General Outline of Court Cases
What are Court cases?
Court cases, in the scope of the law, refer to an official legal review of a dispute between opposing parties. Court cases, thus, evaluate legal issues that arise between opposing parties (individuals, entities, government agencies etc.).
The severity of the charges and the subject matter revolving around a court case will vary on a case by case basis. For example, felony charges or issues of criminal law will be evaluated in a criminal court case, while minor infractions or issues involving family law, foreclosures, or small monetary issues will be tried in a civil setting.
There are two predominant types of court cases: civil and criminal. Within each court case, however, there is a defending party (individual or entity who is defending the claims made against them) and an accusing party or plaintiff, who seeks justice for the alleged wrongdoing precipitated by the defending party.
Types of Court cases:
Civil Court cases: Civil court cases, which are commonly known as lawsuits, begin when a plaintiff files a legally binding document called a Complaint with a court system. The Complaint, which initiates all civil court cases, informs the judiciary system of the wrongdoing that took place.
This action is precipitated by the defendant and directly or indirectly imposed some form of damage (monetary or physical damages) on the filing party. Civil Court cases, similar to all forms of legal court cases, aim to find a resolution or legal remedy to the underlying problem.
A civil case, when compared to a criminal case, can be resolved outside of the courtroom through alternative methods, such as arbitration or mediation. These forms of remedy may take the form of an injunction (which requires the defendant to perform or refrain from delivering some sort of action), an exchange of money (or a settlement), or a declaratory judgment, which will determine that the plaintiff has established legal rights that cannot be infringed.
In a civil case, the plaintiff must make an effort to inform the defendant of the case through a service of process. This procedure informs the defendant that the plaintiff filed a Complaint or legal matter with the underlying court.
At any point during civil court cases, the parties may agree to partake in a settlement, which effectively ends the case, although in some situations, such as in class action lawsuits, a settlement will require court approval in order to maintain its legal binding status.
Criminal Court cases: In common law jurisdictions, criminal court cases begin when a person suspected of a crime or felony is indicted by a grand jury or charged with the offense by a Government official (district attorney or prosecutor).
Similar to civil court cases, all criminal court cases may be settled before a formal trial. This process, which is known as a plea bargain, is offered in some jurisdictions and will be made available in alignment with the severity of the allegation.
The plea bargain effectively labels the defendant as guilty while offering the individual a lesser criminal punishment. If a person does not attend a trial on their scheduled court date, they will incur additional penalties.
Basics of a Court case:
All Court cases, whether civil or criminal, are based off the idea that any dispute will be resolved when a legal procedure is attached to the issue. The legal procedure in all court cases will evaluate all evidence and facts involved in the case. The legal procedure, thus, determines the truth of the issue with respect to claims of guilt, liability, innocence or a lack of fault.