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Legal Information

Starting the Court Case

Updated: November 12, 2019

Can I file a case in court? Do I have a “cause of action”?

To start a court case, you must have a reason to go to court. Generally, the reason for your court case is known as the “cause of action.” A cause of action exists when someone (usually called the defendant or the respondent) has done a legal wrong to you, or there is a disagreement that the court can solve. For example, you could have a cause of action against any of the following people:

  • someone who assaulted you;
  • someone with whom you had an oral contract or agreement and that agreement was broken; or
  • someone with whom you have children and there is a disagreement over where they should live and who should make decisions for them.

All of these issues, and many others, represent causes of action that allow you to bring a court case.