What is the Catholic position on law suits?

Help! I am struggleing with this. I own a construction company. I had a subcontractor that defaulted. He claims he did not. I had to remedy his work in order to get paid by the general contractor. I did so, and was paid, but my cost to remediate was great, so I sued him. It is a very expensive and time consuming endeavor, and I frequently ask myself what God has in mind? We are taught to forgive. But God is just also, right? Is it wrong to sue?:confused:

Simple answer: Maybe, maybe not.

In Scripture, Paul suggests that it is better to settle disputes within the Christian community rather that by outsiders, or the courts of the day.

We have to consider the motivation for a lawsuit. Quite often, it comes down to “The Principle” of a matter, rather than any real loss i.e. loss of pride vs. the loss of any thing of monitary value. As well, there are frivilous lawsuits that clog up our courts and end up costing all of us in the longrun.

Sometimes too, it just isn’t worth the time, effort, and sometimes money to initiate a lawsuit; sometimes it’s better off just to forget it and move on.

Can’t really say anything specific about your situation, but if you’ve made reasonable attempts to get satisfaction, are owed something significant in terms of compensation and have tried to “play nice”, sometimes the courts are the only way to go. Such would not be in conflict with Catholic teachings.

THANK YOU! Yes, my cost is substantial (over a quarter million) l and I did my very best to avoid this. I actually pray for them.

250 large. OUCH.

Catholic teaching is use them as a last resort. Try to settle your issues and debts between yourselves.

Thank you Buffalo. This has been going on since early 2007. It consumes me. I produced 15,000 documents and they produced 5,000 and I have read every one. I have instructed all of our employees to be completely honest. I am struggling with the dishonesty they have exhibited. I would like nothing more than to settle with them and make this go away. I pray for guidance all the time.

Well, remember that it’s not just yourself who is affected by the failure of this person to pay. You have a duty to those who are also affected to see to it that everything is sorted, even if a lawsuit may be necessary. As has been stated, only if the dispute cannot be resolved more amicably.

I don’t really know much about this sort of thing, but it sounds like you’ve been doing all you can to avoid it. What comes to my mind is that even Paul demanded his rights as a Roman citizen. But then again, suing may not be the best action to take.
All I can say is keep praying!

Thank you all. I have to go to depositions next week, and I’m praying that I will be prepared and that somehow we can find a way to settle this. Well, please pray for both my company and theirs. Thank you…

Lawsuits are usually stressful for both sides, and the only ones who come out on top are the lawyers.:eek: A necessary “evil”, lawyers are, methinks. :smiley: Not all of them individually, but the necessity to use their services.

A thought occurred to me as to the rationale behind trying to settle out of court first. Sometimes a person goes into debt with good intentions, but a reversal of fortunes in the interim makes it impossible for the present to pay off the debt. If you go into court, there is a good chance that you will get all that you are due but, to the great harm of the other. If you try to settle out of court, you may be better able to scope out the problem with returning the debt. Of course, if the person is unwilling to sit down with you to explain his situation, then one has to go to court to have both parties sort out the situation.

A couple of years ago, my family had to go through a law suit. It took more than 3 years to resolve. Our attorney made over 700K, and the opposition attorneys made well ovner one mill ! It nearly bankrupted my entire family. My brothers and sisters and I had to take out additional morgages to make the payments.

It was the most stressful time in my entire life. I prayed for resolution constantly. We tried for a peaceful settlement but the other side were totally unreasonable. They finally settled a few days before trial (over 90% of law suits are settled before trial).

We won but we barely covered our costs. It was a horrendous ordeal and I don’t wish it on anyone. There is still a lot of resentment over what they put us through they could have settled much earlier for a fraction of what they ended up with. To this day we don’t why they let it drag on for so long.

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