My new car just broke down. What are my legal options?

Learn about the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal, and how it operates under New Zealand law.

The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal was established by the Motor Vehicle Sales Act 2003, and its procedures governed by Schedule 1 of that Act. You can find copies of Acts at legislation.govt.nz Continue reading My new car just broke down. What are my legal options?

Problems with my landlord or tenant…

Find information about procedures for resolving disputes between landlords and residential tenants. 

The Tenancy Tribunal was established by the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. Some procedural matters are governed by that Act, and others governed by the Residential Tenancies Rules 2010. You can find copies of Acts and Rules at legislation.govt.nz Continue reading Problems with my landlord or tenant…

Could the Disputes Tribunal help me?

Find information about the New Zealand Disputes Tribunal.

The Disputes Tribunal was established by the Disputes Tribunals Act 1988, and its processes governed by Disputes Tribunals Rules 1989. You may know it as the ‘small claims court’. You can find copies of Acts and Rules at legislation.govt.nz Continue reading Could the Disputes Tribunal help me?

How are employment issues dealt with?

Find information about personal grievances and dispute resolution processes concerning employment law.

The government has set up three separate forums that deal exclusively with employment issues. There is the employment mediation service operated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Then there is the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court. This text deals with mediation first, then the Employment Relations Authority and then the Employment Court. An employment problem may not progress through the different forums in that order though. The most appropriate starting point very much depends on the particular facts of each problem.  Continue reading How are employment issues dealt with?

What to expect in the District Court

Find information on civil disputes and claims filed in the District Court of New Zealand.

The District Courts were established by the District Courts Act 1947, and their processes are governed by the District Court Rules 2014. You can find copies of Acts and Rules at legislation.govt.nz Continue reading What to expect in the District Court

What happens in a High Court case?

Find information on civil disputes and claims filed in the High Court of New Zealand.

The High Court has unlimited jurisdiction. That means it can hear any claim unless there is a specific law saying a particular court or tribunal has ‘exclusive jurisdiction’ to hear a particular kind of claim.  Continue reading What happens in a High Court case?

How could I avoid a law suit?

Find information about mediation, arbitration, conciliation, negotiation and other aspects of alternative dispute resolution.

Parties involved in a dispute, or ‘disputants’, may prefer to avoid litigation and resolve their disputes in other ways. This can be for a variety of reasons including confidentiality, cost and speed. Alternatives to litigation are collectively known as ‘alternative dispute resolution’ or ‘ADR’ for short.

Resolutions can be achieved cheaper and faster than litigation in some cases, and the parties may agree to keep matters raised in the course of the dispute confidential. The confidentiality aspect of ADR can be very attractive where parties are reluctant to air their dirty laundry in open public forums such as the courts. ADR can also hold attraction for those hoping to preserve a productive relationship despite a problem. That relationship may be able to be maintained if the problem can be resolved by cooperation, whereas there might be little chance of that once an adversarial court case is filed.

Alternative dispute resolution options include:

1. negotiation;

2. conciliation;

3. mediation; and

4. arbitration.  Continue reading How could I avoid a law suit?

What could I do about a legal problem?

This website contains a lot of information. Some parts might be relevant to a particular difficulty but most will not. Several parts might all turn out to be relevant at the same time, and each of them relating to a different step or process. That is because there is usually more than one way to resolve a dispute and you will have to decide which option is the best one for you. This article explains how to figure out which parts of this website could be relevant. Please see the law dictionary for definitions of terms that are used.

Please note that this article only deals with some types of civil disputes. It does not cover crimes or family law matters.

In this article:

  • Consider taking legal advice
  • What is the problem?
  • Identify and assess the issues
  • Consider the options
  • Raise the problem
  • Contracts
  • When there is no response
  • Leveraging security
  • Credit reporting
  • Threat of litigation
  • Claiming legal costs
  • Claiming interest
  • Statutory demands
  • If there is (still) no response to any threat, demand or other action
  • Abandoning the matter
  • Attempting to negotiate or engage in alternative dispute resolution
  • Giving up control over your part of the problem or taking control of other parts
  • Commencing litigation
  • Assessing risks and rewards
  • Assessing costs and benefits
  • When an argument is raised

Continue reading What could I do about a legal problem?