CIVIL PROCEDURE LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
（Adopted at the Fourth Session of the Seventh National People's Congress on April 9， 1991， promulgated by Order No. 44 of the President of the People's Republic of China on April 9， 1991， and effective as of the date of promulgation）
颁布日期：19910409 实施日期：19910409 颁布单位：全国人民代表大会
Part One General Provisions
CHAPTER I The Aim， Scope of Application and Basic Principles
CHAPTER II Jurisdiction
Section 1 Jurisdiction by Forum Level
Section 2 Territorial Jurisdiction
Section 3 Transfer and Designation of Jurisdiction
CHAPTER III Trial Organization
CHAPTER IV Withdrawal
CHAPTER V Participants in Proceedings
Section 1 Parties
Section 2 Agents ad Litem
CHAPTER VI Evidence
CHAPTER VII Time Periods and Service
Section 1 Time Periods
Section 2 Service
CHAPTER VIII Conciliation
CHAPTER IX Property Preservation and Advance Execution
CHAPTER X Compulsory Measures Against Obstruction of Civil Proceedings
CHAPTER XI Litigation Costs
Part Two Trial Procedure
CHAPTER XII Ordinary Procedure of First Instance
Section 1 Bringing a Lawsuit and Entertaining a Case
Section 2 Preparations for Trial
Section 3 Trial in Court
Section 4 Suspension and Termination of Litigation
Section 5 Judgment and Order
CHAPTER XIII Summary Procedure
CHAPTER XIV Procedure of Second Instance
CHAPTER XV Special Procedure
Section 1 General Provisions
Section 2 Cases Concerning the Qualification of Voters
Section 3 Cases Concerning the Declaration of a Person as Missing or Dead
Section 4 Cases Concerning the Adjudgment of Legal Incapacity or Restricted Legal Capacity of Citizens
Section 5 Cases Concerning the Determination of a Property as Ownerless
CHAPTER XVI Procedure for Trial Supervision
CHAPTER XVII Procedure for Hastening Debt Recovery
CHAPTER XVIII Procedure for Publicizing Public Notice for Assertion of Claims
CHAPTER XIX Procedure for Bankruptcy and Debt Repayment of Legal Person Enterprises
Part Three Procedure of Execution
CHAPTER XX General Provisions
CHAPTER XXI Application for Execution and Referral
CHAPTER XXII Execution Measures
CHAPTER XXIII Suspension and Termination of Execution
Part Four Special Provisions for Civil Procedure of Cases Involving Foreign Element
CHAPTER XXIV General Principles
CHAPTER XXV Jurisdiction
CHAPTER XXVI Service and Time Periods
CHAPTER XXVII Property Preservation
CHAPTER XXVIII Arbitration
CHAPTER XXIX Judicial Assistance PART ONE GENERAL PROVISIONS
Chapter I The Aim， Scope of Application and Basic Principles
Article 1 The Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China is formulated on the basis of the Constitution and in the light of the experience and actual conditions of our country in the trial of civil cases.
Article 2 The Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China aims to protect the exercise of the litigation rights of the parties and ensure the ascertaining of facts by the people's courts， distinguish right from wrong， apply the law correctly， try civil cases promptly， affirm civil rights and obligations， impose sanctions for civil wrongs， protect the lawful rights and interests of the parties， educate citizens to voluntarily abide by the law， maintain the social and economic order， and guarantee the smooth progress of the socialist construction.
Article 3 In dealing with civil litigation arising from disputes on property and personal relations between citizens， legal persons or other organizations and between the three of them， the people's courts shall apply the provisions of this Law.
Article 4 Whoever engages in civil litigation within the territory of the People's Republic of China must abide by this Law.
Article 5 Aliens， stateless persons， foreign enterprises and organizations that bring suits or enter appearance in the people's courts shall have the same litigation rights and obligations as citizens， legal persons and other organizations of the People's Republic of China.
If the courts of a foreign country impose restrictions on the civil litigation rights of the citizens， legal persons and other organizations of the People's Republic of China， the people's courts of the People's Republic of China shall follow the principle of reciprocity regarding the civil litigation rights of the citizens， enterprises and organizations of that foreign country.
