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Interim Relief

May 2015 - Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Legal Developments by Baspinar & Partners Law Firm.

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The Interim Relief is regulated under the Turkish Procedural Law numbered 6100 ("TPL"). According to the legislation, the court can provide any kind of interim relief that has the effect of preventing the claimant incurring damages before resolution of his claim or, such as (i) freezing or securing goods or rights, (ii) ordering the defendant to take, or not to take, a certain action (for example, annotation to the title deed preventing its transfer, prohibiting the transfer of shares of a company, and so on).

What are the conditions to be met in order to obtain an interim relief?

There is no article in the TPL stating objective criteria for interim relief orders. It is up to judge's full discretion. However, there are some conditions to be fulfilled in order to obtain an interim relief.

Pursuant to the TPL, in order to grant an interim relief, there must be a concern that an inconvenience or a serious damage would occur as a result of a delay, or a change in the current situation, which would cause a difficulty or impossibility related to the exercise of a right.

On the other hand the party claiming for an interim relief order must file a petition explaining the grounds of the application, detailing the kind of interim relief demanded, providing significant proof that the party's claim on the merits is strong.

When and where should the interim relief to be asked?

The interim relief can be asked before or after the case is filed. If the interim relief is asked before filing the case the claimant should ask the interim relief to the court of jurisdiction as per the TPL as well. If the lawsuit was already filed, the interim relief must be requested from that court the case is filed before.

Should the claimant provide any security?

The party claiming for an interim relief order shall be ordered to provide security, in the amount ordered by the court, against possible damages that may be suffered by the other party and third parties if the interim relief turns out to be have been wrongly granted. If the request is based on an official document (or similar evidence) or if the situation or conditions require this, the court may order (by giving an explicit reason) the interim relief without any security. The security is returned if the interim relief is revoked or the court's decision is finalized and no claim for damages is filed within one month following the revocation of the interim relief or the finalization of the court decision (if the claimant loses its case, the counter-party can claim the damages arising as a result of the implementation of the interim relief).

In addition to that a foreign natural or legal person who initiates a claim, joins a claim, or commences execution proceedings before the Turkish courts must deposit an amount as security for costs, under International Private and Procedural Law ("IPPL") Article 48. The same provision states, however, that this person will be exempt from the obligation to pay security for costs under the principle of reciprocity.

What is the procedure to be followed?

In principle, after the application to the court, the claimant's petition is served to the defendant and the judge awaits the responses of the defendant in order to grant a decision or set a hearing date and decides after hearing both parties. Hence informing the other party could result in diminishing the effectiveness of interim relief in some cases, the judge has discretion to grant an interim relief ex parte depending on the conditions of the specific case.

The claimant should request implementation of the interim relief within one week following the order. Otherwise, the interim relief decision becomes automatically invalid.

If the interim relief is ordered before filing a case, the party obtaining the interim relief must file his case within two weeks after the implementation request of the interim relief. Otherwise the interim relief order becomes automatically invalid.

In case there is an ex-parte given interim relief, the defendant has right to object with a petition to the jurisdiction, security or the terms of the interim relief within one week after implementation of the interim relief or if the defendant was not present at the implementation, after the service of the minutes related to the implementation. Additionally the affected third parties can also object the security or the terms of the interim relief within one week after having information about the interim relief.

The judge sets a hearing date after receiving the objection petition and if the parties do not attend to the hearing s/he gives his/her decision based on the documents in the file. As a result of the objection, the judge can change, keep it as it is or revoke the interim relief.

In addition to that, the judge can change the interim relief or revoke it in case the defendant or the affected third party provides a security determined by the court. The claimant has right to object this decision. On the other hand, if there is a change in the status and conditions, the judge can also decide to change or revoke the interim relief without security.

How long does interim relief stay in force?

If not stated otherwise in the decision of the first instance court at the end of the case, the interim relief decision stays in force until the first instance court decision becomes final (for example, if one of the parties appeal, until the decision of the appeal court).

Can the defendant claim any compensation if the interim relief decision is unjustly given?

In case it is figured out that the claimant asked for interim relief unjustly or the interim relief is revoked automatically or after objection, the defendant can claim damages occurred because of the interim relief within one year after the finalization of the decision or revocation of the interim relief.