In the United Kingdom, criminal law addresses criminal offences and frequently entails a formal police inquiry. Civil law applies to non-criminal offences. This is used to resolve issues involving, among other things, property, probate, negligence, breach of contract, and divorce. These conflicts frequently aim to provide monetary compensation for losses, products, or services. The civil litigation process can also be used for enforcement, such as money recovery, or to uphold a specific court order to take action or prevent action. Civil, proceedings are also used where a party asks the court to make an order for specific performance of an action, or a declaration which asks the court to confirm or nullify a specific act or terms of a contract.
Solicitors who specialise in civil litigation, such aa Van Eaton Solicitors, can assist you in bringing a civil claim and finding the best course of action given your unique circumstances. Our aim always, is to attempt settlement of legal issues through mediation, where possible, thereby avoiding litigation, which is costly and stressful, especially so without representatives to guide you through the process.
What are the Rules around the Civil Procedure?
The Civil Procedure Rules, which give directions on the rules of itigation and must be followed by all parties. The rules are meant to ensure that fair and just outcomes are obtained. The regulations mandate the methodology and the time limits given, for each step of the litigation process.
The overriding objective of the regulations is to make sure that disputes are resolved fairly, within budget, and with the parties treated equally, all while avoiding unnecessary costs. Another important goal is to make sure that cases are handled quickly and equitably, allocating a reasonable amount of court resources to enforce the regulations.
By issuing pertinent instructions, establishing stringent deadlines, and ensuring that parties abide by them, the rules provide the court’s ultimate control over how each case develops. They are supported by a system of sanctions that the court may apply.
How Long Will a Civil Litigation Case Take?
Claimants should speak with the defendant and state their claim in detail, with the purpose of achieving settlement, before the issue of proceedings.
However, as the main goal is to reduce overall costs, it will be expected of all parties to move swiftly and bring the case to trial as soon as possible, if mediation or attempts to settle prove to be ineffective.
What are the Stages of Civil Litigation?
When deciding whether to pursue a civil lawsuit action, there are several crucial phases to be aware of. These can be divided into three categories: pre-litigation, the topic of legal disputes (often known as “litigation”), and post-litigation. This is the general narrative that all civil claims will take unless they are settled out of court and are therefore not actually “litigated” in the first place. Each stage contains several steps and processes.
The period/processes previous to judicial engagement and the issuance of court proceedings are referred to as the pre-litigation period. The parties should be as transparent as possible so that all pertinent information and supporting documentation are available. This will help to clarify the difficulties, provide each side with the ability to estimate their chances of success, and foster a cooperative environment.
The Courts Litigation Process
When a claim is filed in the relevant court, the litigation process commences if there is no response during the pre-litigation phase or a settlement cannot be achieved. The High Court primarily handles cases of high value or complexity, whilst County Courts often handle cases with a lower value and not so complex. The court may rule in favour of the claimant for the full amount claimed or declaration sought for non-monetary claims, if the defendant fails to present a defence in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules
This stage only occurs if there is a disagreement between the parties on the case’s resolution. For instance, if the losing party feels that some information was not taken into account or handled with the appropriate level of care, they may choose to appeal the case.
Additionally, the loser could decide not to pay the compensation at all or even on time. Bailiffs and penalties may be used in this situation to ensure that the winner receives the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled.
You can get a free, no-obligation initial consultation from our London-based solicitors if you’re involved in a contentious legal situation. Call us at 0208 769 6739, or fill out our form online.