In civil proceedings the plaintiff (that can be both natural and non-natural persons) seeks to protect their property and/or personal rights.
Civil proceedings have three major parts:
- The first is to file the lawsuit (pre-action conduct), in which the plaintiff must submit proper pleadings to the court. Then it must be identified if the conditions necessary for the proceedings are in place, and whether there are any obstacles to the lawsuit (whether the pleadings and annexes thereto meet form and substance requirements, whether the claim can be enforced before a court and whether the parties have legal capacity and the capacity to act, etc.)
- Following the successful launch of the lawsuit, the next stage is designed to issue the claim and to exchange the statements of the case where the court takes note of the claims of the parties regarding their facts, rights and legal arguments, the evidences submitted and the motions seeking to submit evidences.
- Following the completion of the claims and statements stage, the actual trial stage – within the framework established in the previous stage – can only hear the evidences.
The Plaintiff must prove all the facts that substantiate their claim. During the lawsuit the defendant rejects and contests the facts and rights asserted by the plaintiff. In civil proceedings the parties have the duty of truth and must act in good faith. The parties are obliged to facilitate that the proceedings are conducted and completed fairly. The framework of civil proceedings include the assertion of rights and claims by the plaintiff and their denial, negation by the defendant: the judicial proceedings are taking place through the taking of evidences and counter-evidences that are based on the statements and applications of the parties.
By means of measures of instructions, the court makes sure that the parties can exercise their rights properly and meet their obligations at set out in the law. The judge calls on the parties and asks them questions, determines the mattes to be evidenced, sets the course of the lawsuit and then takes the actions necessary in the lawsuit (e.g. appoints an expert, hears the witnesses, etc.) Subsequently, by considering the evidences, delivers a judgment to settle the lawsuit. The court is bound by the applications and motions of the parties and may conduct an ex officio evidentiary procedure only exceptionally, based on specific authority granted by the law (e.g. in case of protecting a minor child in family law cases or in cases concerning personal status).
The closing decision of a lawsuit or the closing decision of this stage is the judgment delivered by the court that must covers all pleadings, claims / counterclaims and contested offsetting claims. The judiciary decision must be clear and unambiguous. The court must give reasons for the decision outlining the facts, evidences and the law applied to deliver the judgment. Regarding the decisions of the first instance court on the substance of the case, the parties may lodge an appeal. Detailed information about appealing must be included in the judgment.
The civil procedure is conducted in line with the Act CXXX of 2016 on Civil Procedure (Code of Civil Procedure).
The Code of Civil Procedure stipulated the entire process to be followed when instigating and conducting the lawsuit, including the rights and obligations of the parties. E.g. the Code of Civil Procedure outlines the contents of pleadings, the way to submit evidences, the motions for evidentiary procedures, the parties that can make declarations, give testimony and also the contents of the court’s judgment. These rules are mandatory, neither the court nor the parties can deviate from them, not even if there is a mutual agreement or joint application in place.
The civil procedure is brought by the plaintiff against the defendant, the parties to the lawsuit have equal rights. During the lawsuit the parties are obliged to provide the necessary documents and participate in line with the good faith principle. The parties must prove their assertions, it is the duty of the court to inform the parties of their responsibility for the burden of proof regarding individual matters. In order to settle the legal dispute of the parties, the court delivers a judgment that, however, can be appealed. In such a case, the lawsuit is forwarded to the second instance court the judgment of which is final and binding and can no longer be appealed. The final judgment can be enforced, thereby settling and bringing the legal dispute between the parties to an end.