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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.

Plaintiff: The person who brings the case to court. If you're the plaintiff, you're the one who's making the case!

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!

Mediation: A alternate method of soling a civil dispute. Here, a third-party mediator will work with the two involved parties to settle the case.

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!

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The Clash - I Fought the Law [1979] (spiral tribe extended edit) by magnum1971