Article 6 The people's courts shall exercise judicial powers with respect to civil cases. The people's courts shall try civil cases independently in accordance with the law， and shall be subject to no interference by any administrative organ， public organization or individual.
Article 7 In trying civil cases， the people's courts must base themselves on facts and take the law as the criterion.
Article 8 The parties in civil litigation shall have equal litigation rights. The people's courts shall， in conducting the trials， safeguard their rights， facilitate their exercising the rights， and apply the law equally to them.
Article 9 In trying civil cases， the people's courts shall conduct conciliation for the parties on a voluntary and lawful basis； if conciliation fails， judgments shall be rendered without delay.
Article 10 In trying civil cases， the people's courts shall， according to the provisions of the law， follow the systems of panel hearing， withdrawal， public trial and the court of second instance being that of last instance.
Article 11 Citizens of all nationalities shall have the right to use their native spoken and written languages in civil proceedings.
Where minority nationalities live in aggregation in a community or where several nationalities live together in one area， the people's courts shall conduct hearings and issue legal documents in the spoken and written languages commonly used by the local nationalities.
The people's courts shall provide translations for any participant in the proceedings who is not familiar with the spoken or written languages commonly used by the local nationalities.
Article 12 Parties to civil actions are entitled in the trials by the people's courts to argue for themselves.
Article 13 The parties are free to deal with their own civil rights and litigation rights the way they prefer within the scope provided by the law.
Article 14 The people's procuratorates shall have the right to exercise legal supervision over civil proceedings.
Article 15 Where an act has infringed upon the civil rights and interests of the State， a collective organization or an individual， any State organ， public organization， enterprise or institution may support the injured unit or individual to bring an action in a people's court.
Article 16 The people's conciliation committees shall be mass organizations to conduct conciliation of civil disputes under the guidance of the grass- roots level people's governments and the basic level people's courts.
The people's conciliation committee shall conduct conciliation for the parties according to the Law and on a voluntary basis. The parties concerned shall carry out the settlement agreement reached through conciliation； those who decline conciliation or those for whom conciliation has failed or those who have backed out of the settlement agreement may institute legal proceedings in a people's court.
If a people's conciliation committee， in conducting conciliation of civil disputes， acts contrary to the law， rectification shall be made by the people's court.
Article 17 The people's congresses of the national autonomous regions may formulate， in accordance with the Constitution and the principles of this Law， and in conjunction with the specific circumstances of the local nationalities， adaptive and supplementary provisions. Such provisions made by an autonomous region shall be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for approval； those made by an autonomous prefecture or autonomous county shall be submitted to the standing committee of the people's congress of the relevant province or autonomous region for approval and to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for the record.
Chapter II Jurisdiction
Section 1 Jurisdiction by Forum Level
Article 18 The basic people's courts shall have jurisdiction as courts of first instance over civil cases， unless otherwise provided in this Law.
Article 19 The intermediate people's courts shall have jurisdiction as courts of first instance over the following civil cases：
（1） major cases involving foreign element；
（2） cases that have major impact on the area under their jurisdiction； and
（3） cases as determined by the Supreme People's Court to be under the jurisdiction of the intermediate people's courts.
Article 20 The high people's courts shall have jurisdiction as courts of first instance over civil cases that have major impact on the areas under their jurisdiction.
Article 21 The Supreme People's Court shall have jurisdiction as the court of first instance over the following civil cases：
（1） cases that have major impact on the whole country； and
（2） cases that the Supreme People's Court deems it should try.
Section 2 Territorial Jurisdiction
Article 22 A civil lawsuit brought against a citizen shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the defendant has his domicile； if the place of the defendant's domicile is different from that of his habitual residence， the lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place of his habitual residence.
A civil lawsuit brought against a legal person or any other organization shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the defendant has his domicile.
Where the domiciles or habitual residences of several defendants in the same lawsuit are in the areas under the jurisdiction of two or more people's courts， all of those people's courts shall have jurisdiction over the lawsuit.
Article 23 The civil lawsuits described below shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the plaintiff has his domicile； if the place of the plaintiff's domicile is different from that of his habitual residence， the lawsuit shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place of the plaintiff's habitual residence：
（1） those concerning personal status brought against persons not residing within the territory of the People's Republic of China；
（2） those concerning the personal status of persons whose whereabouts are unknown or who have been declared as missing；
（3） those brought against persons who are undergoing rehabilitation through labour； and
（4） those brought against persons who are in imprisonment.
