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Azsa Dunovant

Bringing a Case to Court

In order to bring a civil case to court, you need to follow some simple steps:

  1. You as the plaintiff would need to hire a lawyer to file a complaint with the court. This complaint will contain the details about the case that is between you and the defendant.
  2. The court will then send a summons informing the defendant of the suit against him/her and what the date and time of the court appearance is.
  3. Whoever your defendant is in this case can decide how they want to respond to this complaint. One thing they can do is hire their own attorney to "answer" to this complaint for them.
  4. At the opening of the trial pleadings are submitted. Pleadings in a civil case are the complaint of you, the plaintiff, and the answer to your complaint by the defendant.
  5. To help prepare for the trial, the judge may hold a pretrial conference which is where he/she will hold a meeting to have both parties try to clarify their differences.
  6. At this conference there will either be a mediator or an arbitrator there to see if they could possibly resolve the issues between the two parties, and if not then the case will officially go to trial.
  7. At this trial, you as the plaintiff would need to present a preponderance of evidence which will help you to prove your case. The defendant will then try to prove their side of the case as well.
  8. After both sides have discussed their cases, the judge and the jury will come to a verdict on the case, or make a decision.
  9. Once the judge and the jury come to a conclusive decision, you, the plaintiff, and the defendant need to go to appeals court to make sure that the decision that was made was fair to the both of you guys.

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