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Hierarchy of Civil Courts

There is a hierarchy of Civil Courts in every state subordinate to their respective High Courts to administer civil law disputes. These civil courts are assigned a particular territory in a city or a town of the state and as well a particular pecuniary limit that is, the limit of the monetary value of the cases, which these courts may entertain.

Thus a particular civil court at a particular position in the hierarchy would be able to adjudicate civil cases only of a particular monetary value and further only from a particular territory.

The Hierarchy and the nomenclature of these civil courts varies in different states.

In Delhi for instance there are very broadly following levels of civil courts.

  1. District Judge & his collateral additional District Judges
  2. Senior Civil Judge
  3. Civil Judge
  4. Small Cause courts.

Civil cases up to the monetary value of three Lakhs are filed before the Civil Judges. The Civil cases having monetary value between three Lakhs and twenty Lakhs are filed before the District Judge or additional district Judge. The Civil cases having monetary value above twenty Lakhs are filed directly in the High Court.

The Small Cause Courts are established to adjudicate upon small cause matters such as guardianship and custody matters which can be adjudicated in a summary trial that is, without a protracted and extensive civil trial.

The court of Civil Judge, Senior Civil Judge and Additional District Judges on the other hand entertain regular matters requiring proper civil trial following all the rules of evidence and procedures envisaged in the civil procedure code.

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