The Respondent is not obligated to respond to your claim. However, if you talk to the Respondent before you file your claim, you can then determine whether or not it is worth your time to prepare a video argument. In case the Respondent is apprehensive about creating a video argument in his/her defense to be voted on Ujuj, you can then say that you will file a case in Small Claims Court and have the matter settled there. But clearly, Small Claims Court is more time consuming, costly, creates unnecessary hassles and the outcome may not be fair.
Yes. The Ujuj process is based on contract law, which is upheld in courts across the country as "legally binding." Generally, any agreement where both parties agree to the terms of the agreement is considered by the courts to be legally binding. Before uploading your argument, you agree to be bound by the outcome of the case.
The Respondent will receive an email notifying him/her that a case has been filed against him/her. It will contain instructions for viewing your argument as well as instructions for responding. The Respondent has 30 days to respond before the case is deleted from pending cases. You should try to personally inform the Respondent that you have filed a case against him/her on Ujuj.
Have your witnesses videotaped. Also show any pictures, diagrams, account books, bills, receipts, agreements, notes, dishonored checks or other evidence that will help the Internet public decide who is right. Remember, your argument is limited to three minutes and a maximum of 45 Megabytes.
The case will be published for voting when the Respondent uploads his or her case.
Each party will have the award funds charged to their credit cards before the case opens for voting. This charge will be held in escrow until the case settles. Upon settlement, the winner will receive the final award from the losing party's escrowed funds. All remaining balances will then be credited back to each party's credit card.
Many judges will first present the opportunity for mediation. Mediation is a process in which a trained, neutral mediator facilitates communication between opposing parties in an attempt to reach agreement. If you and the defendant agree to mediation, a mediator will meet with you privately. Ujuj serves as a form of mediation through social justice (i.e. the public decides who is right).
If you do not reach an agreement or do not wish to mediate, the judge will listen to each side. This is called a hearing. Mediation and the hearing may not take place on the same day. You should allow several hours for each entire process.
Usually, the court will go through a docket call. Answer when your case is called. Most judges will briefly explain the procedure to be used in your trial. If you are confused about anything he or she says, or if you have other questions, do not be afraid to ask the judge. When the trial begins, the judge will ask you and your witnesses to swear to tell the truth. The judge will also swear in the defendant.
If you are the plaintiff, you will have the first chance to tell your story. Go through your prepared statement. Ask the judge if you may call on your witnesses, and present any documents or photos. After you and your witnesses have told the judge your story, the defendant will have a chance to tell his or her story.
After the judge has heard the facts from both sides, including witnesses, and everyone has asked all their questions, the judge will decide who wins the case and the amount, if any, the winner should receive. If the judge wants more time to think about the case, he or she will tell you when you can expect a decision.