In Cyprus, there is civil legislation to support those owed fees for services rendered, accommodation or other actions that warrant payment as contracted or agreed. The payment of a sum of money into court, which the respondent believes is reasonable to cover the claim for debt or damages, constitutes a way to end the course of a trial and to accelerate or expedite the entire court process in Cyprus, which is of course looked upon favourably.
To exercise this right, the respondent is effectively putting the burden on the claimant, as if they continue after the trial with the action without obtaining a judgment for a higher amount than the one paid, will be ordered to pay all the costs for both parties in court. The Cyprus Civil Procedure Rules provide that in any action for a debt or damages the respondent may at any time upon notice to the claimant pay fees in order to settle the claim.
As stated in a judgment issued by the Cyprus Supreme Court earlier this month, any payment into court constitutes a valid effort to reach an agreement, however does not constitute a defence. The issue under examination was referred to in the Cyprus Supreme Court during an appeal regarding an alleged wrong judgment of the court of first instance for amounts owed in a damage case.
In the recent case, the respondent accepted liability, however alleged some special damages claimed were unreasonable and that the actual damages were no higher than a specified sum, an amount which had been rejected by the claimant. The respondent eventually agreed to pay a higher amount to court than the one originally offered. The court of first instance ordered the respondent to pay all the costs of the proceedings although it had previously issued a judgment for a lower amount than the one originally deposited.
The Cyprus Supreme Court had to interpret the findings to mean that it generally relates to the procedure of the payment into court for a claim in an effort to bring an end to the continuation of the trial or to minimise its trial length and court time. Therefore a respondent without defence is acting correctly by making payments to court as soon as possible. This right is considered valuable for the protection of defendants in general, as its goal is to ensure that the claimant will not carry out an abusive action against the respondent, who may have originally accepted the claim.
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