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Important terms to know when dealing with civil cases!
There are a lot of fancy words involved in civil court! This handy guide will help you navigate the trial.
Defendant: The accused party. If you're the defendant, someone is bringing up a case against you.
Complaint: Document outlining the plaintiff's reasons for bringing the case to court. Your complaint explains your predicament and why you feel it is worthy of trial!
Summons: Informs the defendant why they are being called to court and gives them a date and time to appear in court. Receiving a summons will tell you what you are accused of and when you need to come to court to defend yourself.
Pleadings: A formal statement of the cause of an action or defense. Here, the plaintiff formally states his/her claims against the defendant and the defendant states whether or not they are guilty.
Pre-trial discussions: Both parties meet to clarify differences and prepare for trial. Here you will meet with the other involved party and get ready for trial.
Even more terms to know!
Arbitration: A third party hears the evidence and makes a decision. Here, a non-biased third party arbitrator will be brought in to hear the evidence and make the decision out of court.
Trial: Formal evidence examination to decide guilt. This is the whole process of presenting arguments and reviewing evidence before a judge/jury to decide whether or not the defendant is guilty.
Preponderance of Evidence: A standard of proof that must be met by the plaintiff in order for them to win the case. Your case must be this rock-solid to prove the defendant guilty.
Verdict: The decision. This tell whether or not the defendant is guilty.
Appeal: Request to have the case heard in a higher court in attempt to reverse the original decision. If you are unhappy with the verdict, you can appeal to have the case tried again in a higher court.
Now you're ready for your civil case!