Civil lawsuits are not limited to crime and punishment. They are more expensive, covering legal issues like breach of contract, property disputes, lawsuits against government agencies, child custody, animal cruelty, etc.
Here are the required steps to file a civil lawsuit in the United States –
Filing a formal complaint initiates every lawsuit. The document includes the grounds for filing and the claims made by the plaintiff.
It consists of the expected compensation and remedies from the accused.
The judge sets a scheduling order once the defendant responds to the charges.
The deadlines and other essential dates notified both parties. The date of the trial also is finalized.
In some instances, the plaintiff provides evidence that permanent damage may occur if preventive measures are not taking until the trial.
In these cases, the judge orders a preliminary injunction as temporary measures requiring a party to limit their activity.
Defendants usually file a “motion to dismiss” to deflect the charges filed against them.
The documents state that the claims are unreasonable, and the case cannot stand.
Judges recommend a mediation session before the case proceeds to trial.
It is a process to relieve both parties of expense and energy that goes into prolonged hearings.
Settlements made outside court, supervised by a third party, can help them arrive at a resolution amicably.
If mediation is not possible, the case moves to trial.
The hearing takes place in a courtroom before a judge.
Multiple hearings are necessary, including hearings on motion, hearings regarding discovery, etc.
Before the trial, both parties engage in a “discovery” process. They exchange evidence, documents, and information about the case.
Discovery takes place in three forms –
- Depositions: Witnesses of a party deposed under oath in the presence of their lawyers and a court reporter. It aims to unveil relevant information to build a case.
- Interrogations: Parties exchange a questionnaire that each of them must answer under oath. The procedures are timed and follow the rules of civil procedures.
- Document Requests: The parties involved may seek a document related to the case.
Finally, the trial takes place where the two parties present their case. The judge and the selected jury delivers their verdict, and the case will settle.
In case of dissatisfaction with the decision, the losing party can appeal to reopening the issue at a higher court.
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