Civil law is the area of law that deals with disputes between civilians; i.e. natural persons and/or legal persons. Alongside civil law, the Dutch justice system comprises administrative law and criminal law.
In the Netherlands the administration of justice is carried out by nineteen district courts, five Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.
Each district court has at most five sectors, always including a sub-district sector and a civil law sector. Civil law cases are heard in both these sectors. The sub-district law sector also hears criminal cases.
The sub-district law sector of the district court hears among other things, employment cases, rent cases, family cases, and financial claims up to an amount of 5000 euro. The civil law sector is responsible for financial cases involving larger amounts, as well as bankruptcies and debt recovery cases.
A civil procedure starts with a summons or a petition.
The Courts of Appeal hear appeals lodged against the decisions of lower courts. The highest law court in the Dutch judiciary is the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.