Article 24 A lawsuit brought on a contract dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the defendant has his domicile or where the contract is performed.
Article 25 The parties to a contract may agree to choose in their written contract the people's court of the place where the defendant has his domicile， where the contract is performed， where the contract is signed， where the plaintiff has his domicile or where the object of the action is located to exercise jurisdiction over the case， provided that the provisions of this Law regarding jurisdiction by forum level and exclusive jurisdiction are not violated.
Article 26 A lawsuit brought on an insurance contract dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the defendant has his domicile or where the insured object is located.
Article 27 A lawsuit brought on a bill dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the bill is to be paid or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 28 A lawsuit arising from a dispute over a railway， road， water， or air transport contract or over a combined transport contract shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place of dispatch or the place of destination or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 29 A lawsuit brought on a tortious act shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the tort is committed or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 30 A lawsuit brought on claims for damages caused by a railway， road， water transport or air accident shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the accident occurred or where the vehicle or ship first arrived after the accident or where the aircraft first landed after the accident， or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 31 A lawsuit brought on claims for damages caused by a collision at sea or by any other maritime accident shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the collision occurred or where the ship in collision first docked after the accident or where the ship at fault was detained， or where the defendant has his domicile.
Article 32 A lawsuit instituted for expenses of maritime salvage shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the salvage took place or where the salvaged ship first docked after the disaster.
Article 33 A lawsuit brought for general average shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the ship first docked or where the adjustment of general average was conducted or where the voyage ended.
Article 34 The following cases shall be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the people's courts herein specified：
（1） a lawsuit brought on a dispute over real estate shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the estate is located；
（2） a lawsuit brought on a dispute over harbour operations shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the harbour is located； and
（3） a lawsuit brought on a dispute over succession shall be under the jurisdiction of the people's court of the place where the decedent had his domicile upon his death， or where the principal part of his estate is located.
Article 35 When two or more people's courts have jurisdiction over a lawsuit， the plaintiff may bring his lawsuit in one of these people's courts； if the plaintiff brings the lawsuit in two or more people's courts that have jurisdiction over the lawsuit， the people's court in which the case was first entertained shall have jurisdiction.
Section 3 Transfer and Designation of Jurisdiction
Article 36 If a people's court finds that a case it has entertained is not under its jurisdiction， it shall refer the case to the people's court that has jurisdiction over the case. The people's court to which a case has been referred shall entertain the case， and if it considers that， according to the relevant regulations， the case referred to it is not under its jurisdiction， it shall report to a superior people's court for the designation of jurisdiction and shall not independently refer the case again to another people's court.
Article 37 If a people's court which has jurisdiction over a case is unable to exercise the jurisdiction for special reasons， a superior people's court shall designate another court to exercise jurisdiction.
In the event of a jurisdictional dispute between two or more people's courts， it shall be resolved by the disputing parties through consultation； if the dispute cannot be so resolved， it shall be reported to their common superior people's court for the designation of jurisdiction.
Article 38 If a party to an action objects to the jurisdiction of a people's court after the court has entertained the case， the party must raise the objection within the period prescribed for the submission of defence. The people's court shall examine the objection. If the objection is established， the people's court shall order the case to be transferred to the people's court that has jurisdiction over it； if not， the people's court shall reject it.
Article 39 The people's courts at higher levels shall have the power to try civil cases over which the people's courts at lower levels have jurisdiction as courts of first instance； they may also transfer civil cases over which they themselves have jurisdiction as courts of first instance to people's courts at lower levels for trial. If a people's court at a lower level that has jurisdiction over a civil case as court of first instance deems it necessary to have the case to be tried by a people's court at a higher level， it may submit it to and request the people's court at a higher level to try the case.
Chapter III Trial Organization
Article 40 The people's court of first instance shall try civil cases by a collegial panel composed of both judges and judicial assessors or of judges alone.
The collegial panel must have an odd number of members.
Civil cases in which summary procedure is followed shall be tried by a single judge alone.
