

(Permission for Inspection, etc. of Portion related to Examination of Facts; Article 35 of the Act)

Article 25 An order to permit inspection, etc. of the portion related to the examination of facts pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (2) or paragraph(3) of Article 35 (Inspection, etc. of the Portion related to the Examination of the Facts) of the Act shall specify the part for which inspection, etc. is to be permitted in the portion related to the examination of facts.

(Matters to Be Stated in Petition for Immediate Appeal Referred to in Article 35, paragraph (4) or paragraph (6) of the Act; Article 35 of the Act)

Article 26 (1) In cases of filing the immediate appeal referred to in paragraph (4) or paragraph (6) of Article 35 (Inspection, etc. of the Portion related to the Examination of the Facts) of the Act, the petition for appeal shall contain a statement of the grounds for seeking revocation or modification ofthe judicial decision in prior instance specifically.

(2) With regard to the immediate appeal referred to in Article 35, paragraph (4) or paragraph (6) of the Act, the provisions of Article 207 (Document Stating Grounds for Revocation of Judicial Decision of Prior Instance, etc.) of the Rules of Civil Procedure shall not apply.

(Forwarding of Record pertaining to Immediate Appeal Referred to in Article 35, paragraph (4) of the Act; Article 35 of the Act)

Article 27 (1) Where the immediate appeal referred to in paragraph (4) of Article 35 (Inspection, etc. of the Portion related to the Examination of the Facts) of the Act is filed, if the court of prior instance finds no need to forward the record of the case pertaining to personal status litigation, it is sufficient for a court clerk of the court of prior instance to forward only the record of the appeal case to a court clerk of the court in charge of the appeal, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 174 (Forwarding of Record due to Filing of Appeal to Second Instance) of the Rules of Civil Procedure as applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to Article 205 (Application Mutatis Mutandis of Provisions Concerning Appeal to Court of Second Instance or Final Appeal) of said Rules.

(2) Where the record of the appeal case is forwarded pursuant to the provisions of the preceding paragraph, if the court in charge of the appeal finds therecord of the case pertaining to personal status litigation referred to in said paragraph to be necessary, a court clerk of the court in charge of the appealshall promptly request a court clerk of the court of prior instance to forward said record.

(Forwarding of Record pertaining to Immediate Appeal Referred to in Article 35, paragraph (6) of the Act; Article 35 of the Act)

Article 28 (1) Where the immediate appeal referred to in paragraph (6) of Article 35 (Inspection, etc. of the Portion related to the Examination of the Facts) of the Act is filed, a court clerk of the court of prior instance shall forward only the record of the appeal case to a court clerk of the court in charge of the appeal, notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding Article (Forwarding of Record pertaining to Immediate Appeal Referred to in Article 35, paragraph (4) of the Act).

(2) In the case referred to in the preceding paragraph, the record referred to in said paragraph shall have attached thereto a document stating an opinion of the court of prior instance with regard to the appeal case and materials that serve as a reference in the proceedings of the appeal case.

(Documents to Be Submitted in Cases of Termination of Marriage through Divorce by Agreement; Article 36 of the Act)

Article 29 (1) Where the parties to a marriage pertaining to an action for the revocation of their marriage or for their divorce have divorced by agreement while said action is pending, if a petition for an ancillary disposition has already been filed and that petition is not withdrawn, a person seeking to withdraw said action shall submit a transcript of the family register proving the divorce by agreement of the parties to the marriage pertaining to said action and other documents to the court in charge of the case together with a document of withdrawal of said action.

(2) In the case referred to in the preceding paragraph, the court in charge of the case shall hear from both parties as to whether the matters in connection with the ancillary disposition referred to in said paragraph have been determined upon the divorce by agreement.

Section 2 Settlement, and Waiver and Acknowledgement of Claim

(Waiver or Acknowledgment of Claim on Date for Scheduling Conference; Article 37 of the Act)

Article 30 With regard to a waiver or acknowledgment of a claim in litigation in connection with an action for a divorce, the provisions of paragraph(2) of Article 95 (Date for Scheduling Conference) of the Rules of Civil Procedure shall apply, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 14 (Waiver or Acknowledgment of Claim on Date for Scheduling Conference); provided, however, that with regard to an acknowledgment of a claim, the main clause of this Article shall apply only in the case provided in the proviso to paragraph (1) of Article 37 (Settlement, Waiver or Acknowledgement of Claim) of the Act.

(Notice of Settlement and of Acknowledgement of Claim to Administrator of Affairs Relating to Family Registers; Article 37 of the Act)

Article 31 The provisions of Article 17 (Notice of Judgment Becoming Final and Binding to Administrator of Affairs Relating to Family Registers)shall apply mutatis mutandis to cases where a settlement in litigation in connection with an action for a divorce (limited to a settlement by which a divorce is effected) or an acknowledgment of a claim in such litigation is stated in the record.

Section 3 Assurance of Performance

(Procedure for Assurance of Performance; Article 39 of the Act)

Article 32 Where a family court orders the performance of an obligation pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 39 (Order of Performance) of the Act (including the cases where applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to paragraph (3) of said Article), it shall give notice to the obligor of the legal sanction for the violation of the order concurrently.

Chapter III Special Provisions for Litigation Concerning Natural Parent-Child Relationship

(Documents to Be Attached to Written Petition for Taking Over of Litigation Proceedings; Article 41, etc. of the Act)

Article 33 In cases of filing a petition for taking over of litigation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 41 (Parties to an Action to Rebut the Presumption of a Child in Wedlock) or paragraph (3) of Article 42 (Parties to an Action Seeking Filiation, etc.) of the Act, the written petition shall have attached thereto a transcript of the family register and other documents as necessary for clarifying that the person who is to take over the litigation proceedings is a person who may take over the litigation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of Article 41, paragraph (2)or Article 42, paragraph (3) of the Act.

Chapter IV Special Provisions for Adoption-Related Litigation

(Waiver or Acknowledgment of Claim on Date for Scheduling Conference; Article 44 of the Act)

Article 34 The provisions of the main clause of Article 30 (Waiver or Acknowledgment of Claim on Date for Scheduling Conference) shall apply mutatis mutandis to a waiver or acknowledgment of a claim in litigation in connection with an action for dissolution of an adoptive relationship.

(Notice of Settlement and of Acknowledgement of Claim to Administrator of Affairs Relating to Family Registers; Article 44 of the Act)

Article 35 The provisions of Article 17 (Notice of Judgment Becoming Final and Binding to Administrator of Affairs Relating to Family Registers) shall apply mutatis mutandis to cases where a settlement in litigation in connection with an action for a dissolution of an adoptive relationship (limited to a settlement by which the adoptive relationship is dissolved) or an acknowledgment of a claim in such litigation is stated in the record.

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