Civil Law For Dummies

By: Gates Moore

Plaintiff vs. Defendant

There are many types of civil law, including divorce cases, contractor cases, and negligence. To begin, in every civil case their is a plaintiff and a defendant. The plaintiff is the one suing who has filed a complaint and the defendant is the one being sued.
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The Steps

1) A lawyer is hired and a formal complaint is made.

2) The court sends a summons requesting your appearance in court.

3) In court, pleadings are exchanged in response to accusation.

4) Both sides attend a pretrial meeting to decide if going to court is necessary.

5) In some cases, mediation occurs. Mediation is a process that can help parties to a civil lawsuit reach an agreement through the use of a neutral person trained in problem solving instead of going to trial

6) In others, arbitration occurs. Arbitration is a fast way to get a decision when you are in a dispute. Arbitration is more flexible and less formal than court.

7) In others, a trial occurs. In this trial, juries evaluate the preponderance of evidence. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence.

8) Finally, a verdict is made. If the plaintiff is unhappy with the verdict, they can appeal to a higher court.

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