Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bringing Conciliation Court Cases

Conciliation court was created to allow citizens to bring legal actions for smaller claims that would normally be difficult to bring due to the expense and knowledge needed to bring a suit in district court. Generally, these courts allow individuals to bring claims of up to $7,500 ($4,000 in cases involving commercial consumer credit transaction), or order the return of property. However, these claims may not include claims for title to real estate, libel or slander, class actions or medical malpractice.

Additionally, since these are state courts, they can not hear matters of federal law such as disputes over copyright ownership. They can, however, hear cases involving breach of contract that involves copyrighted material. This means that the conciliation court can not hear a case involving ownership of a copyright, but it can hear a case involving whether a party has paid what they owe for the creation of copyrighted material.

An important thing to remember before you file a conciliation court matter is whether you will be able to collect anything in the event that you win your case. If a person has no money, collecting the judgment may be next to impossible. However, keep in mind that judgments are good for a period of ten years.

In the event you do decide to sue and you win the court will not automatically collect the money from the defendant. In order to collect your money you will be required to get a writ of execution from the court. A writ will not be issued until after the time for the defendant to appeal has passed and until certain documents are provided to the court.

Once the writ has been issued, plaintiffs need to locate property to be seized and inform the sheriff’s office where the property can be found so that they can carry out the writ. Defendants can be forced to disclose assets when a plaintiff files an order for disclosure. This process will take approximately thirty days. In the event that a defendant has been sued by other people, the sheriff will first execute writs on behalf of the prior plaintiffs.

Additional information on the conciliation court process can be obtained from your local county court office and at http://www.mncourts.gov/.

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