Litigation Lawyers in Pasco County
In Pasco County, Florida, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in Pasco County, Florida reflect particular values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to encourage. So, the rules of civil procedure have the stated goal of ensuring that the justice system is fair, cost effective, efficient, and accessible to everyone who has a legitimate legal grievance.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently difficult. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Pasco County, Florida are also going to be somewhat convoluted and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major Pasco County, Florida Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Pasco County, Florida is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Pasco County, Florida that's responsible for handling civil trials. It lists everything that the plaintiff (the person who is suing) alleges against the defendant (the person the plaintiff is suing). Normally, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an opportunity to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, normally by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could prevent the defendant from being held liable. For example, if the defendant is accused of battery, and he did, in fact, batter the plaintiff, he might admit to that fact, but claim that the plaintiff was the aggressor, and he acted purely in self-defense. If he can show that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Pasco County, Florida were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone immersed in a lawsuit goes into trial with a pretty good idea of what evidence the other side has. This is largely because of the discovery process, during which the attorneys for both sides are required to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in multiple forms, such as simply sending boxes of documents, deposing witnesses, or submitting written questions to the other side, which the recipient is obligated to answer under oath.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Pasco County, Florida, it is really extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Pasco County is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Pasco County, Florida Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Pasco County, Florida, you are going to face civil procedure issues.
It should go without saying that you should have a Pasco County, Florida attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.