In a civil case, a dispute between private individuals or corporations is decided impartially by a court. The matter may pertain e.g. to tort liability, inheritance disputes, the cancellation of a transaction or the rent for an apartment. The district court makes enforceable decisions also in matters pertaining to undisputed demands for payment or evictions.
A civil case becomes pending when a written application for a summons is delivered by the plaintiff to the registry of the district court. The application for a summons may also be filed electronically.
The application for a summons must contain the name of the court, the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the attorneys and the witnesses, as well as their contact information.
In the application for a summons, the plaintiff explains what he or she demands of the defendant and on what grounds. If the demand is based on a contract or some other document, the document must be appended to the application for a summons. The plaintiff must also name the evidence, i.e. written evidence and/or witnesses, in the matter. A claim for the compensation of legal costs may also be made.
A court charge will be collected from the plaintiff in a civil case. If the party cannot bear the costs of court proceedings, these may under certain circumstances be covered from state funds (legal aid).
If the matter pertains to a simple undisputed debt or e.g. an eviction, the contents of the application for a summons need not be as detailed as in disputed cases. Nor does the application for a summons need to contain information on the evidence in that case.
Persons who file applications for a summons often, for instance professional collection agencies, may file these also electronically. More information about electronic filing of applications for a summons.