COURT PROCESSES

Welcome to the Malawi Judiciary, find yourself justice through the simple court processes

Here is where you can get all the help if you want to start a court process, please follow the steps as below

Before proceeding quickly learn of what a REGISTRY is and who you will find in the registry,
A registry is where you find clerks who will help you go about your case, these registries differ as follows:
- Criminal : handles criminal cases for the High Court
- Civil : handles civil cases for the High Court
- The Supreme Court of Appeal has one registry

Note: Click on the title in order toread about the court processes

Child Justice Courts

Resident Magistrate Courts

Here is the process to guide you through a CIVIL MATTER case in the magistrate courts

Walk in to any Magistrate Court in Malawi

Ask for any clerk of the Court

Introduce yourself

Tell the clerk the names of the defendant(s)

Explain your claim or complaint to the clerk

The clerk then will repeat what you have to him or her

You will be asked to confirm if the clerk heard you correctly

The clerk will advise you the type of claim based on what you had explained

You are then required to confirm your claim or complaint

A default summon is then prepared by the clerk according to your claim or complaint

Either you or the clerk has to write at the back side of the summons, your claim or complaiint

Then you you will be asked to sign for your default summons or statement of claim

You will then be required to pay at the accounts office the appropriate fees for your summons

you will bring the summons back to the clerk for case registration in the register book

The clerk then assigns a number to your case, which you will be notified of

Then the default summons or statement of claim will be sent to the Magistrates office

the magistrate will check the correctiveness of the complaint with the law

The Magistrate will sign, fix a date and stump the summons

the summons or statement of claim is duly issued on the date the Magistrate had fixed

The summons or statement of claim is ready for service to the defendant, either the court official or you are required to serve it in person to the defendant. The defendant must then sign the summons as evidence that the summons was duly served. The signed copy must be returned to the court as acceptance of service. the defendant is then required to sign an affidavit of defence 8 days after service.The defendant can file the actual defence within 7 days from the date service was accepted.

the defendant can file a counter claim to your summons. You are required to file an affidavit of defence to the counter claim 8 days after service.You can as well, file defence to the counter claim within 7 days after service was accepted

A default judgement can be entered against the defendant or you if he or she or you failed to serve an affidavit of defence or defence within the prescribed period of time as above.If an affidavit of defence or defence is filed with the court , the matter will be referred to mandatory mediation within 90 days. if mediation fails to settle the matter , a certification of termination of mediation will be issued.The termination certificate of mediation must be filed with the court.

the court will now assign a date through notice of hearing of the matter. You will be required to pay for the notice of date of hearing at the accounts office. You will be required or through the court official to serve personally the notice of hearing to the defendant

The notice of service must be accepted by signing by the defendant. If the defendant refuses to accept service or refuse to sign, you must leave the notice near him/her

Industrial Relations Courts

First visit the IRC

Meet a clerk in the registry, where you will file your complaints

The clerk will ask your for more details about you and your story before you visited the IRC , like visiting the
labour office

If the labour office was visited, the clerk will then give a form called FORM 1
This is where you will write down your complaints

Once FORM 1 is filled, you will be provided with another form, thsi is FORM 2

Take FORM 2 to the respondent together with FORM 1

The respondent is supposed to filled in FORM 2 in response, as defence

Respondent will then take FORM 2 to the clerk in the IRC registry

Dates will be set by the clerk before the registrar

Now it is at a pre-hearing stage

If pre-hearing fails, the case then goes before the Chairperson, at this stage judgement can be passed

If the judgement was not satisfactory, the respondent or the complainant can appel to the High Court

General division

Civil Division

Criminal Division

Commercial Division

Family And Probate Division

Revenue Division

Only referred cases are handled by the Supreme Court, but once you not satisfied with the ruling from the lower court,do the following:

Malawi Judiciary | Court Processes