Dear SirMadam What is the time limit, if...

Asked by Linda55600 on 03-07-2023 10:46:34
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Western Cape

Dear Sir/Madam 

What is the time limit,  if any, for the Plaintiff to formally - filed in court -  and informally- per email - answer a Defendant Plea and Counterclaim

Thanking you 

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 03-07-2023 11:02:16

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

In the magistrates court, a defendant will have (in terms of Rule 17) 20 court days to file its plea - which is the defence. 

Then, in terms of Rule 21, a plaintiff will have 15 court days to file a replication to the defendant's plea, together with a plea to the counterclaim (called a plea in replication). 

In the high court, it is also 20 days to file a plea (Rule 22) and 15 days to file a replication and the plea in replication (Rule 25).

Message from the client

Hi so it took Plaintiffs attorney 28days to email Defendants attorney that they accept our Plea and counterclaim. Then 105 days almost 3 1/2 months to file acceptance in court. Is thus acceptable ?

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 03-07-2023 12:22:48

Are you the plaintiff, or are you the defendant?

The time periods mentioned in the rules pertain to service on the other side. This is the important aspect. But filing at court should be done soonest thereafter! 

Message from the client

I am defendant

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 03-07-2023 12:31:33

Forget about the date on which the plaintiff's lawyer emailed your lawyer to say they accept the plea and counterclaim. 

The important date is the date on which your lawyer emailed your plea and counterclaim to the plaintiff's lawyer. That is the date of service. 

The "acceptance" email is not filed separately in court. 

Message from the client

So then the Plaintiffs attorney had 15 days after the service of our Plea to file an acceptance of Defendants Plea and counterclaim, is this correct

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 03-07-2023 13:24:19

Yes, within 15 days of the delivery of your plea, the plaintiff could elect to file a replication or not. It is not needed.

Then, within 15 days of the delivery of your claim in reconvention (i.e. counterclaim), the plaintiff would need to deliver its plea in reconvention (which is its plea to your counterclaim).

Answer Accepted

This answer was accepted on 03-07-2023 13:28:25

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