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Filing a Lawsuit in Israel: the 7 Steps of the Civil Litigation Process

יהודה אלחרר
יהודה אלחרר

If you are considering filing a lawsuit in Israel, you must understand the Israeli legal system. We have written this guide to help you navigate the complexities of civil law in Israel.  Decker, Pex, Leviis an experienced law firm with offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Our skilled Israeli lawyers provide comprehensive legal services and advice in all fields of Israeli civil law and can represent you in litigation cases.

The following is a step-by-step guide to filing a lawsuit in Israel: 

Before Filing a Lawsuit in Israel: Seek Legal Counsel 

Meet with an expert Israeli attorney and explain the details of your case. After hearing the facts of the case, your attorney will offer an initial opinion on the most suitable legal strategies, such as litigation, settlement, mediation, or arbitration. This is your opportunity to become acquainted with your lawyer and to discern whether they are the person you want representing you in court.

Filing a Lawsuit in Israel STEP 1- Filing a Statement of Claim or Defense 

Your attorney will outline the facts and legal basis for the case in a statement of claim (for a plaintiff) or a statement of defense (for a defendant). As per the statute of limitations, there is a time limit for initiating civil claims in court. By default, the deadline is seven years, but several exceptions exist. Always consult the details of your particular case with a knowledgeable Israeli lawyer.

STEP 2 – Preliminary Hearing on the Lawsuit 

Be prepared to discuss the issues in dispute and set a timetable for the case during the preliminary hearing. An experienced civil litigation lawyer can help guide you through the hearing and effectively present your case.

STEP 3 – The Discovery Stage of Filing a Lawsuit in Israel

In this crucial stage, gather the necessary evidence to support your case by requesting and obtaining relevant materials from the opposing party.

STEP 4 – The Lawsuit’s Evidence Stage 

Focus and carefully answer questions during cross-examination, as your responses will be recorded and used later to prove or disprove claims.

STEP 5 – Present the Lawsuit’s Claims 

Use statements the opposing party makes to support your claims and refer to legal references and rulings by the District and Supreme Courts when presenting your claims to the court.

STEP 6 – Await the Ruling 

After several months, the court will issue a judgment based on the evidence and legal arguments presented. The judge will analyze the issues in dispute and determine which party’s version is more sensible and reliable. The losing party will typically be ordered to pay court costs, including lawyers’ fees.

STEP 7 – Consider an Appeal 

If you are unsatisfied with the judgment, you may have the option to appeal the decision to a higher court. Be prepared for a lengthy and complex process that requires a skilled and experienced lawyer to present a compelling case for the appellant.Filing a Lawsuit in Israel

The Uniqueness of the Israeli Legal System

The Israeli judicial system emphasizes written laws and statutes, with case law playing a secondary role. This local legal system combines disparate legal traditions, including Ottoman laws, Common Law (influenced by the British system), traditional Jewish law, and new Israeli legislation and regulations. The court is presided over by a judge or panel of judges. There is no jury system in Israel. 

Due to the complex and distinctive nature of Israeli civil law, filing a lawsuit in Israel without the assistance of an experienced attorney can be confusing. Therefore, litigants should work with experienced Israeli attorneys who are experts in Israeli civil law. They can help you craft a solid legal argument and provide relevant evidence to support your claim.

The Structure of the Civil Court System in Israel

Before filing a lawsuit in Israel, you should know in which court the case will be litigated. The civil court system comprises three levels – magistrate, district, and supreme courts. 

Filing a civil claim in the Small Claims Court in Israel

The Israeli judicial system also offers a streamlined litigation process for small claims. The Small Claims Court deal exclusively with relatively minor financial disputes involving easily quantifiable damages. Individuals can file a small claim in the Small Claims Court in Israel against individuals, corporations, or governmental bodies. This type of filing differs from other legal procedures in a few ways. Firstly, only private individuals can file small claims, not municipalities, companies, or class action suits. Secondly, parties will not be represented by an attorney in the small claims court. Instead, all parties represent themselves before the judge. Additionally, the claim amount must not be greater than approximately 10,000 USD. The updated sum is listed in NIS on the Israeli Judicial Authority’s website.

Learn More

Enhance your knowledge of the Israeli legal system and the legal remedies available to you by exploring related articles on, such as: How to File a Complaint against Israeli Government Offices, How to Find the Right Attorney in Israel, and Legal Advice on the Small Claims Court.

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In conclusion, understanding the civil litigation process in Israel is crucial when filing a lawsuit. With good legal representation you can achieve a successful outcome in litigation in Israel. Our experienced attorneys can provide the guidance and representation you need throughout the civil litigation process in Israel. We have expert attorneys in all areas of civil law, including commercial law and contract law, tort law, immigration law, corporate law, labor law, family law, bankruptcy (insolvency), and intellectual property

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Each case is unique, and you should consult with a licensed attorney for personalized legal advice.

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