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The basis for the claim has to be thought out. Is it a matter of your ownership or contractual entitlement or some other basis?
The remedy also needs to be clearly identified. Is it money - and if so at what stage is the loss measured? Is it an order for delivery of something - or to declare some right? Are there protective early measures which can be taken because of risk of your opponent disappearing or his assets doing so? Has the claim been clearly put to the opponent, or have there been general complaints which lacked focus on what was wrong and what is required?
You also have to assess your chances of getting the remedy out of the opponent even with a court order. Money orders can be frustrated by people just not having any to pay.
Usually you must sue where the opponent resides or carries on business although in consumer contracts the courts where you reside can help. The local Sheriff Court has three forms of process.
There are also Summary Applications - as another distinct form of process - particularly in appeals against licensing decisions by local authorities and other statutory matters. Many of these must be started within 21 days from the decision complained about.
The Court of Session is the Supreme Court and counsel must be instructed for court papers and to appear before the court. It is expensive and suitable only for the most serious and valuable matters.
Some decisions during a case can only be appealed with leave of the judge. Final decisions can be appealed within 21 days in the Court of Session and 14 in the Sheriff Court. Appeal Courts do not re-hear cases usually but must be persuaded that the original judge made a serious error about:
There are many such limits during cases imposed by court rules and they will only be excused where there is a good reason. There are also a number of general time limits such as three years from the negligence/loss in personal injury claims or five years from a breach of contract. There are others. Take advice before it may become too late.