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Please notice that PAM and Unemployment Fund helplines are experiencing high call volumes especially in the morning. Answers to many questions is found on our web site.

Membership services

030 100 630 10 am to 2 pm

Employment advice

030 100 625  10 am to 2 pm

Unemployment benefit advice 

020 690 211 10 am to 2 pm

Terminology of Finnish legal proceedings

Updated: 23.08.2018

District Court roles and terminology

Claimant = a person bringing legal action against someone; a plaintiff.
Defendant = a person against whom claims are being made.
Client = an expression used by lawyers to refer to a person that they are assisting or representing.
Legal counsel/attorney = a lawyer assisting a client in legal proceedings and representing the client in issues relating to the proceedings.
Party = a person involved in a legal case.
District Judge = a judge at a District Court (a general court of first instance) presiding over preparatory and main hearings and making a decision on the case.
District Court Secretary = an official at a general court of first instance attending preparatory and main hearings to keep record; does not speak in court.

Application for a summons = a document in which a claimant makes claims against a defendant, used to bring a case to District Court.
Summons = an order issued by a District Court to a defendant to respond to an application for a summons within a specific period.
Defence = a brief (i.e. a formal letter) through which a defendant generally objects to the claims presented against them.
Written submission = a brief (i.e. a formal letter) often used to respond to any requests for further clarification issued by the court.
Taking of evidence = presenting documentation or hearing from a person that has some bearing on resolving a dispute.
Notice of intent to appeal = notification given by the losing party to the District Court of their intent to appeal against the court’s decision.

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