Question: [Wednesday, 1st Adar 1, 5782]
I have a monetary claim against my employer, and he is refusing to comply with my claims, and says that he is more than willing to go with me to a Beis Din and have them decide. I would like to know how long it usually takes to get a verdict from a Beis Din, as I really need the money and we are not discussing a small sum. A friend of mine told me that he had once brought a basic monetary claim to force his employer to pay him his salary in front of a renowned Beis Din, and he did not receive a verdict until a full year later after endlessly pressuring them, and while he won the verdict in full as he expected, it took him another four years until the employer finally complied and paid him. I feel very despondent of this option. What do you think I should do?
The law is clear, that it is absolutely forbidden for a Beis Din to delay the verdict unnecessarily, and once the matter is clear to them, they must immediately give a ruling and if they do not do so, then they transgress “Inuiy Hadin.” If the judge is delaying giving a verdict in order to cause pain to one of the sides, he is considered to transgress the prohibition of “Ivus Hadin/do not do injustice.”
It is quite unfortunate, but for one reason or another, some Batei Dinim are renowned for taking a very long time in giving a verdict, even in simple cases. This is not good, and as you can see from the letter we quote below, the Rebbe was very against this for several reasons. I suggest you do research and find a Beis Din who has a reputation of giving relatively quick verdicts, and does not drag things out forever, and not go to a Beis Din that is known to drag things out.
The Rebbe’s letter on this matter [free translation]:
3rd Shevat 5743, To Vaad Rabbnei Anash in Eretz Hakodesh,
“I had wished that I would not need to write such a letter, but the situation is forcing me otherwise. I hope that the letter will have its proper effect so that from now on I will no longer need to write about this. I am not pleased with the rumors that I’m hearing about the length of time that it takes to settle and give a verdict in all of the Dinei Torah, and fights, and differences of opinions that come before them. The amount of time that it takes until the hearing begins, and until they hear all the sides and collect all the evidence, and the very lengthy time that it takes them until they finally give a clear verdict. In addition to the intrinsic negation of such practice, doing so directly affects and damages the relationship between the two sides, as not only does it delay peace from being reached between the parties, but it furthermore adds more fuel to their argument and fight as every person will do whatever is fit in his eyes until the verdict is reached. Although I have already spoken about the same number of times, and I did not want to need to write about a matter that is not honorable of the Jewish people, I have no choice as I stated above. Accordingly, I am also placing my clear opinion on this matter into writing, which is the absolute necessity to change the order of how things have been done until now from one extreme to the opposite extreme. Instead of there being a very great length in the process and the giving of the verdict, things will be done with the greatest alacrity, beginning with a great alacrity in starting the hearing between the two sides, and as said, a great alacrity in giving the final verdict.
Explanation: The Talmud, Rambam and Shulchan Aruch, all rule against delaying giving a verdict. The Mishneh in Avos rules that war comes upon the world due to Inuiy Hadin. This refers to a delay of judgment and a delay of giving a verdict. The Poskim discuss as to whether this prohibition applies only to monetary matters or to any question that is brought before a Rav. Now regarding the circumstances in which this prohibition is transgressed, it seems from the wording in the Poskim, that it is only transgressed if the verdict is clear to the judges, they are simply delaying processing it and delivering it to the two sides of the case. If, however, they are still unsure as to the verdict, then they do not transgress this prohibition, and hence are not required to immediately spend all their time loving into the case until they have a clear verdict in their heads. Nonetheless, it is clear that this too has a limitation, and a Beis Din cannot choose to forever delay properly clarifying the verdict. It seems that the Rebbe’s argument here is that even this form of delay not only has the potential Halachic transgression, but that furthermore it causes more discord and fights which is the opposite of the entire purpose of why the Beis Din was established.
Sources: See Michaber C.M. 17:11; Tur ibid; Rambam 20; Mishneh Avos 5:8; Sanhedrin 35a and Rashi there; Rashi Shabbos 33a, Moed Katan 14b; Tosafus Sanherin 89a; Mahrsham; Tinyana 210; Pischeiy Teshuvah Y.D. 242:9 in name of Mishnas Chachamim Deios; See regarding the letter of the Rebbe: Mikdash Melech Vol. 1 p. 208; Shulchan Menachem 7:20