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Last update: 31-05-2006
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Bringing a case to court - Finland

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Imagine a situation in which you are in dispute with a company, a professional person, your employer, a member of your family or somebody else in your own country or abroad. In order to solve this problem, you ask yourself a number of questions:



 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Do I have to go to Court? 1.
2. Am I still in time to bring a court action? 2.
3. Am I sure that I should go to a court in Finland? 3.
4. If yes, which particular court should I go to in Finland, given where I live and where the other party lives, or other aspects of my case? 4.
5. Which particular court should I go to in this Member State, given the nature of my case and the amount at stake? 5.
6. Can I bring a court action by myself or do I have to ask an intermediary, such as to be represented by a solicitor? 6.
7. Who exactly do I apply to: to the reception office or the office of the clerk of the court or any other administration? 7.
8. In which language can I make my application? Can I do it orally or does it have to be in writing? Can I send my application by fax or by e-mail? 8.
9. Are there special forms for bringing actions, or, if not, how must I present my case? Are there elements that have to be included in the file? 9.
10. Will I have to pay court charges? If so, when? Will I have to pay a lawyer right from the introduction of my application? 10.
11. Can I claim legal aid? ('legal aid' theme) 11.
12. From which moment is my action officially considered to have been brought? Will the authorities give me some confirmation that my case has been properly presented? 12.
13. Will I have detailed information about the timing of subsequent events (such as the time allowed for me to enter an appearance)? 13.

 

PRELIMINARY QUESTIONS BEFORE BRINGING A CASE TO COURT

1. Do I have to go to Court?

It might be better to use alternative dispute resolutions procedures. See this theme.

2. Am I still in time to bring a court action?

Time limits for bringing court actions vary according to the case. This question of time limits can be clarified with a legal adviser or at an information office to citizens on access to law.

3. Am I sure that I should go to a court in Finland?

See the 'Jurisdiction of the courts' theme.

4. If yes, which particular court should I go to in Finland, given where I live and where the other party lives, or other aspects of my case?

See the 'Jurisdiction of the courts - Finland' theme.

5. Which particular court should I go to in this Member State, given the nature of my case and the amount at stake?

See the 'Jurisdiction of the courts - Finland' theme.

STEPS TO FOLLOW TO BRING A CASE TO COURT

6. Can I bring a court action by myself or do I have to ask an intermediary, such as to be represented by a solicitor?

Private individuals can bring any dispute to court without using legal counsel, but in complicated cases, for example, it may be to your advantage to use a lawyer.

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7. Who exactly do I apply to: to the reception office or the office of the clerk of the court or any other administration?

Applications should be made to the reception offices of the courts.

8. In which language can I make my application? Can I do it orally or does it have to be in writing? Can I send my application by fax or by e-mail?

The languages used in Finnish courts are Finnish and Swedish. As a rule, applications must be made in Finnish. In the Province of Åland and certain other Swedish-speaking regions, Swedish must be used. Nationals of Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark may, if necessary, use their own language.
Applications must be made in writing and may be sent by fax or e-mail.

9. Are there special forms for bringing actions, or, if not, how must I present my case? Are there elements that have to be included in the file?

There are no special forms. Your application must clearly state what it is you are seeking and the grounds on which you are seeking it. As a rule, you should attach to your application any contracts, undertakings or other written evidence you will be relying on (Riita-asiat fi).

10. Will I have to pay court charges? If so, when? Will I have to pay a lawyer right from the introduction of my application?

Once the case is over, the court charges a handling fee. The size of the fee (starting at €60) depends on the stage in the proceedings at which the decision was issued. Sometimes a decision can be reached on the basis of the documentation submitted to the court, but often the decision is not taken until after the court has sat. The lawyer's fee and when it has to be paid are matters of contract not governed by any separate rules (Käräjäoikeuksien maksut fi).

11. Can I claim legal aid? ('legal aid' theme)

FOLLOW-UP

12. From which moment is my action officially considered to have been brought? Will the authorities give me some confirmation that my case has been properly presented?

The action has been brought once the application is received by the court. The court will provide acknowledgement of receipt on request. The court does not provide confirmation of whether the case has been properly presented.

13. Will I have detailed information about the timing of subsequent events (such as the time allowed for me to enter an appearance)?

The court will notify you of how the proceeding is progressing and provide an approximate timetable. You may contact the court with any queries on how events are progressing.

« Bringing a case to court - General information | Finland - General information »

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Last update: 31-05-2006

 
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