A civil action is defined as a law suit in which a plaintiff sues another party for damages incurred and seeks retribution in form of monetary compensation. In other words, it is a judicial proceeding brought by one party against another prosecuting for a wrong done or for protection of a civil right or for prevention of a wrong. Details of a civil action against a defendant can now be easily accessed over the Internet. It is possible to conduct a search for Civil Action Online with very little information. It is entirely possible that the civil action suit filed against a subject may be recorded under another name. There is a very good chance of locating a civil action record if you know only the middle name. If you find a lot of similar names after doing a civil action review you need to narrow down your search by entering other specific information about the city or State of the subject. You can also try checking for a Civil Action Complaint by the method of trial and error.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) are rules governing civil procedure in United States district (federal) courts, that is, court procedures for civil suits. Thirty-five states have adopted the federal rules as their own procedural code.
The civil action is filed in the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which you reside or where you have your principal place of business. Else the civil action must be filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. There is a fixed charge for filing a civil action in Federal court.
Civil action cases can be divided into various types:
- General civil actions: cases about contracts, damage to property or someone getting hurt and personal damage with compensation.
- Family Cases: Divorce (dissolution of marriage), child support and child custody cases.
- Juvenile Cases: Cases about child abuse and neglect (called juvenile dependency). Also in cases when someone under 18 years breaks the law (called juvenile justice).
- Landlord/Tenant Cases: Cases about renting or leasing a place (called real property).
- Small Claims Cases: Civil cases that are worth $7,500 or less if you are filing as an individual. If a business is filing, the claim must be $5,000 or less. You can't have a lawyer. The parties in the case represent themselves.
- Probate Cases: it is about taking care of trustworthy people and their personal affairs. Example: trust, guardianship, abuse and adoption, etc.
There are other kinds of cases in Civil Court, too. Civil Court cases are divided into sections, depending on how much they're worth. If your case is worth:
- $5,000 or less (if you are filing as a business), you can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.
- $7,500 or less (if you are filing as an individual) you can file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.
- $25,000 or less, you can file it in a court called a "Limited Jurisdiction Superior Court?.
- More than $25,000, you can file in a court called an "Unlimited Jurisdiction Superior Court?
The civil action procedure in the court involves the stages of:
- Filing: Filing starts when you fill out your papers to start a Court action. The plaintiff files an initial document called a complaint. This and all other documents filed with the court are referred to as pleadings. The complaint indicates that the plaintiff is asking for damages or relief from a specific defendant and the legal and factual reasons why. After you file your papers, you have to wait for the other person to answer.
- Discovery: Discovery starts 30 days after the other person answers. This is when you and the other person exchange information and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
- Pretrial: If you can't settle your case, pretrial starts about 90 days before your trial. This is when you get ready for the trial. This is when you make decisions, like if you need an expert witness, and have settlement conferences with the judge.
- Trial: Your trial can last from day to many months. It depends on how complicated the case is. At the trial the plaintiff presents evidence first to either a judge in a bench trial or a group of citizens in a jury trial. After the plaintiff presents evidence, the defendant has an opportunity to present the defense side of the case.
- Post-Trial judgment: After both sides make their cases, the judge or jury decides. At the close of the trial, the jury or judge rules either for or against the plaintiff. This is when you can appeal or collect your judgment. The defendant or plaintiff may file an appeal if they believe the outcome was incorrect legally. The case then goes to an appellate court. That court may to dismiss the appeal, hear and affirm the judgment, reverse it, or send it back to the trial court with instructions to correct legal errors.
- To must have a lawyer to fight your case, if not, you need to do it yourself. You have to know the laws and court procedures. If you don't, you can get in trouble. You can lose your civil rights. The court won't make you hire a lawyer. But if you don't, you have to deal with every part of your case by yourself.
- You may find many interesting trivia about a particular Civil Action Lawsuit if you happen to browse the net out of curiosity. The Civil Action Summary of the case of Anne Anderson, et al., v. Cryovac, Inc., et al will give you information of how the Movie Civil Action has been inspired by it.