A common case ordinarily starts when one individual or business (the “offended party”) cases to have been hurt by the activities of someone else or business (the “litigant”) and asks the court for help by documenting a “grumbling” and beginning a legal dispute. The offended party may request that the court grant “harms” (cash to remunerate the offended party for any damage endured), or may request an “order” to keep the litigant from accomplishing something or to require the respondent to accomplish something, or may look for a “revelatory judgment” in which the court decides the gatherings’ privileges under an agreement or rule.
So, a civil lawsuit can be brought over a contract dispute, a residential eviction after a broken lease, injuries sustained in a car accident, or countless other harms or disputes.
Unlike a criminal case, which is looking to punish the wrongdoer for a crime, a civil case is meant to compensate the person who was harmed (usually in the form of monetary “damages” paid from the defendant to the plaintiff).
It involves disagreements between people or institutions such as businesses, typically over money. A common case for the most part starts when one individual or business (the “offended party”) cases to have been hurt by the activities of someone else or business (the “litigant”) and asks the court for help by recording a “objection” and beginning a legal dispute. The offended party may request that the court grant “harms” (cash to repay the offended party for any mischief endured), or may request a “directive” to keep the litigant from accomplishing something or to require the respondent to accomplish something, or may look for a “decisive judgment” in which the court decides the gatherings’ privileges under an agreement or resolution.
Eventually, to resolve the case, the court (by way of a judge or jury) will determine the facts of the case (in other words, figure out what really happened) and will apply the appropriate law to those facts. In light of this use of the law to current realities, the court will settle what legitimate results eventually stream from the gatherings’ activities.
A case additionally may be settled by the actual gatherings. Whenever over the span of a case, the gatherings can consent to determine their debates and arrive at a trade-off to keep away from the cost of preliminary or the danger of losing at preliminary. Repayment regularly includes the instalment of money and can even be organized to bring about an enforceable judgment.
Standard Of Proof In A Civil Case
In most civil cases, the judge or jury has to make a decision about which side wins based on a standard called “preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the winner’s side of the story is more probably true than not true. It does not mean that one side brought in more evidence than the other side. It means that one side’s evidence was more convincing than the other’s.
In some cases, the standard for reaching a decision is “clear and convincing evidence.” This means that the winner needs to prove that his version of the facts is highly likely. It is an intermediate degree of proof, more than “preponderance of the evidence” but less than the certainty required to prove an issue “beyond a reasonable doubt” (the standard in criminal cases).
Types Of Cases In Civil Court
Civil courts handle a wide variety of cases involving numerous legal issues. Very broadly, civil cases may involve such things as, for example,
- Tort claims. A “tort” is a wrongful act (sometimes called a “tortious” act), other than a breach of contract, that results in injury to someone’s person, property, reputation, or the like, for which the injured person is entitled to compensation. Cases involving claims for such things as personal injury, battery, negligence, defamation, medical malpractice, fraud, and many others, are all examples.
- Breach of contract claims. A breach of contract case typically results from a person’s failure to perform some term of a contract, whether the contract is written or oral, without some legitimate legal excuse. Cases involving claims for such things as not completing a job, not paying in full or on time, failing to deliver goods sold or promised, and many others, are all examples.
- Equitable claims. An “equitable claim” asks the court to order a party to take some action or stop some action. It may or may not be joined with a claim for monetary damages. Cases where a party is seeking a temporary restraining order or injunction to stop something (perhaps the destruction of property, the improper transfer of land, the solicitation of a business’ customers) are examples.
- Landlord/tenant issues. Civil courts handle disputes arising between landlords and tenants. Cases where a landlord is trying to evict a tenant from a rental property or a tenant has moved out and is suing a landlord for the return of a security deposit are examples.
To learn more, click to visit our Small Claims section and Judgments for Money section.
Stages Of A Civil Case
Most civil lawsuits can be divided into the stages listed below:
Pre-filing. During the pre-filing stage, the dispute arises and the parties make demands, try to confer a resolution, and prepare for the possibility of a court action.
Service of process. A process server is needed to serve your civil claims after you have filed your civil complaints. In order to find a process server in your area, use the court runner app.
- Initial pleading. During this stage, one party files papers (called a “complaint”) to start the court action, and the other party files some type of response (an “answer” or maybe a “motion”).
- Discovery. During the discovery stage, both sides exchange information and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the other side’s case.
- Post discovery/pre-trial. In this stage, the parties start preparing for trial; they get their evidence and witnesses in order, they might engage in some type of settlement conference, and they may file motions with the court to resolve the case or limit the issues for trial.
Trial. During this stage, the case is actually heard by the judge or a jury (which could last for a couple of hours or a couple of months, depending on the complexity of the case); witnesses are examined, evidence is presented, and the case is eventually decided and a judgment entered.
- Post-trial. During the post-trial stage, one or both of the parties might appeal the judgment that was entered at trial, or the winning party might try to collect the judgment that was entered.
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