Civil litigation is the process that allows individuals, businesses and other entities to use the courts to settle disputes. Differing from criminal cases, in which the government prosecutes for violating a criminal statute with the possible penalty being incarceration and/or fines, civil litigation cases are essentially private disputes where the parties are seeking a monetary judgment or alternative remedy from a judge to make them whole and/or to end further harm. There are five types of civil litigation that are most common and where an average person might be involved as either a Plaintiff (party filing the lawsuit) or as a Defendant (party against whom a lawsuit is filed):
- Personal Injury or Tort
- Breach of Contract
- Divorce and Family Law
- Property Disputes
- Landlord and Tenant Disputes
Personal Injury and Tort Civil Litigation: An individual injured due to the negligent conduct of another individual or entity has the legal right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. Personal injury civil litigation cases may arise from incidences such as motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, injuries caused by defective products and other cases where negligence caused an accident in which the plaintiff was injured.
Divorce and Family Law: Disputes arising out of family and relationship conflicts are the types of civil litigation cases that most people are familiar with and may even have had some experience with at some point in their lives. Divorce, separation, child custody, and support, along with myriad related issues are types of disputes that people resort to the courts to resolve.
Civil Litigation related to Contracts: When one of the parties to a contract fails to perform its obligations under the terms of a contract, the other party has the right to file a breach of contract claim. Plaintiffs in such cases may sue to recover monetary damages caused by the defaulting party, or the plaintiff might ask the Court to order the defendant to perform according to the terms of the agreement, called specific performance.
Landlord and Tenant Disputes: Evictions are disputes arising between landlords and their tenants that could find their way into the courts through civil litigation. Disputes over a party’s failure to comply with the terms of a lease or conflicts about services a tenant claims are lacking can be heard by a judge in a civil litigation case.
Disputes over Real Property: Unresolved conflicts, such as property line disputes, ownership rights and title claims are potential civil litigation cases where the remedy might be something more than money damages, for example, a property owner claiming trespass by an adjoining owner might ask a judge to grant an injunction to prevent future encroachments.
If you are in need of Civil Litigation help, please contact us today and put our legal team on your side!