Civil litigation commonly arises from property damage, defamation, negligence, insurance disputes, nuisance & trespass, administrative appeals, and a lot more.
Civil litigation is the broad term used for almost any dispute. We use a number of strategies to try to resolve civil disputes quickly, commercially, and with the least amount of costs.
If you are looking for commercial litigation then head over to our commercial disputes page.
We can offer advice and assistance in the following civil disputes:
Damage to property can include the wilful and negligent damage to another person’s property.
If you have had your property damaged by someone then you can commence civil litigation action for a court order that they pay the cost of repair or replacement.
This can include a car crash where the person at fault damages your car, or a tenant has damaged your real property while they were living in the property, or any damage to any personal private property.
These matters can sometimes be resolved by negotiation, or by mediation. If not, then you will have to commence legal action seeking an enforceable money order.
Civil Litigation – Defamation
Defamation occurs when the reputation of a person (or business with less that 10 employees) is injured.
To bring an action for defamation a plaintiff must satisfy the three (3) requirements below:
- There was a publication; and
- The publication named the person personally (or strong implication); and
- The publication was defamatory.
The Courts have decided that a publication is defamatory if it:
- Lowers the person/businesses estimation in the eyes of “right-thinking” members of the society generally; and/or
- Injures the reputation of the person/business by exposing it to hatred, contempt or ridicule; and/or
- Put’s the person/business in the position of being shunned and avoided.
Defamation is usually quite easy to make out, however it is subject to a number of robust defences.
A defamation action can be because of a bad online review (or reviews) or social media activity, or any other publication.
In some cases insurance companies refuse to pay on a policy in questionable circumstances. This can include:
- Incorrectly calculated or applied premiums; and/or
- Non-disclosure of a product or misleading, deceptive, or incorrect; and/or
- Denial of a claim, incorrect value of assessment, or delayed decisions; and/or
- Breaches of confidentially or privacy.
The first step in to make a complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (“AFCA“).
Going to AFCA is free and they will attempt to negotiate a settlement. If they cannot, then they will usually make a decision which is binding on the insurance company if accepted.
If you do not accept this decision, then we can help you seek relief from the Court.
Civil Litigation – Negligence
Failing to take reasonable care to avoid causing loss or injury to person is negligence.
The four (4) main steps in proving negligence are:
- That there is a duty of care owed;
- There is a breach of that duty of care;
- The damage or loss sustained was reasonably foreseeable; and
- The damage was caused by the breach of the duty of care.
If you can prove these four (4) elements, then you may have a claim for damages.
We do not do personal injury claims. However, there are a number of instances where negligence can arise, including doctor / patient; employer / employee; lessor / lessee; manufacturer / consumer; occupier of land / visitor; road users; and teacher / student.
If you think that you have a negligence claim then contact our civil litigation lawyers today.
Estate Litigation – If an adequate provision has not been made for you in a will, then you might be able to bring a family provision application.
A family provision claim is an application to the Court for your share, or a larger share, from the deceased estate of a family member.
If you think that you have not been provided proper maintenance and support in a will, the Court may make an order that such provision be made out of the deceased estate.
To have standing to bring a family provision claim, you must be:
- A spouse – husband / wife / defacto partners;
- A child – child / stepchild / adopted child / child born outside of marriage;
- A dependant – a person who maintained or supported the deceased.
If you have not been adequately provided for in a will, then contact us to discuss making a family provision claim.
Nuisance & Trespass
Neighbour disputes can be incredibly stressful and can impact your enjoyment of your property.
If you have not found the relief you want through QCAT or by a peace and good behaviour order, then you may be able to commence legal action for nuisance and trespass.
Nuisance is the unlawful interference with the person’s use or enjoyment of land, or some right over it, on in connection with it.
Trespass is the direct, forcible, and wrongful interference with the person or the person’s land or chattels.
If these elements can be made out, then you can sue your neighbour for compensatory damages, aggravated damages, and exemplary damages.
Contact our lawyers to discuss if you have a case in nuisance and/or trespass.
Administrative Reviews / Appeals
If a state government / local council / or federal government body has made a decision or determination in a particular matter, then you may be able to appeal that decision, or seek judicial review.
For example, at federal level it might be related to reviewing a migration / refugee decision; or a NDIS decision; or a taxation decision; or a veterans’ appeals decision, amongst others.
At a state level it might be a local council planning decision; a medical practitioners disciplinary decision; QBCC decisions; and reviews of decisions in relation to architects, building and construction workers, tattooists, legal practitioners, veterinarians, teachers, surveyors, security providers, real estate agents, racing personnel, plumbers and drainers, nursing practitioners, motor dealers, health practitioners, engineers,
There are two types of state-based review in Queensland, merits review and judicial review.
Do you need help?
If the parties cannot resolve matters with alternative dispute resolution, or the methods outlined above, then we can assist with resolving civil litigation in court.
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Have a civil litigation dispute? Let us take care of it!