Claim No. CFI 074/2022
IN THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
IN THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
JUDGMENT OF JUSTICE SIR JEREMY COOKE
|Hearing :||22 December 2022|
|Counsel :||The Appellant is a litigant in person and was represented by Mr. Mihad|
The Respondent is a litigant in person and was represented by Ms. Mihlu
|Judgment :||5 January 2023|
UPON the Judgment of H.E. Justice Nassir Al Nasser dated 29 September 2022 issued in the DIFC Courts’ Small Claims Tribunal Case No. SCT-312-2022 (the “Judgment”)
AND UPON reviewing the Defendant’s Appeal Notice dated 12 October 2022 seeking permission to appeal against the Judgment (the “Permission Application”)
AND UPON the Order with Reasons of H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi dated 25 October 2022 granting the Permission Application
AND UPON hearing the Claimant’s representative and the Defendant’s representative at the Appeal Hearing listed before me on 22 December 2022
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THATthe appeal is dismissed.
Date of issue: 5 January 2023
SCHEDULE OF REASONS
1. The only ground for appeal is that the contract between the Claimant and the Defendant did not include a term in which the Defendant agreed to the jurisdiction of the DIFC Court. That is the only ground pursued on which permission to appeal was given.
2. There is no dispute over the fact that the invoice sent by email to the Defendant on 1 August 2022 (the “Invoice”) did contain such a term, but it is said that when the Defendant signed the Registration Form and paid the deposit, the contract was concluded and that the Registration Form did not contain such a clause. The Defendant attended the course on 1 August.
3. It is undisputed that after receipt of the Registration Form and reminders that the balance was due on the Invoice, which included the jurisdiction clause, the Defendant attended the course not only on 2 August but also on 3 August but failed to make any further payment, being dissatisfied with the course. In my judgment, by attending the course on those days in the full knowledge of the Invoice and the required payment, the Defendant accepted the terms of the Invoice and therefore the jurisdiction of the Court to determine any dispute which arose.
4. The evidence of Ms Mihlu for the Claimant was that all her standard forms, including the standard registration form also contained that jurisdiction clause. I accept her evidence as to the content of her standard forms, according as it does with the probabilities, once it is recognised that any of her standard forms include the term. She also produced, on her mobile, a photograph of the original form in her possession which contained the jurisdiction clause at the bottom of the form, and which the Defendant signed. I accepted her evidence that the original form signed by the Defendant did include this term and the copy since produced to the Court confirms that evidence.
5. The copy of the Registration Form which was originally filed with the Court did not contain that jurisdiction clause but only the terms and conditions numbered 1-12. This was because the scanned copy was not of the complete form, missing off the term as to jurisdiction which appeared at the bottom of the page.
6. It was accepted by the Defendant’s litigation friend that:
(a) If the Registration Form contained such a term and was signed by the Defendant, she was bound by the term and the Court had jurisdiction.
(b) That if the Defendant had paid after receipt of the Invoice containing such a term, she would be bound by it.
7. I find that the Registration Form did include that term. In my judgment also, it follows from what is said in paragraph 6 (b) above that, if, after receipt of the Invoice and knowing its terms, she attended the course, she must be taken to have accepted the jurisdiction term as part of the contract between her and the Claimant together with the liability to pay the fees referred to in the Registration Form and the Invoice.
8. In these circumstances and for these reasons, the appeal is dismissed.