Any legal matter falls under either of the two categories – civil or criminal. In criminal cases, the state goes against the accused. For civil cases, this is not true because these cases revolve around relationships between people or organizations. Litigation is the term for settling a dispute in a court of law. It is opposite to the act of mediation or mutual settlement. Litigation is common in both criminal and civil cases as people go to court in both of these. The citizens should know many things about the civil litigation singapore procedure.
Who are the parties involved in civil litigation?
In civil litigation, the two parties involved are the plaintiff and the defendant. Plaintiff files the lawsuit against the defendant and, both parties fight to prove their innocence. In many cases, the plaintiffs and the defendants attempt to settle the matter mutually through settlements of any sort.
Before the litigation begins, a letter of demand is sent to the plaintiff or their lawyer. It is done to comply with their claims or deal with the consequences in court. The letter of demand is mandatory in Singapore so that both parties can try for a mutual settlement.
Which court to approach?
The legal framework of Singapore consists of the Supreme Court (also called Court of Appeal or High Court) and several State Courts (Magistrate and District Courts). The court that one should approach for civil litigation depends on the claim amount.
- Upto $60,000 – Magistrate Court
- $60,000 to $250,000 – District Court
- Over $250,000 – High Court or Supreme court
- Upto $20,000 – Small Claims Tribunal
For the time limit, there is no set limit to this. It depends on the type of dispute (divorce, insurance claims, financial frauds, etc.) and how the court proceeds with the hearing. Some cases can be wrapped within a month, while others go on for years.
The civil litigation Singapore procedure
Here is the flow of the processes during a civil litigation singapore procedure.
- Filing the writ of summons or originating summons begins the process.
- Defendant serves the summons personally unless the court allows substituted service.
- Service needs to be completed within 6 months if the matter is based in Singapore only. The limit is up to 12 months either way.
- Within 8 days of the service, the plaintiff must file the memorandum.
- Judgments begin.
Civil disputes can be exhausting for the victims. However, having a clear idea of the process helps to smoothen it.