When performing their duties， the judicial assessors shall have equal rights and obligations as the judges.
Article 41 The people's court of second instance shall try civil cases by a collegial panel of judges. The collegial panel must have an odd number of members.
For the retrial of a remanded case， the people's court of first instance shall form a new collegial panel in accordance with the procedure of first instance. If a case for retrial was originally tried at first instance， a new collegial panel shall be formed according to the procedure of first instance； if the case was originally tried at second instance or was brought by a people's court at a higher level to it for trial， a new collegial panel shall be formed according to the procedure of second instance.
Article 42 The president of the court or the chief judge of a division of the court shall designate a judge to serve as the presiding judge of the collegial panel； if the president or the chief judge participates in the trial， he himself shall serve as the presiding judge.
Article 43 When deliberating a case， a collegial panel shall observe the rule of majority. The deliberations shall be recorded in writing， and the transcript shall be signed by the members of the collegial panel.
Dissenting opinions in the deliberations must be truthfully entered in the transcript.
Article 44 The judicial officers shall deal with all cases impartially and in accordance with the law.
The judicial officers shall not accept any treat or gift from the parties or their agents adlitem.
Any judicial officer who commits embezzlement， accepts bribes， engages in malpractice for personal benefits or who perverts the law in passing judgment shall be investigated for legal responsibility； if the act constitutes a crime， the offender shall be investigated for criminal responsibility according to the law.
Chapter IV Withdrawal
Article 45 A judicial officer shall of himself withdraw from the case， and the parties thereto shall be entitled to apply orally or in writing for his withdrawal in any of the following circumstances：
（1） he being a party to the case or a near relative of a party or an agent ad litem in the case；
（2） he being an interested party in the case； or
（3） he having some other kind of relationship with a party to the case， which might affect the impartiality of the trial.
The above provisions shall also apply to clerks， interpreters， expert witnesses and inspection personnel.
Article 46 In applying for the withdrawal， the party shall state the reason and submit the application at the beginning of the proceedings； the application may also be submitted before the closing of arguments in court if the reason for the withdrawal is known to him only after the proceedings begin.
Pending a decision by the people's court regarding the withdrawal applied for， the judicial officer concerned shall temporarily suspend his participation in the proceedings， with the exception， however， of cases that require the taking of emergency measures.
Article 47 The withdrawal of the presiding judge who is president of the court shall be decided by the judicial committee； the withdrawal of judicial officers shall be decided by the court president； and the withdrawal of other personnel by the presiding judge.
Article 48 The decision of a people's court on an application made by any party for withdrawal shall be made orally or in writing within three days after the application was made. If the applicant is not satisfied with the decision， he may apply for reconsideration which could be granted only once. During the period of reconsideration， the person whose withdrawal has been applied for shall not suspend his participation in the proceedings. The decision of a people's court on the reconsideration shall be made within three days after receiving the application and the applicant shall be notified of it accordingly.
Chapter V Participants in Proceedings
Section 1 Parties
Article 49 Any citizen， legal person and any other organization may become a party to a civil action.
Legal persons shall be represented by their legal representatives in the litigation. Other organizations shall be represented by their principal heads in the proceedings.
Article 50 Parties to an action shall have the right to appoint agents， apply for withdrawals， collect and provide evidence， proffer arguments， request conciliation， file an appeal and apply for execution.
Parties to an action may have access to materials pertaining to the case and make copies thereof and other legal documents pertaining to the case.
The scope of and rules for consulting and making copies of them shall be specified by the Supreme People's Court.
Parties to an action must exercise their litigation rights in accordance with the law， observe the procedures and carry out legally effective written judgments or orders and conciliation statements.
Article 51 The two parties may reach a compromise of their own accord.
Article 52 The plaintiff may relinquish or modify his claims. The defendant may admit or rebut the claims and shall have the right to file counterclaims.
Article 53 When one party or both parties consist of two or more than two persons， their object of action being the same or of the same category and the people's court considers that， with the consent of the parties， the action can be tried combined， it is a joint action.
If a party of two or more persons to a joint action have common rights and obligations with respect to the object of action and the act of any one of them is recognized by the others of the party， such an act shall be valid for all the rest of the party； if a party of two or more persons have no common rights and obligations with respect to the object of action， the act of any one of them shall not be valid for the rest.
