UAE Court exempts Guardian from DH106,914 school fees for this reason

The Abu Dhabi Family, Civil, and Administrative Claims Court recently rendered a verdict, dismissing a lawsuit that sought to compel a guardian to settle tuition fees amounting to 106,914 dirhams for his children attending a private school.

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The court based its decision on the absence of a signed enrollment request from the plaintiff for his children and the lack of a contractual agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant, in contrast to the arrangements in place for other students.

In specific terms, the lawsuit was initiated by a private school against the guardian, seeking payment of 106,914 dirhams in tuition fees. Additionally, the school requested 10,000 dirhams in compensation for non-payment, a legal interest of 12%, and reimbursement for fees and expenses. The school also sought coverage for legal fees. The defendant, the children's guardian, counteracted the claims by appearing in person and submitting a response memorandum along with supporting documents, which the court duly reviewed.

The court, in elucidating its ruling, underscored the legal requirement for the plaintiff to substantiate the claimed right, with the defendant holding the right to contest it. The school, as the plaintiff, asserted a demand for tuition fees covering the years 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. However, the defendant contended that his wife was employed by the owner of the plaintiff school, a fact that was not refuted. Consequently, the defendant argued that his children were granted free enrollment due to this familial association.

Critical to the court's decision was the absence of evidence supporting the existence of a signed enrollment request or a contractual agreement, unlike the standard procedure for other students. Given these gaps in documentation, the court upheld the defendant's argument that his children were exempt from fees owing to his wife's employment with the school owner. Consequently, the court dismissed the case and mandated the plaintiff to cover the associated expenses and fees.

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