Filing and Pursuing Civil Recovery Suit A legal procedure for recovering monetary losses or damages through a civil court action is to file and pursue a civil recovery suit. A person, company, or organisation often brings this kind of litigation against another person or entity accused of wrongdoing or carelessness to recover damages. Our staff guides the procedures for bringing and pursuing a civil recovery lawsuit. Procedure for filing and pursuing a civil recovery suit Consultation with a Lawyer Prior to filing a civil recovery lawsuit, you should speak with a professional lawyer with experience in civil litigation. They will determine whether your case is valid and offer legal counsel, and our team will assist you through the process. A typical Civil case would go through the following stages: Institution of suit Issue and service of summons Appearance of defendant Written Statement and set-off claims by the defendant Joinder parties Framing of Issues Plaintiff Evidence Cross-Examination of Plaintiff Evidence Defendant Evidence Cross-Examination of Defendant Evidence Final Argument Judgement Judgement/Decree Review of Decree Appeal Execution of Decree Institution of the suit Every suit is commenced when the plaintiff files a plaint to the Court. Plaint is filed as a pleading. The case is registered by the Court and logged in its records. The Court may also decide to consolidate the suit with an ongoing trial. Contents of the Plaint The plaint should contain the following: name of the Court where the suit is brought name, description, and place of residence of the plaintiff name, description, and place of residence of the defendant where the plaintiff or the defendant is a minor or a person of unsound mind, a statement to that effect; the facts constituting the cause of action and when it arose; the facts showing that the Court has jurisdiction; the relief which the plaintiff claims; where the plaintiff has allowed a set-off or relinquished a portion of his claim, the amount so allowed or relinquished, and a statement of the value of the subject matter of the suit for the purposes of jurisdiction and of court fees, so far as the case admits. In money suits - the damages (in the form of money) Identification of property if the subject matter of the suit is related to immovable property.) The relief which the plaintiff seeks List of documents being submitted with the plaint. The Court will review the plaint and can reject the plaint in the following situations. Where it does not disclose a cause of action where the relief claimed is undervalued, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so where the relief claimed is properly valued, but the plaint is returned upon paper insufficiently stamped, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to supply the requisite stamp paper within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so, where the suit appears from the Statement in the plaint to be barred by any law Issue and service of summons Once the suit is registered, a summons is sent to the defendant to appear in Court on a specified date. The summons shall be signed by the judge and sealed with the seal of the Court. The summons is accompanied by a plaint as well. The Court, if it sees fit, may also require the plaintiff to be present as well during the appearance of the defendant. The Court may require the party to appear in person only if they. They reside within the local limits or the Court's ordinary jurisdiction They reside at a place less than fifty or (where there is railway or steamer communication or other established public conveyance for five-sixths of the distance between the place where he resides and the place where the Court is situated) less than two hundred miles distance from the Court-house If the defendant is not required to appear in person, then the defendant may send a pleader to represent his case. Summons for final disposition If the Court deems fit, the summons can be sent for final disposition (instead of settling the issues). If the summons is sent for the final disposition, then the summons would mention this and would also direct the defendant to produce all the documents, evidence, and witnesses to support his case. Appearance of Defendant The defendant needs to appear in the Court either personally or by a representative on the date mentioned in the summons. If the summons were for final disposal, the defendant must present evidence, documents, and any witnesses to support his case. Written Statement, set-off and claims by the defendant The defendant needs to submit a written statement on or before the day of appearance. The defendant can also claim a set-off or can make a counter-claim in his written Statement. If the defendant does not file a written Statement, then the Court may decide based on the plaintiff. If the Court requires that the written Statement must be filed, and the defendant does not, then the Court may decide against the defendant. Contents of the Written Statement If the defendant relies on any document for his/her defence, set-off, or counter-claim, then those documents should be mentioned in a list and attached along with the written Statement. These documents are supposed to be presented to the Court with the written Statement. If the defendant does not possess those documents, then he/she should specify in whose possession those documents are: It should be noted that if any document is not mentioned in the list, it cannot be accepted as evidence in the Court unless specifically allowed by the Court. The written Statement must individually address all the allegations that the defendant does not agree with in the plaint. The written Statement must individually address all the allegations that the defendant does not agree with in the plaint. The written Statement should also mention the amount claimed by the defendant as a set-off claim. The written Statement can also include the details of the