Article 54 If the persons comprising a party to a joint action is large in number， the party may elect representatives from among themselves to act for them in the litigation. The acts of such representatives in the litigation shall be valid for the party they represent. However， modification or waiver of claims or admission of the claims of the other party or pursuing a compromise with the other party by the representatives shall be subject to the consent of the party they represent.
Article 55 Where the object of action is of the same category and the persons comprising one of the parties is large but uncertain in number at the commencement of the action， the people's court may issue a public notice， stating the particulars and claims of the case and informing those entitled to participate in the action to register their rights with the people's court within a fixed period of time.
Those who have registered their rights with the people's court may elect representatives from among themselves to proceed with the litigation； if the election fails its purpose， such representatives may be determined by the people's court through consultation with those who have registered their rights with the court.
The acts of such representative in the litigation shall be valid for the party they represent； however， modification or waiver of claims or admission of the claims of the other party or pursuing a compromise with the other party by the representatives shall be subject to the consent of the party they represent.
The judgments or written orders rendered by the people's court shall be valid for all those who have registered their rights with the court. Such judgments or written orders shall apply to those who have not registered their rights but have instituted legal proceedings during period of limitation of the action.
Article 56 If a third party considers that he has an independent claim to the object of action of both parties， he shall have the right to bring an action. Where the outcome of the case will affect a third party's legal interest， such party， though having no independent claim to the object of action of both parties， may file a request to participate in the proceedings or the people's court shall notify the third party to participate. A third party that is to bear civil liability in accordance with the judgment of the people's court shall be entitled to the rights and obligations of a party in litigation.
Section 2 Agents ad Litem
Article 57 Any person with no legal capacity to engage in litigation shall have his guardian or guardians as statutory agents to act for him in a lawsuit. If the statutory agents try to shift responsibility as agents ad litem upon one another， the people's court shall appoint one of them to represent the person in litigation.
Article 58 A party to an action， or statutory agent may appoint one or two persons to act as his agents ad litem.
A lawyer， a near relative of the party， a person recommended by a relevant social organization or a unit to which the party belongs or any other citizen approved by the people's court may be appointed as the party's agent ad litem.
Article 59 When a person appoints another to act on his behalf in litigation， he must submit to the people's court a power of attorney bearing his signature or seal.
The power of attorney must specify the matters entrusted and the powers conferred. An agent ad litem must obtain special powers from his principal to admit， waive or modify claims， or to compromise or to file a counterclaim or an appeal.
A power of attorney mailed or delivered through others by a citizen of the People's Republic of China residing abroad must be certified by the Chinese embassy or consulate accredited to that country. If there is no Chinese embassy or consulate in that country， the power of attorney must be certified by an embassy or a consulate of a third country accredited to that country that has diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China， and then transmitted for authentication to the embassy or consulate of the People's Republic of China accredited to that third country， or it must be certified by a local patriotic overseas Chinese organization.
Article 60 A party to an action shall inform the people's court in writing if he changes or revokes the powers of an agent ad litem， and the court shall notify the other party of the change or revocation.
Article 61 A lawyer who serves as an agent ad litem and other agents ad litem shall have the right to investigate and collect evidence， and may have access to materials pertaining to the case. The scope of and rules for consulting materials pertaining to the case shall be specified by the Supreme People's Court.
Article 62 In a divorce case in which the parties to the action have been represented by their agents ad litem， the parties themselves shall still appear in court in person， unless they are incapable of expressing their own will. A party who is truly unable to appear in court due to a special reason shall submit his views in writing to the people's court.
Chapter VI Evidence
Article 63 Evidence shall be classified as follows：
（1） documentary evidence；
（2） material evidence；
（3） audio-visual material；
（4） testimony of witnesses；
（5） statements of the parties；
（6） expert conclusions； and
（7） records of inspection.
The above-mentioned evidence must be verified before it can be taken as a basis for ascertaining a fact.
Article 64 It is the duty of a party to an action to provide evidence in support of his allegations.
If， for objective reasons， a party and his agent ad litem are unable to collect the evidence by themselves or if the people's court considers the evidence necessary for the trial of the case， the people's court shall investigate and collect it.
