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Last update: 17-08-2004
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Bringing a case to court - Sweden

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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 Sweden? 3.
4. If yes, which particular court should I go to in Sweden, 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.

 

QUESTIONS PRIOR TO COMMENCING THE COURT ACTION

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 Sweden?

See the 'Jurisdiction of the courts' theme.

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

See the 'Jurisdiction of the courts - Sweden' 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 - Sweden' 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 are allowed to conduct their own case in court. It is therefore not compulsory to have a legal representative or a solicitor in Sweden. Nor do solicitors have a monopoly in the sense that counsel or assistant counsel must be a lawyer.
In short, yes, you can bring a court action without engaging a lawyer.

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

You must submit an application for a court summons. It can be handed in at the office of the clerk of the court, deposited in the court's letterbox, handed to a court official or sent to the court by post.

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?

In Sweden the language of the courts is Swedish. An application for a summons must therefore be drafted in Swedish. If a document is submitted in another language, however, the court can in certain circumstances order a party to have it translated. In exceptional cases the court can translate the document itself.
An application for a summons must be signed in the applicant's own hand. If it is not - for example, if it has been sent by fax or email - the court will ask for an original signed document to confirm it. If no confirmation is received, the application will be rejected.

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 is no requirement for special forms to be used for bringing court actions. However a form, DV 161, has been produced for summons applications. The form can be found on the National Courts Administration's website (Domstolsverkets hemsida).
An application for a summons must contain information about the parties, a specific claim, the background to the claim, information on the evidence to be called and what each piece of evidence is intended to prove, and any circumstances which are relevant to the court's competence in the case.
Written evidence must be submitted together with the application for a summons.
if an application is incomplete, the court will ask for supplementary information. If it is not provided, the application will be rejected.

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?

For an application in a civil case the applicant must pay a filing fee. The fee must be paid to the court when the application is made. At present the filing fee is SEK 450 (approximately 50 euros). If the filing fee is not paid, a supplementary order is issued. If, despite this, the fee is still not paid, the application will be rejected.
The payment of lawyers' expenses is a matter for the client and the lawyer. It is usual to pay an advance followed by a bill for work carried out. If legal aid has been granted, special rules apply, see legal aid theme ( rättshjälp ).

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?

In Sweden a case is considered to have been brought on the day on which the application for a summons reached the court. An application for a summons is considered to have reached the court on the day on which the document, or a notice that a postal item containing the document has been sent, is received by the court or by an official responsible.
if it can be assumed that the document or a notice about it has been delivered to the clerk of the court's office or has been set aside for the court at the post office, it is considered to have arrived on that day if it reached an official responsible on the next working day.
There is no automatic confirmation that the case has been properly presented. However, you can find out about this by contacting the court, e.g. by phone.

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

Under the Swedish Code of Judicial Procedure the court must draw up a timetable for handling the case as quickly as is reasonably possible. However, there may be cases in which the drafting of a timetable would be pointless. Until the plea for the defence has been received, there is in most cases insufficient data for drawing up a timetable.
You can always contact the court, e.g. by phone, to obtain information about the further handling of the case.

Further information

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

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Last update: 17-08-2004

 
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