Most claims follow a similar overall path. The following stages will usually be encountered.
- Pre action stage.
- Issuing a Claim and Defending against it.
- Allocating the Claim to a Court and to a track
- Witness statements
- Pre trial / Trial
- Applications. There are also times when further a party believes that further Orders are required. In such situation, an Application is made.
In order to assist people understand what the Court needs to carry outs it functions, a set of rules has been provided. This is called the Civil Procedure Rules. These rules are supported by Practice Directions, the Practice Directions provide additional information as to how to comply with the rules.
The Courts overriding objective of the rules can be found at rule 1.1(1).
These Rules are a new procedural code with the overriding objective of enabling the court to deal with cases justly and at proportionate cost.
The Rules can be found at:
The Justice website also provides forms associated with the Rules
Some key terms.
During the process of litigation, the Court will give orders. Some of the key terms that will be seen on these orders are:
To File Providing the required document to the Court.
To serve Providing the required document to the other side.
Routinely a Court Order will refer to file and serve XXXXX (ie: Defense, witness statement or Application).
Assisting the Court.
It can be seen in CPR 1 that everyone is under a duty to assist the Court.
The Court expects that all people are reasonable and respect others. That behaviour will be encouraged.
The Court will discourage unwarranted accusations, particularly if they are of a criminal nature. For instance, if accuse a person of fraud, you must be in a position to support it. Merely disagreeing with another person is simply not adequate.
It is good practice to send a copy of all applications and correspondence to both the Court and the other side.
Statements of Truth.
All key documents are affirmed with a statement of truth. CPR 22 sets out the document where statements of truth must be used.
Potential penalties for wrong statements
5 Attention is drawn to rule 32.14 which sets out the consequences of verifying a statement of case containing a false statement without an honest belief in its truth, and to the procedures set out in rule 81.18 and paragraphs 5.1 to 5.7 of Practice Direction 81 – Applications and proceedings in relation to contempt of court.
(1) Proceedings for contempt of court may be brought against a person if he makes, or causes to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without an honest belief in its truth.