Sometimes an alternative procedure may be a better option. See “Alternative dispute resolution”.
Different time limits apply to different kinds of actions. For more information about time limits, you can talk to a lawyer or a Legal Aid Office (oikeusaputoimisto).
See “Jurisdiction – Finland”.
See “Jurisdiction – Finland”.
Private individuals can bring any civil action to court without using legal counsel. In complicated cases it may be to your advantage to use a lawyer.
Court registries act as first points of contact.
Proceedings in Finnish courts are conducted in Finnish or Swedish. Claims (applications for a summons) must be made in writing and usually in Finnish. In the Åland Islands, Swedish must be used. Nationals of Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark can use their own language if necessary. Claims can be submitted by fax or e-mail. Automatic processing is also available for certain kinds of proceedings. See “Automatic processing – Finland”.
There are no special forms available. Your claim 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 claim any contracts, undertakings or other written evidence you intend to rely on.
Once a case is over, the court will charge a handling fee. The amount of the fee depends on the stage in the proceedings at which the matter was resolved. Some cases can be resolved on the basis of written evidence alone. However, most cases are only decided after a hearing. For more information, visit https://oikeus.fi/tuomioistuimet/karajaoikeudet/en/index/charges/chargescollectedbycourts.html.
Lawyers’ fees and when they are payable are matters of contract, and there are no specific rules.
Eligibility for legal aid depends on your level of income. Legal aid is not granted towards petty actions. For more information, visit https://oikeus.fi/oikeusapu/en/index.html.
The date on which proceedings start is the date on which the court receives your application for a summons. The court can send confirmation of receipt upon request. The court cannot provide confirmation of whether or not a case has been properly presented.
The court will keep the interested parties informed of the progress of the case and provide an approximate timeline for subsequent events. You can also contact the court to enquire about the progress of your case.
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