A court process is initiated through one party – the petitioner – submitting an application for a summons to the district court. The other party – the respondent – must respond to the summons by submitting a defence to the district court. The district court then normally sets a meeting for the case – a so-called preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing the court must investigate what the parties are in dispute about. The court must also examine whether there is a possibility of the parties agreeing – coming to a settlement. After the preliminary hearing the court can make a temporary decision – an interim decision – which applies until the court makes a new interim decision or issues a judgement.

If the parties cannot come to an agreement at the preliminary hearing they must submit the evidence they wish to cite. Evidence can be either verbal, by means of examination involving themselves (so-called party examination), witnesses or experts, or written, using documents, photos etc. A main hearing (trial) is then set for the case. At the main hearing all evidence must be taken into consideration, and after the main hearing the district court will deliver a judgement. Appeals against district-court judgements can be lodged with the court of appeal within three weeks.

For the court of appeal to take up the case, so-called leave to appeal is required. If leave to appeal is granted the appellant’s appeal is sent to the opposite party for an opinion, and to give the latter the opportunity to cite evidence. The main hearing is then set for the case. An appeal against the court of appeal’s judgement can be lodged with the supreme court within three weeks.

For the supreme court to examine the case it is necessary for it to issue leave to appeal. Leave to appeal is granted if the supreme court’s judgement may provide guidance regarding the way other similar cases are to be judged – a so-called precedent.

We have great experience of court actions, and will be happy to assist you at your trial.