This is an overview of the elements of a Superior Court Civil Action. But every case is going to vary.
The Steps a Civil Action
- Bringing the Claim
The claimant prepares a claim report containing a clear description of the material facts on which the plaintiff relies. The court is issuing the claim statement.
The claimant serves the claim statement on all defendants and files with the court an affidavit of service.
If the defendant fails to defend the action, this service affidavit is necessary to obtain the default judgment from the claimant.
- Defending the Claim
The defendant prepares and delivers a defensive claim on the claimant, and together with evidence of delivery, files a copy with the court.
The defendant may make a counter-claim against the claimant, cross-claim against a co-defendant, or make a claim against a non-party against a third party.
Where a defendant fails to deliver a defense statement within the prescribed time, depending on the type of claim, the default judgment may be obtained by the court registrar or a judge.
- The Discovery
If the parties wish to obtain evidence through the discovery process, they must agree on a discovery plan.
The parties are expected to provide an affidavit to all other parties listing all relevant documents in the authority, possession or control of the party. At the request of a party, copies of the documents must be made available.
A party can serve on an opponent a notice of examination suggesting a time and place where the party is required to answer questions under oath. The exam is recorded and transcribed where requested.
Typically, for research, only parties can be investigated. The maximum time period for discovery to be investigated by each group is 7 hours.
- When Setting the Action Down for the Trial
By serving and/ or filing the record of the court, each party can set the case for jury. A record of the trial includes the copy of all trial pleadings and orders.
The registrar puts the action on the trial register, or a judge in the assignment court will set trial dates at some sites.
- The Pre- Trial Conference
The parties have to attend the pre-trial meeting to try to settle the dispute or to clarify the issues before a judge or court officer.
The parties must arrange a pre-trial date and time with the registrar within 180 days of a case being scheduled for trial, which is appropriate to all parties. Whether the parties can not schedule a pre-trial within 180 days of the trial schedule, a pre-trial date will be scheduled by the registrar.
- The Trial
The defendant and the claimant make opening remarks. The witnesses of the claimant will be examined and cross-examined. The witnesses of the accused will be examined and cross-examined. Closing arguments are made by the claimant and defendant.
After both the sides have finished presenting the cases, a judge may give judgment in court. Though, sometimes the judge may not give the judgment immediately but will give the judgment later (this is called the judgment reserving).