A lawsuit in the Dominican Republic is a long and expensive process. Most lawsuits run for years and court decisions are in general not in the favor of the foreign investor. The Dominican court system is highly corrupted and verdicts often manipulated or delayed by one of the parties.
Dominican Watchdog strongly recommends that you do not start a lawsuit unless it’s the last and final option. Lawyers in the Dominican Republic are substantially overcharging foreigners with as much as 500-800% and they do not have a malpractice insurance. Paying expensive lawyer fees do not guarantee anything and choosing big law firms for small cases is not a good option as your case is pushed to a junior lawyer with little experience.
Furthermore it’s not unusual that lawyers from both sides are “operating under an unwritten mutual agreement” of complicating court cases especially among foreigners. The reason for that is that the longer the case will run, the more they will be able to charge their clients.
Even if you win a court case in the Dominican Republic it will be almost impossible and highly unlikely that you will ever be able to collect on the verdict. Debt collection in the Dominican Republic from any company or private individual will in many cases only result in more lawyer bills!
The majority of court cases involving foreigners are related to real estate fraud in the Dominican Republic.
Real estate fraud can be avoided by spending time and money on good legal work and especially deep title investigations before buying or signing any contract.
Dominican Watchdog is monitoring a network of Dominican lawyers who speak English, German and French. We recommend that you use these trusted lawyers to avoid problems and losing your money.
In our Property Guide you will find 10 simple rules about buying real estate in the Dominican Republic. And why you must never to pay any money directly to estate agents, sellers or building companies.
When investing in the Dominican Republic make sure that you have signed legal binding contracts – do not believe in promises and do not expect to find the same moral standard and quality of work that you will find in a developed country.
Only a Notarized contract in Spanish is legal in the Dominican Republic. However it’s a good idea to spend money on a translation into your own language.
If you are planning to move to the Dominican Republic and need Dominican residence or you simply want to employ a maid. We recommend that you use the same law firms as it’s important to understand the strong labor laws in the DR. Maids are entitled to a rather big settlement if fired after 6 months and that the amount increases up to several years of salary. Foreigners will lose any court case against employees!
Maplecroft’s in-depth Country Risk Report on the Dominican Republic offers high-level analysis and maps of the governance framework; the regulatory and business environment; political violence; human rights; and the environment.
Corruption remains pervasive in the Dominican Republic, with irregularities, bribery and other corrupt practices a particular risk when dealing with public administration agencies and officials. The current administration is perceived to be permissive of (if not complicit in) this environment. Companies are exposed to high levels of corruption, both through their local supply chains and as they engage in governmental contracts. As a result, foreign investors face legal, reputational and financial risks if allegations of corruption emerge in relation to their dealings with officials or local partners and suppliers.
Rule of law is not effectively enforced and poses serious risks to foreign companies and investors operating in the country. The main hindrances emerge from the ample power of the executive branch, widespread corruption in the public sector, and the politicisation of justice. Foreign companies face significant uncertainty when dealing with the judiciary. They could potentially be at risk of unfair proceedings in the judicial process, as irregularities and undue influence from other branches of government take place, often with impunity. In addition, weak rule of law prevents companies from relying on the enforcement of contracts and on the enforcement of dispute settlement.
- The Spanish hotel chain Grupo Barceló on Wednesday joined a growing choir of foreign companies which have complained of a lack of requested legal security for foreign investment, just two months after a similar complaint by the Ambassador from the United Kingdom.......
And the British ambassador slams the country on lack of investment security and cited a company he said recently shut its doors after being extorted..... (UPDATE) - Dominican business leaders rally behind the UK Ambassador..... (Update 2) - High court to probe judge’s possible link to UK Ambassador’s extortion claim....
Arturo del Tiempo, Torre Atiemar and 1200kg of cocaine sent from the Dominican Republic to Spain is the probably just the top of the iceberg behind the recent years construction boom in Santo Domingo. What's more interesting is that President Lionel Fernandez has stated that this project was a model for foreign investments in his country.......
INVESTOR WARNING - Major League Baseball player Julio Lugo, swindled out of RD$50.0 million (US$1.2 million) in the Dominican Republic. “This sends a bad message not only to Major Leagues players, but also to foreign investors afraid of investing their money in the country, fearing that what happened me can happen to them.” He said.....
The head of the East Region Hotels and Tourist Projects Association yesterday called the Higüey (Punta Cana and Bavaro) Titles Registrar “disorder and mafias” which creates uncertainty, threatens and scares away foreign investment......
Dominican Watchdog Note: This is just a few cases, there are hundreds of investment fraud cases in the DR and foreign investors are not likely to ever see their money again - Over 300 Million gone from Investors in Punta Cana area!!!
The President has promoted and financed one of two project with the national banks money..... What was there in it for him?
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