Civil Litigation is the process of having civil disputes resolved.  They can be resolved under New Zealand Law in a number of different forums as follows:

1. Mediation.  

The word mediate means quite simply to intervene.  In litigation terms mediation is the process which allows the parties, with or without the assistance of a mediator or third party “intervenor” to resolve their dispute.

In some forums mediation is more or less compulsory.  In the Employment Authority, for example, mediation must be attempted before parties are able to further their action in the Authority.  The Family Court has recently brought in a similar compulsion which is currently being trialled in a number of Courts around the country.

The philosophy behind the move towards mediation is that parties should have to properly attempt to resolve their disputes themselves before they are able to avail themselves of what is a very costly and time consuming judicial resolution process.

Mediation, if successful, has more than just economic benefits for the participants.  Because the parties have come to the decision themselves they are more likely to buy into it, pay whatever amount has been agreed to and move on with their lives.  The same cannot always be said for cases which are decided by Judges who like it or not impose their will on one party or the other.  

2.  Disputes Tribunal

Formerly known as the Small Claims Tribunal, the Disputes Tribunal is enacted under the Disputes Tribunal Act 1988 .  It has a jurisdiction of up to $12,000.00 by agreement and $7,500.00 without agreement. The underlying requirement of bringing an action in the tribunal is that there be a dispute.  

The tribunal cannot be used for debt collection where there is no dispute that the monies are owed.  
The adjudicators employed by the tribunal are generally lay people who, despite their lack of legal training are well qualified in the practicalities of resolving monetary disputes.

The filing fees are nominal and no lawyers are allowed to appear for parties, thereby ensuring that the dispute resolution process engaged in by the tribunal is available and cost effective to all.

Our Staff

Marie Tolhurst (Devoy)Marie Tolhurst (Devoy)
LLB (Hons) (Auck)

Marie completed her law degree at Auckland University in 1983 and was employed by Kendall Sturm and Strong before starting a family in 1985.
Marie has worked at Citylaw since 1994.
Marie counts among her many pastimes, cross-country running, masters rowing, indoor netball, soccer and gardening.  Marie is also an avid follower of her children’s sporting activities.

Andrea MainwaringAndrea Mainwaring

Andrea has been working for City Law for just over a year but has worked in legal accounting for the past 21 years.
She lives on a lifestyle block with her husband and three small children who keep her busy out of work hours.  She loves to entertain, attend fitness boot camps and spend time with her family and friends.

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