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A dispute arises if two parties are in disagreement. If the parties cannot resolve the dispute themselves, the district court can deal with the matter. Legal proceedings in contentious cases are divided into a preparation and main hearing.

During a preparation, the court will investigate what the dispute relates to and the position the parties have regarding the matters referred to. In order to ensure that this proceeds as rapidly and smoothly as possible, the court may consult the parties regarding how the case should be processed and set up a time schedule.

The preparation usually starts with the other party having to respond to what the applicant has requested within a certain period. The answer must be in writing. The other party must state whether he or she admits or denies the applicant's claim. If the other party denies liability, he or she must state why and refer to the evidence that will be relied on. If the other party considers that there is an impediment to the proceedings (e.g. that they are being brought at the wrong court), reasons must be given.

Meeting before a judge

When the answer has been received by the court, the parties are given notice to attend a meeting before a judge. Sometimes the case can already be determined at that stage. Under the leadership of the judge, the parties can respond to each other's allegations so that their standpoints become clear and complete. The need for evidence may also be reviewed. The meeting can be held by telephone if the parties wish, provided this is appropriate.

The preparation should, if possible, be concluded at the first meeting. If this is not possible, the preparation will continue through correspondence or at a new meeting.

Sometimes the court can determine contentious cases on the documents, that is to say, by only looking at the written evidence and other documents. The parties will be given an opportunity to complete their action before a case is determined on the documents.

If the other party does not answer?

If the other party does not submit any reasoned written answer in a case, for example regarding a dispute about a debt, the content of an agreement, rent and damages (so-called 'cases relating to the law governing economic relations'), the district court can decide on a so-called 'default judgment'. This usually means that the party who does not answer will lose the case. The same also applies if an applicant does not wish to participate in the proceedings and if either of the parties does not come to the hearing.

A party that has had a default judgment made against them cannot appeal against the judgment and must instead, within a month of the date on which the judgment was pronounced, apply in writing to the District Court for the case to be reopened. If this is done, the District Court takes up the case for a further hearing.

Senast ändrad: 2009-11-27

The district court can deal with the matterIf you and the other party cannot reach agreement the district court can deal with the matter. In this case fill out an application for summons and send it to the the district court.

How to apply for summons.


The court can decide temporarily

The court can decide temporarily (in the interim) on, for example, a prohibition on visitation, who should have custody of a child and which spouse should be allowed to remain resident in a dwelling.