Beth Din Givas Hamorah is a rabbinic court that adjudicates civil disputes between Jewish litigants who agree to be bound by Orthodox Jewish law as laid down in Shulhan Arukh Hoshen Mishpat and its glossators. Marital transactions such as marriage, divorce, yibbum and halitzah may also be executed in our court.
Our court consists of a panel of three dayyanim (justices) drawn from a pool of over 20 rabbanim who are Talmudic scholars by profession and experts in Jewish law.
In accordance with halakhah (Jewish law) and in order to preserve the integrity of halakhic jurisprudence, our beth din provides all its services absolutely free of charge. Moreover, our beth din will not accept any payment, donation or gift from anyone utilizing our services.
Our beth din was founded in order to address the abuses and inefficiencies of most other major bate dinim, such as the endlessly drawn-out litigation process designed to exploit and maximize a profit from litigants. Furthermore, we are the only beth din who fully comply with the rule that hanotel sekhar ladun dinav betelim: whoever takes recompense to adjudicate, his judgements are null.
How It Works
For civil disputes, the process works as follows:
- We receive a complaint by fax, phone or web.
- We immediately send out a summons by reguar USPS mail to the defendant/respondent, ordering them to appear before beth din for litigation within three weeks of our receipt of the complaint.
- If the date is inconvenient for the respondent, respondent may contact us to arrange an earlier date, but may not postpone the litigation date beyond the originally appointed date. If respondent arranges an earlier litigation date, we will notify the plaintiff, who then must show up on the earlier date in order for the case to proceed.
- Both parties must appear before us in person in order for litigation to proceed on the appointed litigation date. Power of attorney is not an acceptable alternative to the presence of the disputants, though legal and/or lay counsel may accompany the disputants at our court proceedings. If plaintiff is absent, the case is automatically dismissed. If respondent is absent, our beth din will immediately issue a siruv (a document declaring that the respondent is refusing to submit to din torah) and in most cases we will also excommunicate the respondent for being in contempt of court, as specified in halakha. Additionally, if there is a valid arbitration agreement between the parties, the Beth Din may render a default judgment.
- In order for the rabbinic decision of our court to carry legal weight, both parties will be asked to sign an arbitration consent document, BEFORE any debate about the case commences.
- After listening to both parties our beth din will debate the merits of the case in private session and probe rabbinic statutory (shulhan arukh) and case law (she'eloth uteshuvoth) relevance to the case if applicable. All supporting documents to a case must be presented at the time of litigation. We do not accept such evidence before the litigation date and evidence submitted late may prejudice the outcome of the case.
- A verdict will be issued within days and mailed or faxed to both parties.
NOTE: A siruv halakhically allows the plaintiff to seek any form of remedy, including unilateral action and/or suing in a secular court.