Filing A Suit In Civil Court
Are considering filing a lawsuit in civil court? Before you do, there are a few things you should know. Civil court and criminal court are different. In criminal court, the police and the district attorney or the attorney for the government must prove that the defendant is guilty. In a civil court, the plaintiff must prove their charges against the defendant, but there are no criminal charges involved. Civil courts usually involve five legal areas: domestic relations, real or personal property, contract, tort, and inheritance.
If there is a dispute between two people about an issue in one of these areas, either person can file a civil lawsuit. Most of the time, the party filing is attempting to obtain some sort of compensation for damages. Other types of civil cases include child custody, divorce actions, and property ownership.
One of the most common types of civil disputes involves contract law. This is a situation where two parties enter into an agreement and then one party believes the other either broke the agreement or did not completely meet all terms. The agreement is usually in writing, although there are some areas where a verbal agreement is considered valid.
When a dispute involves property ownership, a civil lawsuit can be filed under the state or federal property laws. This can be either real property or personal property. Real property involves the land and any structures on the land or anything such as minerals that may lie beneath the land. Personal property involves anything that moves such as a vehicle or boat.
Cases heard under domestic relations laws include child custody and support, divorce, and property or asset division. If there is a dispute over an inheritance or the authenticity of a will, those cases are heard under the inheritance laws.
Cases in civil court involve almost everything that is not considered a criminal action. If you are considering filing a civil suit, discuss your options with an attorney first.
If you have never been in family court before then chances are that you are somewhat unaware of what you can expect. This situation is quite different from criminal or traffic court as it is a civil matter and different rules apply to how judgements are determined by the commissioner or judge. Here are just a few things to keep in mind to ensure you see the best possible outcome.
The most important thing is to secure a lawyer if you are able to. Navigating the court system without the proper level of experience and knowledge can be quite challenging. It can also lead to a negative outcome. Having someone that has gone through the process countless times on your side can make or break your case.
It is also essential that you do not become emotional in court. Law is based on logic alone. Becoming emotional can lead the judge to view you as irrational. Clearly any matter that leads to being in family court is sure to lead to high levels of emotions, but you should do all that you can to not let it show. The more composed that you behave the more likely it is that you will be viewed favorably.
Finally, even though it is a court room that regularly deals with issues pertaining to children they should not be in attendance. Unless the judge has agreed that the children should or can be present you should find other arrangements for them. This is due to the fact that many things are discussed that simply are not appropriate for children.
Family court can be extremely stressful. The best outcomes are found, however, if the above tips are followed. Use them as a guide as you navigate through this challenging time in your life.