Your Guide to Civil Lawsuits
How it Starts
If you want to file a lawsuit against one or multiple other people, you are the Plaintiff In order to start the process, you need to hire a lawyer/attorney, and have them file a complaint to court. Once the complaint reaches the court, the court will send a summons to the person you had accused, or the defendant. They, in turn, will answer the complaint. Both the complaint and the answer together is known as the pleadings.
Solved Before Court
Only 2% of civil cases make it to court because many are settled prior to the hearing. Sometimes a third party will step in and help the plaintiff and defendant reach an agreement, which is known as Mediation. Other times, a third party will listen to the case and makes a final decision which they are forced to follow, which is known as Arbitration.
NOT Solved Before Court
If the case is not solved before the trial, then a few key things must happen before a trial is to take place. The time before the trial will be used to find evidence to put to any claims made. This process is known an the Preponderance of evidence. There will also be a Pretrial Conference, where both parties will be told about how many witnesses are allowed, how much time is allotted, etc.
After the Trial
After the trial is held, the verdict will be given, and both parties have to honor that verdict. If one party, however, believes something went wrong during the trial, they may send the case to a higher court for appeal.