The people's court shall， in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the law， examine and verify evidence comprehensively and objectively.
Article 65 The people's court shall have the right to make investigation and collect evidence from the relevant units or individuals； such units or individuals may not refuse to provide information and evidence.
The people's court shall verify the authenticity， examine and determine the validity of the certifying documents provided by the relevant units or individuals.
Article 66 Evidence shall be presented in court and cross-examined by the parties concerned. But evidence that involves State secrets， trade secrets and personal privacy shall be kept confidential. If it needs to be presented in court， such evidence shall not be presented in an open court session.
Article 67 The people's court shall take the acts， facts and documents legalized by notarization according to legal procedures as the basis for ascertaining facts， unless there is evidence to the contrary sufficient to invalidate the notarization.
Article 68 Any document submitted as evidence must be the original. Material evidence must also be original. If it is truly difficult to present the original document or thing， then reproductions， photographs， duplicates or extracts of the original may be submitted.
If a document in a foreign language is submitted as evidence， a Chinese translation must be appended.
Article 69 The people's court shall verify audio-visual materials and determine after their examination in the light of other evidence in the case whether they can be taken as a basis for ascertaining the facts.
Article 70 All units and individuals who have knowledge of a case shall be under the obligation of giving testimony in court. Responsible heads of the relevant units shall support the witnesses to give testimony. When it is truly difficult for a witness to appear in court， he may， with the consent of the people's court， submit a written testimony.
Any person who is incapable of expressing his will properly shall not give testimony.
Article 71 The people's court shall examine the statements of the parties concerned in the light of other evidence in the case to determine whether the statements can be taken as a basis for ascertaining the facts.
The refusal of a party to make statements shall not prevent the people's court from ascertaining the facts of a case on the basis of other evidence.
Article 72 When the people's court deems it necessary to make an expert evaluation of a problem of a technical nature， it shall refer the problem to a department authorized by the law for the evaluation. In the absence of such a department， the people's court shall appoint one to make the expert evaluation.
The authorized department and the experts designated by the department shall have the right to consult the case materials necessary for the evaluation and question the parties and witnesses when circumstances so require.
The authorized department and the experts it designated shall present a written conclusion of the evaluation duly sealed or signed by both. If the evaluation is made by an expert alone， the unit to which the expert belongs shall certify his status by affixing its seal to the expert's conclusion.
Article 73 When inspecting material evidence or a site， the inspector must produce his credentials issued by a people's court. He shall request the local grass-roots organization or the unit to which the party to the action belongs to send persons to participate in the inspection. The party concerned or an adult member of his family shall be present； their refusal to appear on the scene， however， shall not hinder the inspection. Upon notification by the people's court， the relevant units and individuals shall be under the obligation of preserving the site and assisting the inspection. The inspector shall make a written record of the circumstances and results of the inspection， which shall be duly signed or sealed by the inspector， the party concerned and the participants requested to be present.
Article 74 Under circumstances where there is a likelihood that evidence may be destroyed or lost， or difficult to obtain later， the participants in the proceedings may apply to the people's court for preservation of the evidence. The people's court may also on its own initiative take measures to preserve such evidence.
Chapter VII Time Periods and Service
Section 1 Time Periods
Article 75 Time periods shall include those prescribed by the law and those designated by a people's court.
Time periods shall be calculated by the hour， the day， the month and the year. The hour and day from which a time period begins shall not be counted as within the time period.
If the expiration date of a time period falls on a holiday， then the day immediately following the holiday shall be regarded as the expiration date.
A time period shall not include travelling time. A litigation document that is mailed before the deadline shall not be regarded as overdue.
Article 76 In case of failure on the part of a party to an action to meet a deadline due to force majeure or for other justified reasons， the party concerned may apply for an extension of the time limit within 10 days after the obstacle is removed. The extension applied for shall be subject to approval by a people's court.
Section 2 Service
Article 77 A receipt shall be required for every litigation document that is served and it shall bear the date of receipt noted by the signature or seal of the person on whom the document was served.
The date noted on the receipt by the person on whom the document was served shall be regarded as the date of service of the document.
