Pre-Action Litigation Dispute Considerations
Before issuing litigation dispute procedures under the Legal System of Cyprus, people must satisfy the pre-action protocol, since failure may result in cost sanctions and the claim may be suspended. The particular article deliberates how to conform with the protocol.
If the individual demands to make a claim, it is a prior obligation to issuing proceedings he must comply with the ‘Civil Procedure Rules’ – Pre-action Conduct and Protocols. They potentially explain in detail the conduct and set out the steps that the court would usually expect parties to take before commencing proceedings for specific types of civil claims.
It is significant to be noted that there are precise pre-action protocols for certain litigationTop of FormBottom of Form disputes, such as defamation and personal injury claims. If there is not one relating to the claim, then the claimant should comply with the general protocol.
Before commencing proceedings, the court will expect the parties to have exchanged adequate information, in order to understand each other’s position, make decisions about how to proceed and try to settle the issues without proceedings.
If there is an applicable pre-action protocol, the parties should comply with it before commencing formal litigation dispute proceedings. On the contrary, if there is not a relevant protocol, the parties should exchange correspondence and information to comply with the Objectives, bearing in mind that compliance should be commensurate.
The major steps to confirm compliance include:
- The claimant writing to the defendant with compendious details of the claim. The particular letter is called a letter prior claim. Significantly, it should include the basis on which the claim is made, a brief summary of the facts, what the claimant wants from the defendant, and if money, how the amount is calculated.
- The defendant responding within a reasonable time of approximately two weeks in an easy and straight forward case and no more than three months in a very complex case. The reply should include confirmation as to whether the claim is accepted and if not, the reasons why it had not been accepted must be stated, together with an clarification, as to which facts and parts of the claim are disputed and whether the defendant is making a counterclaim as well as providing details of any counterclaim.
- The parties disclosing key documents applicable to the issues in dispute.
As part of a relevant pre-action protocol, the parties should consider whether negotiation or some other form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) might allow them to settle their dispute without commencing proceedings. Forms or ADR that the parties might consider include “Without Prejudice” meetings, mediation or arbitration. Due to the risks associated with litigation, there is greater emphasis on settling claims sooner rather than later, predominantly as becoming embroiled in litigation can have a negative material impact on other aspects of business.
In case there has been a non-compliance with a pre-action protocol, the court may order that the dispute litigation proceedings are suspended while steps are taken to comply with it. Alternatively, other sanctions can be applied, which could include costs sanctions such as an order that the party at fault pays the costs of the proceedings whether on an indemnity basis or otherwise, or part of the costs of the other party. The costs sanction is a genuine risk for parties that have not conformed and the risks of such a sanction should be considered as part of your pre-action strategy evaluation.
For more information and guidance please email Michalaki, Pitsillidou & Co LLC – iMPK Global Business Law Firm – Cyprus Lawyers, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.impklawyers.com.Tel. +357 25660092 – Fax +357 25 660097.