What is Civil Litigation?
Civil litigation is the process of dispute resolution between members of a community through the court system. Civil law grants to individuals the right to sue for compensation or for specific action in matters such as breach of contract, defamation and negligence.
When can I sue someone?
If you feel that you’ve been wronged but it’s not a criminal matter to be dealt with by the Police then you may be able to commence a lawsuit against someone. The kinds of disputes that are dealt with under civil law include disputes between:-
- Customers and suppliers
- Business partners
- Landlords and tenants
- Buyers and sellers of property
- Home owners and builders
- Employees and employers
- Executors or beneficiaries in deceased estates
- Owners of copyrights and patents
- Creditors and debtors
- Accident victims
Different kinds of legal cases have different time limitations imposed so it’s important that you seek legal advice quickly to find out if you can commence legal proceedings.
How to file in court – the civil litigation process
Prior to court proceedings being commenced, the first course of action is always to seek a resolution to the dispute, saving both time and money. There are a number of alternative dispute resolution methods which can be used including round table negotiation, conflict mediation, conciliation, and arbitration. Dispute resolution lawyers can assist with this process.
If all attempts to settle the dispute fail then the dispute will be taken to trial.
Trial proceedings are lengthy and somewhat complex, but involve the stages of commencing proceedings, pleadings (where the dispute is described by the plaintiff and defended by the defendant), discovery (disclosure of documents by both sides), trial (where the judge will hear the testimony of witnesses and make a ruling in the dispute), settlement and appeal.
The particular court forms which need to be completed to commence a civil suit vary according to the type of dispute and your State so its best to seek legal advice in regard to this.
How we can help
Contact us for more specific advice in relation to how we can assist you settle your dispute.