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Ribis in a Secular Court

Question:

Someone owes me funds. He was summoned to Beis Din 4 times and didn’t come. The Beis Din offered him reasonable payments plans – per month, per week. He made one payment – 6% of the total debt. The Beis Din issued a ksav siruv and permitted me to go to secular court. My solicitor in the UK wrote, “you will be issuing proceedings in the County Court together with costs and interest at 8% and the County courts act to make recovery.”
May I claim in secular court for 1) the court costs, 2)the fee for Beis Din, 3) phone calls, and 4) interest at 8% (It seems from the article “Collecting Interest in Court” that I can’t collect the 8% if it’snot a company)? What is more than the original sum is or isn’t ribis?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

A question of this type should really be presented to the Bais Din that you are dealing with. If the Bais Din gave you permission to go to court because he wasn’t willing to come to Bais Din then you would be allowed to charge him the court fees. Regarding the Bais Din’s fees, the Bais Din might award that to you, depending on the case. Regarding the interest, that may not be collected as it is ribbis. If the court will give the other side a one time fine, that would be permitted to take.

Best wishes

 

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