Litigation Lawyers in Des Moines
In Des Moines, Iowa, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Des Moines, Iowa's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to advocate those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
The rules of civil procedure in Des Moines, Iowa are sometimes confusing. Because civil litigation is an inherently intricate process, the rules that govern how it proceeds can't be simple, either. They govern every step of the litigation process, from filing the initial complaint, all the way to the final appeals process.
Major Des Moines, Iowa Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Des Moines, Iowa, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is typically the complaint. The complaint is very significant, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint normally contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
Answer: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few avenues at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Occasionally, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Des Moines, Iowa is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Des Moines, Iowa, it is truly very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Des Moines is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, 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 Des Moines, Iowa Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Des Moines, Iowa, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Des Moines, Iowa can be pretty confusing. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.