Civil litigation deals with disputes between individuals or companies that do not have a criminal element
What is civil law?
Civil law covers cases that do not involve the police or have a criminal element. These are usually disputes between individual persons or groups of people, companies and local government where someone is seeking monetary damages as compensation. Most cases start when one person (the plaintiff) sues another person (the defendant).
What sort of matters does civil litigation deal with?
Civil disputes cover a wide range of situations but most often involve money. Common civil law disputes include:
- Employment issues such as wrongful dismissal or discrimination
- Property matters including property transactions and the division of relationship property
- Construction issues including non completion of projects
- Disputes over taxes, contracts or business property
Are civil cases heard in court?
In many cases civil litigation can be resolved without going to court. In some cases a claim is never officially filed and the issue is resolved another way, for example through mediation. Even once a claim has been officially filed in court, the case can be resolved prior to a hearing if all parties involved in the case reach an agreement, usually after some negotiation by their lawyers. If this does not happen the court hearing will proceed. Depending on the type of case and the amount involved in the dispute the case may be heard in an Auckland District Court or High Court or by specialist courts such as the Employment Court.
Do I need a lawyer for civil disputes?
You may be able to deal with your own case, but if your case is complicated then legal advice is recommended. If your case is going to court then engage a barrister with court experience.