Fortunately, most people only know court hearings from television. And television is most likely to be interested in criminal trials because it is often about exciting criminal cases and thus attracts viewers. Civil lawsuits are mostly boring and lengthy.
In truth, however, it is the case that we come into contact with civil law much more frequently – even on a daily basis. Be it that you conclude a purchase agreement – this can be done verbally or in tacit at any cash register, we can make a donation, or when you lend someone something. All of these transactions are regulated in civil law, also known as private law.
Of course, most of our day-to-day legal transactions take place without incident. You buy a commodity and pay for it immediately. The purchase is complete. But what now if, for example, the new laptop gives up the ghost after 3 weeks and the dealer does not want to acknowledge the defect? If no other solution can be found, this case can quickly result in civil litigation. After all, you’ve been saving for the device for a long time and don’t necessarily want to give the retailer the money, right?
If you are involved in a civil process, you need to be much more active on your own than in a criminal trial. Without exception, there is always an oral hearing in one of these, in which you can present your point of view to the judge. This is not always the case in civil proceedings.
If you have received a payment order, you must, for example, immediately lodge an objection, otherwise, it will be legally binding – otherwise, a negotiation in which you can raise your objections will not take place at all. The same applies if someone has brought a lawsuit against you and the court has given you an order to reimburse you with a defence. If this is not submitted within 4 weeks, a default judgment can be issued at the request of the plaintiff. The court will only schedule a hearing if you have submitted the objection or the defence in good time.
As a rule, the court will convict those who lose the case and reimburse the winner for the costs. If the defendant is only partially convicted, the procedural costs will be shared accordingly.
To do this, you need to know that in addition to their own legal fees, the loser has to pay the court fees and the costs of the court and the experts.
Do I have to hire a lawyer for civil litigation? In certain circumstances. The legal requirement is regulated in the Code of Civil Procedure. Accordingly, you must be represented by a civil litigator in civil proceedings in which the amount in dispute exceeds a certain amount. If you come to a hearing for a higher amount without a lawyer, you may be judged by default, even if you were right on the matter.
What is mediation? So-called civil law mediation is about the out-of-court settlement of disputes. In contrast to arbitration, however, in mediation, there is no decision by a third party that would be binding on the parts of the dispute. The mediator is only a companion who helps the parties to the dispute to find a mutually acceptable solution through a structured approach.
Mediation can only work if both parties agree and are really ready to work constructively on a solution. The solution that comes out does not necessarily have to be a compromise. Because the mediator can often bring the parties to an alternative solution that they had not even thought of before.
The main task of the mediator is to provide a forum in which constructive work is possible. Therefore, mediation always takes place in a neutral place. If it is successful, there is usually a written mediation agreement in which the result is recorded.