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 performance in matters such as breach of contract, defamation and negligence.
Who are the Defendants?
If you feel that you’ve been wronged but the nature of the matter is non-criminal, which often requires the involvement of the Police, then you may be able to commence a civil action against the wrongdoer. The types 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 legal matters have different time limitations. It is important that you seek legal advice as early as possible. This will prevent you from losing the opportunity to seek compensation from the wrongdoer.
What does the civil litigation process involve？
Prior to the commencement of court proceedings, it is paramount that the wrongdoer is offered an opportunity to settle the dispute without going to court. This will save both time and money.
If attempts to privately settle the dispute fail, there are a number of alternative dispute resolution methods that can be used such as round table negotiation, conflict mediation, conciliation, and arbitration. If all attempts to settle the dispute fail, then the dispute will be taken to trial.
Trial proceedings are lengthy and somewhat complex. They 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 at the option of the losing party.
The court forms that are required to commence a civil suit vary according to the dispute type and the originating State. It is recommended to seek legal advice in regard to this.
Contact us for more advice in relation to how we can assist you in settling your dispute.