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First Instance Courts

General Courts

The general courts shall have jurisdiction over all lawsuits, probate cases, and the like, which are outside the jurisdiction of other courts, notarial offices, and the Board of Grievances. Specifically, they shall hear the following:

  • Claims relating to property, property ownership disputes, related rights, claims of damage from the property itself or its beneficiaries, claims for the value of utilities, eviction, rental payment, claims for stopping the hindrance of possession or recovery, and the like; unless the Law states otherwise.
  • Issuance of deeds for the establishment of title or waqf status of the property.
  • Cases arising from traffic accidents and violations stated in the Traffic Law and its implementing regulations.

In governorates or sub-governorates where there is no specialized court, the general court shall have jurisdiction over all lawsuits, cases, probate cases, and the like in the jurisdiction of the missing specialized court, unless otherwise decided by the Supreme Judicial Council. The general court, in a locality where there is no criminal court, shall have the same jurisdiction as the criminal court; unless otherwise decided by the Supreme Judicial Council. ​

Criminal Courts.

The Criminal court shall have jurisdiction to hear:

  • All criminal cases.
  • All matters deemed necessary for ruling on the criminal case unless the law stipulates otherwise.
  • If a judgment in a criminal case is contingent on the outcome of another criminal case, the proceedings shall be stayed pending a decision on the other case.
Personal Status Courts.

The personal status courts have the jurisdiction to hear:

  • All personal status matters, including recording marriage, divorce, marriage annulment, divorce revocation, child custody and visitation, and maintenance.
  • Establishing waqf (endowment), wills, lineage, absence, death, and determination of heirs.
  • Inheritance and distribution thereof, including real estate, if disputed or it involves a share of endowment, will, a minor or an absentee.
  • Recording the designation of trustees, guardians, and administrators; permitting them to perform actions that require the court’s permission and dismissing them if necessary, as well as imposing interdiction against spendthrifts or removal thereof, subject to the regulations of the law.
  • Recording a power of attorney by illiterate persons who are incapable of speech
  • Completing the marriage of women who have no guardians or are deprived of marriage by their guardians.
  • Cases arising from personal status matters.
  • Lawsuits filed for imposing penalties provided for in the Law of the General Commission for Guardianship over Property of Minors.
Labor Courts.

These courts are distributed in governorates and regions across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Labor court consists of specialized panels. Each panel has one or more judges, as determined by the Supreme Judicial Council.

Labor courts have the jurisdiction to hear:

  • Disputes relating to employment contracts, wages, rights, and work injuries and compensation.
  • Disputes relating to disciplinary measures imposed on employees by their employers or requesting exemption therefrom.
  • Lawsuits filed for imposing penalties provided for in the Labor Law.
  • Disputes arising from the termination of employment.
  • Complaints made by employers and employees with rejected objections to any decision issued by any competent department of the General Organization for Social Insurance, relating to mandatory registration, contributions, or compensation.
  • Disputes relating to employees governed by the provisions of the Labor Law, including workers employed by the government.
  • Disputes arising from the application of the Labor Law and Social Insurance Law, without prejudice to the jurisdictions of other courts and the Board of Grievances.
Commercial Courts.

Commercial courts have jurisdiction to hear:

  • Disputes arising between merchants due to their main or supporting business activities.
  • Claims filed against a merchant due to their main or supporting business activities.
  • Disputes among corporate partners.
  • All claims and violations related to commercial laws, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the Board of Grievances.
  • Bankruptcy and sequestration cases.
  • Other commercial disputes.​
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2024

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