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How to file a lawsuit in Ukraine: Practical advice and pitfalls

Photo: Succo/Pixabay

Photo: Succo/Pixabay

What should be considered when filing a lawsuit in Ukraine?

Going to court is a troublesome matter, but having diligence and proper preparation, it can be crowned with success. However, without the necessary competencies, it seems an impossible task to understand the whole variety of court documents and other nuances. So having the necessary information is good. It is even better to immediately seek assistance from a competent lawyer, especially if you do not know how to apply to the court. But for those who intend to file a lawsuit on their own, The Page offers an article that addresses this issue.


Stages of filing a lawsuit

To initiate legal proceedings, you must first prepare the claim itself in writing, and also attach a package of documents to it. But more on that later. What to do when a claim is written? After that a court fee awaits the plaintiff that can be paid without any problems on the website of the judicial authority. For the subsequent registration of the court case, three copies of the statement of claim are required (one of them remains with the plaintiff, the second one—with the defendant, and the third one is presented directly to the court).

With copies of the claim and other documents, you can go to the court office, where a special note must be put on the plaintiff's copy that the claim has been accepted (of course, if all the documents are drawn up correctly). Then you should make sure that you are told the date of the hearing within three days since filing your claim.

To better understand how to file a claim with the court, you should also carefully study the list of documents that accompany the claim at the time of filing it. Here is a detailed list of them:

  • documents confirming that a pre-trial dispute resolution was offered to the parties and all necessary measures were taken (applies to the Commercial Code);
  • a document proving that the defendant was sent a copy of the claim filed by the plaintiff;
  • original receipt of paying the state duty in full;
  • a notarized power of attorney to represent interests, if instead of the plaintiff his representative will be present at the meeting;
  • original receipt confirming payment of the costs of organizing the trial;
  • evidence confirming the words of the plaintiff and helping the court to establish the fact of the guilt (or lack thereof) of the defendant.

However, the incorrectly executed and submitted package of documents is not accepted for consideration, which means that the proceedings are not taken until the court office receives a new package. The most common mistakes in filing a claim and accompanying documents are the following:

  • failure to submit a receipt for paying state duty (or submission of its copy);
  • failure to pay the state duty in full;
  • lack of factual evidence that a copy of the claim was sent to the defendant.

How to make a claim?

In order to avoid mistakes, you need to know exactly how to file a claim in court in Ukraine. Although, as practice shows, even in this case, the advice of a professional lawyer will not hurt, because there are many nuances that only a professional can understand. Since the claim is an official paper, you must strictly follow the rules for drafting it; in particular, it should contain the following sections:

  • the name of the court the claim was filed to;
  • passport data (full name) of the plaintiff and the defendant, as well as their postal addresses or similar data of the parties’ representatives;
  • relief sought. In the text of the application, you need to clearly and in detail state your request to the court, as well as argue on what grounds the court must satisfy the claims of the plaintiff (with evidence);
  • sum in dispute;
  • list of all documents attached to the claim package (must be compiled on a separate sheet).

Knowing how to file a lawsuit can significantly save the plaintiff money and time, as well as help avoid unpleasant consequences in case of mistakes. Of course, these consequences will not be fatal, but they can cause inconvenience. At a minimum, the court may refuse to consider your case simply because of an erroneous execution of documents, or it may not accept the case after the expiration of its limitation period (if the plaintiff does not correct errors for a long time).

How much does it cost to file a lawsuit

Perhaps the first most important question that worries a potential plaintiff even before filing a claim: how much does it cost to file a lawsuit?

Ukraine is guided by the law "On court fees" in this matter. A court fee is a state fee that is charged to a plaintiff when a claim is filed. The paid fee goes to the budget and guarantees that the court will consider the claim. However, you should be aware that the amount of the fee varies depending on the nature of the claim, as well as the status of the claimant.

For instance, legal entities and entrepreneurs must pay 1.5% of the sum in dispute (but not more than 350 living wages) for a property claim, but for individuals the duty is slightly less—1% of the sum in dispute. For non-property claims, the plaintiffs will have to pay 1 living wage and ¼ of the living wage, respectively.

On the surface it seems that the process of filing a lawsuit is quite simple and does not require any special efforts from the participants. However, it is worthwhile to once again draw attention to the fact that even due to the smallest mistake, the consideration of the claim can be postponed, or even completely canceled, so finding good lawyers should be a priority for the person filing the lawsuit.

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