Procedures Of Civil Cases

By: Lydia McMahan

Plaintiff

  • A person who brings a case against another in a court of law.

Defendant

  • A person or entity accused of a crime in criminal prosecution or a person or entity against whom some type of civil relief is being sought in a civil case.
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Complaint

  • The plaintiff's reasons for proceeding in a civil action.
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Summons

  • The paper that tells a defendant that he or she is being sued and asserts the power of the court to hear and determine the case. A form of legal process that commands the defendant to appear before the court on a specific day and to answer the complaint made by the plaintiff.
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Pleadings

  • A formal statement of the cause of an action or defense.
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Pretrial Conference

  • A meeting of the parties to an action and their attorneys held before the court prior to the commencement of actual courtroom proceedings.

Arbitration

  • The use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute.
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Trial

  • A coming together of parties to a dispute, to present information (in the form of evidence) in a tribunal, a formal setting with the authority to adjudicate claims or disputes. One form of tribunal is a court.
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Preponderance of Evidence

  • The greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other.
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Verdict

  • The formal finding of fact made by a jury on matters or questions submitted to the jury by a judge.

Appeal.

  • Apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court.
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