counter-claim. This counter-claim is treated as a plaint. All the documents upon which the counter-claim is based should be presented to the Court with the counter-claim. The plaintiff may file a written statement against the counter-claim. Examination of Parties by Court On the first hearing, the Court will ask each party whether the allegations are true or false. This can be asked orally by the judge and is recorded by the judge in writing. Framing of Issues At the first hearing of the suit, the court frames the issues pertaining to the suit. Issues arise when others deny the allegations of a party. Each allegation (which is denied by the other party) shall be an issue, and in the end, judgment is given individually. Issues can be issues of fact or issue of law. The Court can form the issues by looking at the plaint and written Statement, or it may interrogate the parties' witnesses and or look at documents in order to determine the issue. For this, the Court may be adjourned further unless the Court can frame the issues. The Court formally records the issues. However, if the defendant makes no defence in the first hearing, then issues may not be formed, and judgment may be given. Modification or alteration of issues The Court may amend or remove any issues before passing a decree as it seems fit. However, either party can also file an application with the Court for amendment of issues. Evidence and Cross-Examination of the plaintiff The plaintiff has the right to begin, whence he/she has to submit the evidence. Unless the defendant agrees to allegations made by the plaintiff but disagrees with the relief sought, then the defendant has the right to begin. The plaintiff has to state his case in front of the judge. The plaintiff has to submit the evidence that was earlier marked. If any evidence was not marked earlier, then the Court will not consider it. The defendant's lawyer will cross-examine the plaintiff. The witnesses from the plaintiff's side also have to appear in the Court, who the defendant's lawyer also cross-examines. Evidence and Cross-Examination of Defendant The defendant also presents his side of the story supported by the witnesses and evidence from his side. The evidence needs to be marked earlier by the Court; otherwise, it will not be considered by the Court. The plaintiff's lawyer will then cross-examine the defendant. Final Argument Once the evidence has been submitted and the plaintiff and defendant conduct cross-examination, both sides are allowed to present a summary of their case and evidence to the judge in the Final argument session. Judgement/ Decree After the final arguments, the Court may give the judgement on the same day or may adjourn the Court for a further date. If the Court does not give the judgment immediately, it tries to give it within 15 days. However, if the judgement is not pronounced within 30 days of the final hearing, then the Court needs to record the reason for doing so. The judgment is dated and signed by the judge, and a copy of the judgment is given to both parties. The judgement contains the decisions taken by the Court on all the issues that the Court framed in the beginning. The judgment also includes the set-off, menu profits or any other claims to be made to either of the parties. The party in whose favour the judgement is passed is known as the decree-holder, and the party against whom the judgment is passed is called the judgment debtor. Review of judgement If a party is not satisfied with the judgement, then it can file an application for review of the judgement. If the Court feels insufficient grounds for the review, it may reject the application. The Court may also reject the application if it was based on some new evidence unless strict proof is provided that the party was earlier unaware of it. Also, when the Court receives an application for review, it shall send a notice to the other party in order for him/her to appear and present his side. If the application is granted and a judgment has been passed, it cannot be reviewed further. Appeal A party may appeal in the appellate Court against the original decree. A memorandum needs to be filed in the appellate Court specifying the grounds of objection. The appellant may be required to provide the security for cost. The Court may accept, reject, or send back the appeal to the appellant for modifications. If the appellate Court finds sufficient cause for a stay on the execution of a decree, then it may order to do so. If the appellate court accepts the appeal, it shall send a notice to the lower Court (whose decree is being appealed) so that it can dispatch the records relevant to the case to the appellate Court. The appellate Court will send notices for the day of the hearing and will rehear the case. The appellate Court may confirm, vary, or reverse the original decree in its judgment. Execution of Decree If the judgment needs to pay money, he can also submit it in the Court or outside the Court. If the payment is made outside of the Court, then evidence of the payment needs to be produced. When a payment is made, the judgement-debtor needs to send an acknowledgement to the decree-holder. If the judgment debtor fails to comply with the decree, then the decree-holder may file an application for execution of the decree. The application needs to be filed in the place of the judge-debtor's residence. The decree-holder may request the Court to assist him by either delivering the property, arrest or detention of a person, or any other relief granted in the decree. The judgment debtor is issued a notice to show cause against execution. If no satisfactory response is shown for the show cause notice, then the Court may issue orders to execute the decree. In case of payment of money, the Court may order the detention of the judgment-debtor in civil prison or the sale of the judgment-debtor's property. In issues related to movable property, it may be seized and delivered to the other party.