Step by Step
If you have a dispute against a certain business or if your rights have been compromised, you file a complaint against the defendant with your lawyer. Once the complaint has been filed, it will be sent to court.
Once court has received the complaint, they send a summons to the defendants place of business or residence. Upon this summons, he or she has up to 20 days to respond with a pleading. In some cases they summon both the plaintiff and the defendant to court.
If the accused responds, a pretrial conference is scheduled with a judicial officer to conclude a possible mediation through an arbitrator for the purposes of settlement.
If both parties could not agree on a settlement, they will go to trial. During this time, the preponderance of evidence, determined by the judge and sometimes the jury, will prove to see who is guilty and who is innocent.
Once all the material has been discussed, the verdict is determined. The defendant can appeal to the court to reverse the decision if he or she thinks the decision has been unfair.