Things to Know Before Commencing Civil Litigation in Singapore
Having a dispute over a matter that doesn’t fall under a crime? If yes, then your claim in the court is called civil or non-criminal litigation. In this regard, Singapore has specific laws for legal proceedings to resolve such cases. Further, there is a defined list of areas that fall under this category. However, you can stay relaxed when you hire one of our contract disputes lawyer in regard to civil litigation in Singapore.
As per basic definition, a civil case is a non-criminal matter that is heard in the court of law. The stages include consulting the parties involved, conducting the procedure in the court, and enforcing them to follow the judgement.
How civil litigation can be started?
A person can initiate the procedure by having a law firm in Singapore to issue a Writ of summons to the opposite party.
An alternative way of dispute resolution
Considering the time and cost involved, parties often prefer to settle the matter out of court as an alternative solution. Moreover, this is also a desirable way of dispute resolution as it saves both the parties from acrimonious litigation and maybe even undesirable public attention.
A case in court also affects the life of parties involved thereby making it a highly undesirable way to solve differences. On the other hand, coming to a mutually beneficial out-of-court settlement saves time, money and relations.
Being a law firm that wishes all good for the clients, we first try to resolve the issue mutually between the parties. So when you approach our civil claims lawyer in Singapore, you can be sure about our desire for a favourable and a fair outcome.
Criteria for a Matter to be Considered for Civil Litigation
As mentioned in the previous section, litigation may lead to increased costs. Therefore, our contract disputes lawyer advises alternative solutions where possible. Generally, when the amount of claim is less than $20,000. Additionally, civil law in Singapore has set some lower limits for the claim. Based on this, the courts are given the power to commence hearings, as below.
If the amount is below $60,000, the case is to be taken to the Magistrate’s Court.
If the amount is above $60,000 but below $250,000, the hearing can be done in the District Court.
If the amount involved is equal to or more than $250,000, the matter should be taken to the High Court.
Things to consider before going to court
In civil litigation, a real victory is considered only when the opposite party can afford to pay the amount you have demanded. It’s illogical to spend your time and money on a case where the other person or a company is already bankrupt and unable to pay you anything.
To determine that your efforts will bring any fruit, you have to ensure that the person you are suing is;
- Not a bankrupt
- Have a property that is not mortgaged or not having any outstanding loan
- Having directorship and shares of multiple companies and these companies are actually making profit
- Not facing litigation by any other person or company
How we can help
When you have any doubt about the outcomes, wait no more and give us a call. We have a team of civil claims lawyers who have years of experience. Additionally, we have handled a lot of such cases and achieved the desired results for clients. Hence, we know every aspect of legal issues and can advise you on the most beneficial steps towards resolving your dispute.
Civil Litigation Process in Singapore:
If you have a good civil litigation lawyer in Singapore on your side, his first advice would be to try and resolve the case outside of the court as it can save you time and money.
It is possible to resolve the case without going to court by negotiating directly with the other party. For this, you will need to serve a letter of demand or an offer to the other party and try to bring them to the table.
Sending a letter of demand can help you in two ways. First, it can resolve the issue through mutual settlement as your civil case lawyer will help you formally include everything you need to close the case.
If the other party comes to terms with it, your issue will be resolved directly and quickly. If it doesn’t, it will show the court your willingness to resolve the matter.
If a Letter of Demand does not work, your civil lawyer in Singapore will advise you to go for mediation as it is another good way to handle matters swiftly without spending hefty amounts of court proceedings.
Mediation allows you to directly discuss the matter with the opposing party in the presence of a neutral mediator, mostly a civil litigation lawyer in Singapore. Your civil case lawyer will also be present to support you in legal terms and help ensure you get the right deal.
In mediation, you are also in better control to convince the other party to accept your demands. This facility is not available in court as you have to accept whatever decision the judge makes.
If nothing works, the only resort will be to go to court with your civil lawyer in Singapore who will file a Statement of Claim and Writ of Summons on your behalf.
The defendant will have to enter a Memorandum of Appearance within 8 days, and failing to do so will give the Plaintiff a right to go for default judgment. Should the Defendant enter Appearance by filing a Memorandum of Appearance, the defendant can still file his counterclaim and defense within 22 days.
In this scenario, both parties will produce their evidence and Affidavit of Evidence, after which the trial will begin, and a judge will pronounce judgment after the trial.