Information on the civil courts


Civil law involves disputes between individuals or companies. The most common reason people use the civil courts is if someone owes them money. Other civil actions include claims for defamation, breach of contract, injunctions, personal injury, property damage and negligence claims. The civil court system also handles family issues, such as divorce, custody, and adoption. Basically, if you sue another person or a business your case will end up in a civil court.

The civil courts in England and Wales are usually the County Courts and, for more serious matters, the High Court. The Small Claims Court is special procedure for handling smaller claims in a county court.

In this section we have set out some basic information about the civil courts, including their counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and basic points on jurisdiction to help you work out which court is the right one for your matter.

If you are looking for expert legal advice, please call us on 0800 1777 162 and let our experienced case handlers match you to the right solicitor for your needs.

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