What a litigant should know:
Civil Litigation is a legal action in Court using either one of two methods: Writ of Summons or Originating Summons.
Writ of Summons is the most common way of commencing an action.
A Writ of Summons
The person suing is known as “Plaintiff”. Once the Plaintiff decides to start legal action, he/she needs to complete a form and submit it to the State Courts or High Court which will issue a Writ of Summons. The Summons is then sent to the person being sued (“the Defendant”) notifying him/her. Normally, a Writ of Summons should attach what is known as ‘a Statement of Claim’.
What is a Statement of Claim?
A Statement of Claim is prepared by the Plaintiff which lists out all the facts, allegations and law on which the Plaintiff seeks to claim. However, a Statement of Claim need only set out all the facts, allegations and any legal provisions relied on briefly, without going into any details on the evidence or arguments supporting them.
What you should do to help us win your case
Please be well prepared before you come to us to seek legal advice. This way, it will help you increase your chances of success. Some of the steps you can take include the following:
- keep a diary of events
You should maintain a detailed diary of events as they happen and you will then be able to rely on these to help you recall the incidents because sometimes our memory may fail us.
- seek medical attention and help
If you suffer any personal injury, you should seek medical help immediately. This will be of great help to your case because the medical doctor conducts a medical examination of your injuries promptly after the incident which will eliminate the prospect of the Defendant relying on the argument that there are other possible causes for your injury.
- Witnesses are important!
You should ask your witnesses to provide you with their names, contact details so that your lawyer can contact them and take their statements as soon after the incident as possible.
- preserve your evidence!
You should try to preserve all original documents and data which may be relevant to your case. This includes evidence contained in the digital form, for example, computer, mobile phone, digital cameras, CCTV recording devices, etc.
What is an Acknowledgement of Service and Defence?
If you happen to be named as a Defendant in a lawsuit and you disagree with the Plaintiff’s claim, you must contact a lawyer as soon as possible within 8 days of receipt of the Writ of Summons. This is because there is a deadline for you to respond to the Writ of Summons. If the Court does not receive your acknowledgement of service, the Plaintiff is entitled to enter judgment against you.
You need to give your instructions to your lawyer as to your version of events and your lawyer will then prepare a Defence to the Plaintiff’s Statement of Claim and submit this to Court on your behalf.
You have to act quickly in such an instance because you only have 14 days after the expiry of the deadline to submit an Acknowledgement of Service to prepare and submit a Defence to Court (i.e. 22 days after receiving the Writ of Summons).
Help us help you by updating your contact information with us
If you change your mobile phone number, your email or your address, please do keep us informed so that we can contact you easily for instructions or to update you on your case.
If you wish to commence a claim or need to defend a claim, please contact us as soon as possible. We are here to help you.
Call us at 64352933 or fill in the form below