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In an actual Beis Din case these days, if someone is summoned to Beis Din, can the nitva (respondent) insist on using a different Beis Din than the plaintiff sent the hazmana (summons) from? Does either litigant have the right to insist on a Za.B.L.A (ad hoc court) even if the other party doesn't want a Za.B.L.A? (Za.B.L.A is an acronym for "zeh boreir lo echad -- this one pickes one [judge, and the other litigant picks one judge, and the two judges chose the third].) C.M. 13:1 seems to rule indeed either party can force a Za.B.L.A, but if a case came to an actual Beis Din today and the respondent insisted on a Za.B.L.A does the Beis Din have to accept that demand? [BTW, these are all theoretical questions not nogea to any specific case.]

Once a case goes to trial, does either litigant in a Beis Din case have the right to insist on "din" (and not peshara), even if the other party wishes to use peshara (compromise)? C.M 12:2 seems to indicate either litigant can force din and insist peshara not be used, but as a practical matter in a Beis Din case today is a party's insistence for din honored?

If the standard shtar berurin (binding arbitration agreement) says that the Dayanim can utilize peshara, can the party decline signing it unless it is modified to preclude any use of peshara? If the Beis Din that is handling a case insists on peshara, can a party to the case then decline to continue with that Beis Din?

  • I want to understand what are the possibles responses in your mind. In your first question: what is the side that the Beis Din do not accept the demand? In your second question: idem. The third question. What is the side that a party don't can to decline if they write this without his accord? The 4d :idem. – kouty Feb 17 '16 at 16:19
  • You've got quite a few questions there – Shmuel Brin Feb 16 '17 at 7:21
  • The Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch holds that a Zabla is like a Peshara and needs all to agree, but if both agree to treat as Din they can. – Shmuel Brin Feb 16 '17 at 7:26
  • @ShmuelBrin Interesting that you point to the Tzemach Tzedek. To see how it is actually applied consider the case between the Beit Din HaOlami of Lubavitch and the current heads of Agudat Chassidei Chabad in 1994-1998 concerning control of Lubavitch after the passing of the Rebbe. – Yaacov Deane Apr 12 '18 at 14:14
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"In an actual Beis Din case these days, if someone is summoned to Beis Din, can the nitva (respondent) insist on using a different Beis Din than the plaintiff sent the hazmana (summons) from?"

Yes. The summons sent by the beis din contains three options: 1) Come to our Beis Din, 2) Name an other Beis Din you want to go to (this will be referred to the other Beis Din), or 3) Refuse to come to beis din (the Beis Din will then permit the plaintiff to go to the civil courts.

"Does either litigant have the right to insist on a Za.B.L.A (ad hoc court) even if the other party doesn't want a Za.B.L.A?"

Practically, this depends on the Beis Din. If the Beis Din used (decided by the process above) allows Za.B.L.A, usually either side could insist on it. Many Batei Din nowadays will not agree to Za.B.L.A (R' Moshe Feinstein stopped sitting in Za.B.L.A cases after he realised the corruption that they can cause. The details can be seen in one of the introductions to Igros Moshe, I think part 8).

Concerning peshara, of course any litigant can refuse it. He can also refuse to sign a shtar berurin that gives the beis din the right to enforce peshara, although he may have a hard time finding another beis din that will agree to judge his case without this clause.

Answers are from personal experience.

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You can only force someone to go to a specific beis din if this is the beis din kavua of that city.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE BEIS DIN KAVUA OF A COMMUNITY.

According to Rabbi Chaim Gutnick, the United Synagogue beis din is probably a beis din kavua, but there would be few other such situations worldwide.

  • 1
    Can you cite sources for your first two paragraphs? – msh210 Oct 19 '16 at 6:36

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