What is involved in the Discovery process in a Civil Claim?
- Civil litigation is the type of Court proceeding which take place if the legal dispute relates to a civil case and if the case involves a person’s private rights and liabilities
- If you are involved in a civil case and seeking to set right an undesirable situation, you may wish to commence civil litigation proceedings to pursue a civil claim against the wrongful party.
- The key stages in a civil claim generally include the following:
- Pleadings: this is the stage where key documents are prepared and filed (i.e. submitted) by the parties to state or summarise the key facts and arguments that they are relying on in support of their respective cases.
- Pre-trial process: this is the stage where parties are required to follow a set of rules and guidelines administered by the Court. The rules and guidelines state how the parties must prepare and file certain documents as well as how they will be entitled to conduct discovery (which is the process through which a party is entitled obtain and gather information and documents that are relevant to the case but which are in the possession of the opposing party).
- Trial process: this is the stage a separate Court hearing (known as a trial) will be conducted where the Judge will consider the evidence presented and arrive at a decision as to whether the Plaintiff has succeeded in proving his claim.
- Appeal: this is the stage where either party makes an appeal to a higher Court if that party is not satisfied with the Judge’s judgment and decision on how the dispute should be settled.
- Enforcement: this is the stage where the Plaintiff who has succeeded in obtaining a judgment in his favour can proceed to enforce the Court’s judgment or order against the Defendant (e.g. to obtain payment of the monies which the Court has ordered the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff).
- Discovery is the process which takes place where the parties prepare their case and for the trial by obtaining and gathering information and documents that are relevant to the case from the opposing party.
- This is a key part of the civil claim because it is compulsory for all parties in the case to make a thorough and honest disclosure to each other of all information, documents and materials which are relevant to the case and which are in their respective possession.
- This responsibility for disclosure continues until the end of the case.
- As part of this process, all parties have to review the information, documents and materials which are relevant to the case and which are in their respective possession and then formally list out these documents.
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