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Old 30.11.2011, 18:56
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asking for help - how to file a civil lawsuit

Dear EFers,
I didn't find any such topics in the forum. So decided to ask for a help.

I have to file a civil lawsuit case (involving contract fraud between two natural person) by myself. Without going to the details of the subject and chances of winning without speaking german and the potential defendant being a Swiss guy.

If I decide to go by myself, where should I start? Which is the right authority to file the case?

Any relevant advice would be highly appreciated.
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Old 30.11.2011, 19:35
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Re: asking for help - how to file a civil lawsuit

Um, you can't be serious. But, just in case you are, the place to start is the the Swiss Code of Civil Procedure and the Gerichtsorganisationsgesetz for the canton where you are filing. Information here: http://www.zpo.ch/index.php?option=c...d=49&Itemid=41.

A contract dispute will usually be filed either in the court where the defendant is domiciled or habitually resident or in the courts for the place of performance of the obligation (Art. 31 Swiss civil procedure). Which court specifically depends on the kind of claim and especially on the amount in dispute. The claim must be filed in the official language of the court (Art. 129 SCP). This means German, French or Italian. Without full command of the official language of the court, you cannot file a claim and represent yourself.
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Old 30.11.2011, 19:38
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Re: asking for help - how to file a civil lawsuit

If you have to ask this question how can you possibly begin to present your case to the court? Do you know Napolean law?

You will lose your case unless you employ a lawyer. His fees are automatically added to the claim. If you win, your legal costs are paid for.

Where was the contract signed? That will be the place to start and to employ a "Fürsprecher"
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Old 30.11.2011, 22:55
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Re: asking for help - how to file a civil lawsuit

Thanks a lot Ziger and Sbrinz.

The prospects really make my heart sink. It looks like the barriers are quite high.

But it makes me wonder if in a situation (not exactly my case) where somebody signed the contract and took the advances (a few hundreds, with no receipt) but simply refuses to deliver the goods or refund the money, because he could have possibly sold the stuff to others already, there seems to be no economically viable way to recover the funds/punish the crook.

My God, what a paradise country CH is! Or maybe the same everywhere.
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Old 30.11.2011, 23:08
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Re: asking for help - how to file a civil lawsuit

Actually, there are economically viable ways of recovering funds in Switzerland but you need to be able to communicate in one of the official languages of the country. If you are only trying to get back money owed, you can always file a "Betreibung". But again, you have to do it in German. I hardly think that a court in the US would accept a claim filed in German by someone living in Switzerland.

As for punishing the crook, that is for the state to do, not you. If there has been a crime committed, as opposed to a simple breach of contract, then you need to contact the police.
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