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FINANCIAL DISPUTES

The "Hazmana" process is the system of summoning parties to the Bet Din (Jewish court of law) for a Din Torah (rabbinic arbitration). The term "hazmana" translates to "summoning" or "invitation." 

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of the hazmana process:

1. Request for Hazmana: When one party (the claimant) wants to take another party (the defendant) to Bet Din, they approach the Bet Din and request a hazmana, or summons, be sent to the defendant.

2. Drafting the Hazmana: The Bet Din drafts a hazmana that typically includes:
   - The names of both parties.
   - A brief description of the claim or dispute.
   - A proposed date, time, and location for the Din Torah.
   - A request for the defendant to respond by a certain date.

3. Delivery of the Hazmana: The hazmana is sent to the defendant. In some communities or in certain disputes, this might be done via mail, while in others, it could be delivered directly in person or through other means, such as electronic communication.

4. Response from the Defendant
   - Acceptance: If the defendant agrees to the terms of the hazmana, they will inform the Bet Din, and a Din Torah is scheduled.
   - Request for Modification: The defendant might request a change in the date, time, or location. This could lead to negotiations between parties or a decision by the Bet Din.
   - Rejection or Ignoring the Hazmana: If the defendant refuses to come to the Bet Din or ignores the hazmana, the Bet Din might issue subsequent hazmanot. 

5. Subsequent Hazmanot: In cases where the defendant does not respond or refuses the summons, the Bet Din might send additional hazmanot, often up to three. With each refusal, the tone of the hazmana might become more pressing.

6. Seruv: If, after multiple hazmanot, the defendant still refuses to appear before the Bet Din, the Bet Din might issue a "seruv" (a form of censure). This document essentially states that the individual is refusing to comply with the communal and halachic system of justice. A seruv can have social implications within the Jewish community, as it may impact the individual's standing and reputation.

7. Proceeding Without the Defendant: In certain cases, if the defendant continuously refuses to appear, the Bet Din may decide to proceed with the Din Torah in their absence and make a decision based on the evidence presented by the claimant.

It's important to note that while many of the core principles remain consistent, the specifics of the hazmana process can vary based on community customs, local halachic standards, and the practices of the particular Bet Din or rabbinic authority involved. Always consult directly with the specific Bet Din or a knowledgeable rabbinic authority when considering or navigating the hazmana process.

image of a scale in court showing

The arbitration agreement, often referred to as a "shtar borerut" in this context, is a critical step in the Din Torah process, especially with a ZABLA Bet Din. This agreement typically outlines the framework within which the Bet Din will operate and ensures that the parties recognize and will adhere to the decision of the Bet Din. Here's how it fits into the outlined process:

1. Recognition of Dispute: Both parties acknowledge that they have a dispute they cannot resolve among themselves.

2. Agreement to Go to Bet Din: Both parties voluntarily agree to submit their case to a Bet Din.

3. Selection of ZABLA:
    - Zayin (Z) – "Zeh": One party (Party A) selects a Dayan (judge).
    - Bet (B) – "Borer": The other party (Party B) selects another Dayan.
    - Lamed (L) – "Lemo": The two chosen Dayanim jointly select a third Dayan.

4. Signing the Arbitration Agreement (Shtar Borerut):
    - This formal written agreement typically indicates that the parties agree to have their dispute resolved by this specific Bet Din, and they will accept its decision as binding.
    - The shtar borerut can specify details about the Din Torah, including the location, names of the Dayanim, subject of the dispute, and the process to be followed.
    - It also usually has language that may make the Bet Din's decision enforceable in civil court, depending on local laws.

5. Submission of Claims:
    - Toen (Claimant): Each party can present directly or appoint a "toen rabani."
    - Documents and Evidence: Parties submit any relevant evidence or documents.

6. Bet Din Deliberation: This involves arguments, written materials, witness testimonies, and questioning by the Dayanim.

7. Psak Din (Verdict):
    - Initially given orally, followed by a written decision.
    - This verdict is based on halacha and is binding.

8. Enforcement: Compliance is expected. Some Batei Din can issue a "seruv" if a party refuses to comply.

9. Civil Court: Some decisions made in a Bet Din might be enforceable in civil court, based on the jurisdiction and the shtar borerut's language.

10. Appeal: One can appeal to a higher Bet Din or another rabbinic authority in certain situations.

Again, the specifics of the Din Torah process, including the use of a shtar borerut, can vary based on local customs and the specific Bet Din. Always consult directly with a knowledgeable rabbinic authority or the Bet Din itself when considering a Din Torah.

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