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To reach the ultimate verdict in a civil case, a variety of procedural stages must be taken. A claim for damages or compensation for losses is the main focus of civil lawsuits, which are frequently connected to financial transactions or property disputes. in this article, I have explained about stages of civil litigation.

A civil suit is one in which one or more parties are accused of breaking civil law. Instances of civil lawsuits arise when one person wrongs another. The parties or litigants, in this case, relate to both individuals. The settlement of disputes that are not criminal in nature is the subject of civil litigation. The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, governs civil court cases.

Additionally, laws like the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, the Trademarks Act, 1999, and the Indian Contract Act, 1872, among others, control civil law in India. The goal of civil litigation, in brief, is to provide solutions for problems that are of a civil or business nature. It is the result of numerous acts and laws. Instead of imposing punishment or levying penalties, as in the case of criminal litigation, the focus of civil litigation is on the settlement of damages or paying the party that was harmed. There are, however, some crimes for which the relevant laws guarantee both civil and criminal remedies.

Stages of Civil Litigation

From the time of the initial filing until the announcement of the final judgement, civil litigation proceeds through the following phases:

1. Filing of Plaint

The plaint, a legal document, contains the case’s facts and an overview. The plaint serves as the foundation for the litigation because it contains the facts that form the basis of the case. The specifics of the plaint are outlined in Order VII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Among them are:

  1. Name of the court where the dispute is being heard
  2. Information on the parties involved in the civil dispute
  3. A case’s facts
  4. The plaintiff’s requests for remedy or compensation
  5. The supporting documentation for the case’s facts.

2. Serving summonses

A summons is sent to the defendant who is the subject of the lawsuit once the court accepts the plaint. The defendant must appear in court in person or through a representative appointed by law. The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 does not define the word “summon,” rather it is just a writ that indicates that legal action has been begun against the defendant. Within 30 days of the day the lawsuit was filed, the summons is issued. The summons demands that the defendant appears in court so that he or she might have a chance to be heard. In contrast, if the defendant agrees to the plaintiff’s claim even before the summons is issued, there is no need for the summons to be issued in the first place, and the plaintiff will receive a favourable decision.

3. The parties to the dispute’s attendance

The parties to whom the summons was delivered are obligated to appear in court on the designated date and time. If the parties don’t show up, an ex parte order will be made in the plaintiff’s favour. Even after providing both parties a fair chance to appear in court on the scheduled date, the judge may choose to dismiss the matter if neither party shows up.

4. Interlocutory Proceedings

Before a final ruling is made, a civil lawsuit must go through a protracted and complex process that includes several phases. Most of the time, the Court is required to step in and maintain the status quo. The plaintiff may ask for the status quo order by submitting a notice of motion to the City Civil Court or by submitting the necessary application to the High Court of the relevant jurisdiction. An interim injunction is more like an interlocutory order, to put it simply.

Even if it primarily addresses problems related to the primary disagreement in the action, an interlocutory order frequently aids in the development of the case. The issuance of interlocutory proceedings is more often in cases involving the temporary sale of real estate, the maintenance of detainees, the appointment of a court receiver, etc.

5. Written Statement

The defendant’s arguments against the plaintiff’s plaint are mentioned in the written statement. Within 30 days of the defendant being served with the summons, the written statement must be submitted. Every allegation made by the plaintiff in the plaint must be expressly refuted by the defendant in the written statement. If necessary, the defendant may include counterclaims against the plaintiff in the written statement.

6. Examination

The acceptance or denial of the charges made by the plaintiff by the defendants is noted by the Court once the written statement has been filed. The next step is to conduct the examination of the parties after the plaint and written statement has been filed.

7. Framing of the Relevant Issues

The parties will be permitted to submit the problems once the litigation procedure begins and the written statement is filed. The final set of issues will be framed by the Court after it has reviewed the draught issues. The court would examine the proposal of the dispute’s facts and formulate the issues following the first hearing, after analysing the plaint and the written declaration.

8. Documents Required

The parties must provide the necessary papers to support their claims after the problems have been framed. A request to the court to issue summonses to the parties in question to obtain the desired papers must be made if the parties wish to produce documents that are in the hands of a third party. In such cases, the parties to the dispute are responsible for paying the court’s mandatory fee.

9. Inspection and Discovery of the Documents

The parties may ask the court to inspect the documents after they have been submitted. The parties may have access to the necessary papers with the court’s approval. However, the opposition parties are free to accept or reject the materials.

10. Producing the Required Documents

The documents must be produced in court after the list of documents has been submitted to the court and depending on whether it has been accepted or rejected.

11. Examination and Cross-examining Or Questioning the Witnesses

The trial’s witness examination phase is the most crucial one. The court asks the parties if they agree with or dispute the accusations made by the opposition during the first hearing of the case. Unless the defence can show otherwise, the plaintiff often receives the first opportunity to speak. The plaintiff is required to produce the supporting documentation, and the defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to cross-examine the plaintiff and any plaintiff-side witnesses. Additionally, the plaintiff’s attorney has the opportunity to question a witness from the defendant’s perspective.

12. Arguments on merits

The next phase of civil litigation is taking the arguments once the processes of examination and cross-examination are finished. The disputing parties are invited to submit their positions, a synopsis of the facts, and a list of supporting evidence.

13. Judgment

The verdict is the next phase of the legal process. The judge of the relevant court renders the decision on which the decree will be issued after examining the merits of the case and the arguments put forward.

14. Appeals, review, and revisions of the final judgement

One of the parties may request a review of the decision within 30 days of the date of the judgement if they are not happy with it after it has been rendered. A higher court may also accept an appeal within 60 to 90 days after the day the verdict was announced, or the aggrieved party may choose to file a revision petition within the same time frame.

15. Execution of a Decree

The decree’s execution, or forcing the judgement debtor to comply with the decree’s or order’s requirements, depending on the circumstances, is the last phase. When the creditor obtains the money that was owed to them or the claims that were specified in the judgement order, the decree is considered to have been executed.

Therefore, unlike criminal litigation where sanctions and penalties are given weight, compensation is given the proper consideration in civil action. Additionally, the lawsuit may be dismissed if the aforementioned processes in the litigation process are not followed.

Read more,

  1. How to file a case in civil courts?
  2. How to file a complaint against the police?

 

FAQ ( FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)

  1. What is the Process of Civil Case?

A civil suit begins with filling the plaint and then notice is served to the defendant then the court asks reply from the defendant. After that Issues are framed then Examination and cross-examination of witnesses at the Last Judgement

 

2 Responses
  1. Mia Evans

    Thanks for helping me understand that there would be one or more parties accused during a civil lawsuit. I guess this is the kind of case our neighbour can file for with the help of professionals from a civil defence law firm. It would be against a criminal activity that happened on their property which they were able to record using their surveillance cameras, so they already know who to sue.

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