Initiating legal action

Correct initiation of legal action forms a part of any successful litigation. Clarification must be obtained as to whether or not it is compulsory to undergo a so-called arbitration process prior to raising an action before the court.

Arbitration process

The so-called arbitration process serves to reconcile the parties in order to avoid costly legal proceedings. In principle, the performing of an arbitration process is compulsory in disputes relating to property law, unless:

  • the amount in dispute is more than CHF 100,000.00 and the parties mutually renounce the performing of an arbitration process;
  • the defendant’s registered office or domicile is abroad or the defendant’s domicile is unknown and the plaintiff therefore renounces the performing of an arbitration process.

Raising legal action directly before the court

Raising legal action directly before the court comes into consideration in those cases where the law does not provide for an arbitration process or in cases where it is possible to waive the performing of a prescribed arbitration process.

Specifically, the law does not prescribe an antecedent arbitration process in the following types of legal action:

  • actions settled by way of summary proceedings;
  • divorce suits;
  • various actions pursuant to the Swiss Federal Statute on Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy (SchKG);
  • counter claims.
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