The Process to sue a person in Nigeria
There are several reasons that you may want to sue someone. They may owe you money, they may have breached the terms of an agreement you entered, they may have damaged your property or your reputation, or they may have injured you on purpose, by accident.
Step 1 – Is Going to Court the only option?
Whatever the reason, deciding to sue someone is a decision which should not be taken lightly. Therefore, before you make that decision, you should be certain that you have no other viable options.
In some instances, there might be better alternatives to going to court for instance using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms like mediation and arbitration. In fact, in cases of contractual dispute most of contracts have mandatory arbitration clauses which specify that in the event of a dispute both parties are to resolve the dispute out of court.
If you think it may be possible to reach an understanding with the other party but would like a professional to guide the conversation, consider mediation. On other hand, if you would like a third party to make a decision for you, but are concerned about the money and time you will lose in filing a suit, arbitration may be the best choice for you.
Step 2 – Determine whether you have a valid claim
Before filing a lawsuit, you must determine whether you have a legally valid claim. A claim is only legally valid if there is a law that supports your claim against another party. You should only bring a case to court when there is a legal wrong that has been committed. You should not want to sue a person merely because you ‘don’t like something they did’.
Step 3 – Hire a Lawyer
In order to take the case to court, the party would have to hire the services of a lawyer who will advise on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the case and will also file all the necessary documents at the court. Once the case has been filed in court, the other party would be given a number of days within which to respond to the case filed against them. The other party will hire their own lawyer who will advise them on the relative strengths and weaknesses of their position, and whether they should try to settle the case out of court or fight the case by filing their own defence. You can read this article here about what else you should consider before deciding to hire a lawyer – Things to consider when hiring a Lawyer.
Ultimately it is left to the court to decide whose case is stronger, and the court awards judgment on a balance of probabilities i.e. that it is more likely that the winning party is the one who had a stronger legal right.
Do you have a potential case and need the services of a lawyer? Then you need to speak with one as soon as possible.
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We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This answer is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer.