The kind of lawsuits that dominate in a country, the place where they are settled, the procedure of settlement etc. may indicate the level of socioeconomic development of that country and the problems for development. This Study provides information on characteristics of lawsuits originating in 52 sample villages in Bangladesh. It appeared that 29 percent of the suits were filed with informal institutions while 78 percent were filed with various formal institutions. About 60 percent of the suits were of criminal nature and about 55 percent of the suits were in relation to land. Variables such as proportion of minority population, size and educational attainment of a village had significant influence on the incidence of suits in a village and proportion of suits taken to formal institutions. Extrapolation from available information suggest that every year the rural people in Bangladesh spend about 1050 million Taka on lawsuits of which about 850 million Taka go to urban dwellers. This has very grave implications for development in general and rural development in particular.


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