Article 78 Litigation documents shall be sent or delivered directly to the person on whom they are to be served. If that person is a citizen， the documents shall， in case of his absence， be receipted by an adult member of his family living with him. If the person on whom they are to be served is a legal person or any other organization， the documents shall be receipted by the legal representatives of the legal person or the principal heads of the other organization or anyone of the legal person or the other organization responsible for receiving such documents； if the person on whom they are to be served has an agent ad litem， the documents may be receipted by the agent ad litem； if the person on whom they are to be served has designated a person to receive litigation documents on his behalf and has informed the people's court of it， the documents may be receipted by the person designated.
The date put down in the receipt and signed by the adult family member living with the person or whom the litigation documents are to be served， or by the person responsible for receiving documents of a legal person or any other organization， or by the agent ad litem， or the person designated to receive documents shall be deemed the date of service of the documents.
Article 79 If the person on whom the litigation documents are to be served or the adult family member living with him refuses to receive the documents， the person serving the documents shall ask representatives from the relevant grass-roots organization or the unit to which the person on whom the documents are to be served belongs to appear on the scene， explain the situation to them， and record on the receipt the reasons of the refusal and the date of it. After the person serving the documents and the witnesses have affixed their signatures or seals to the receipt， the documents shall be left at the place where the person on whom they are to be served lives and the service shall be deemed completed.
Article 80 If direct service proves to be difficult， service of litigation documents may be entrusted to another people's court， or done by mail. If the documents are served by mail， the date stated on the receipt for postal delivery shall be deemed the date of service of the documents.
Article 81 If the person on whom the litigation documents are to be served is a military-man， the documents shall be forwarded to him through the political organ of the unit at or above the regimental level in the force to which he belongs.
Article 82 If the person on whom the litigation documents are to be served is in imprisonment， the documents shall be forwarded to him through the prison authorities or the unit of reform through labour where the person is serving his term.
If the person on whom the litigation documents are to be served is undergoing rehabilitation through labour， the documents shall be forwarded to him through the unit of his rehabilitation through labour.
Article 83 The organization or unit that receives the litigation documents to be forwarded must immediately deliver them to and have them receipted by the person on whom they are to be served. The date stated on the receipt shall be deemed the date of service of the documents.
Article 84 If the whereabouts of the person on whom the litigation documents are to be served is unknown， or if the documents cannot be served by the other methods specified in this Section， the documents shall be served by public announcement. Sixty days after the public announcement is made， the documents shall be deemed to have been served.
The reasons for service by public announcement and the process gone through shall be recorded in the case files.
Chapter VIII Conciliation
Article 85 In the trial of civil cases， the people's court shall distinguish between right and wrong on the basis of the facts being clear and conduct conciliation between the parties on a voluntary basis.
Article 86 When a people's court conducts conciliation， a single judge or a collegial panel may preside over it. Conciliation shall be conducted on the spot as much as possible.
When a people's court conducts conciliation， it may employ simplified methods to notify the parties concerned and the witnesses to appear in court.
Article 87 When a people's court conducts conciliation， it may invite the units or individuals concerned to come to its assistance. The units or individuals invited shall assist the people's court in conciliation.
Article 88 A settlement agreement reached between the two parties through conciliation must be of their own free will and without compulsion. The content of the settlement agreement shall not contravene the law.
Article 89 When a settlement agreement through conciliation is reached， the people's court shall draw up a conciliation statement. The conciliation statement shall clearly set forth the claims， the facts of the case， and the result of the conciliation.
The conciliation statement shall be signed by the judge and the court clerk， sealed by the people's court， and served on both parties.
Once it is receipted by the two parties concerned， the conciliation statement shall become legally effective.
Article 90 The people's court need not draw up a conciliation statement for the following cases when a settlement agreement is reached through conciliation：
（1） divorce cases in which both parties have become reconciled after conciliation；
（2） cases in which adoptive relationship has been maintained through conciliation；
（3） cases in which the claims can be immediately satisfied； and
（4） other cases that do not require a conciliation statement.
Any settlement agreement that needs no conciliation statement shall be entered into the written record and shall become legally effective after being signed or sealed by both parties concerned， by the judge and by the court clerk.
Article 91 If no agreement is reached through conciliation or if either party backs out of the settlement agreement before the conciliation statement is served， the people's court shall render a judgment without delay.