You've Been Served

Module 7 Lesson 2

Civil Cases

There are many types of civil cases, from property disputes to personal injury or negligence. Sometimes you the plaintiff (the person suing) could get compensatory damages for civil case against the defendant (person being sued), some examples are cut wages or pain and suffering. There is also punitive damage where punishment is dealt out to the defendant by the judge depending on how bad the crime was.

First thing first

To start a civil case you have to get lawyer who files a complaint (talks about the lawsuit and states the names of the people involved) for you to a court. The defendant is then sent a summons stating that they have a lawsuit against them and they have to come to court. The defendant can also send in an answer through their attorney which then turns both the complaint and answer into what is called a plead. And if the judge really wanted to they could have a pre-trial conference where they have the plaintiff and defendant's parties come together to clear up a little and prepare for the upcoming trial. It's also a way that one of the parties tries a mediation to try and solve the lawsuit then and there they could possibly do this by using an arbitration. For a plaintiff to attempt to win a civil case they have to have a preponderance of evidence which is proof that goes against the defendant.


If the case is sent for a trial by judge the you can either get a verdict of guilty of not guilty and if in the end you don't like the outcome of the verdict then you can request an appeal.