Litigation Lawyers in Pleasant Hill
In Pleasant Hill, Iowa, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Pleasant Hill, Iowa's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to promote those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently perplexing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Pleasant Hill, Iowa are also going to be somewhat perplexing 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 Pleasant Hill, Iowa Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Pleasant Hill, Iowa is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Pleasant Hill, Iowa 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). Usually, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is just a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer usually contains a few things: typically, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will usually raise legal defenses, known as affirmative defenses, arguing that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the defendant should not be held liable, because of extenuating circumstances.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Pleasant Hill, Iowa were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone involved 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 procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several 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 Pleasant Hill, Iowa, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Pleasant Hill 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 Pleasant Hill, Iowa Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any significant legal issue in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Pleasant Hill, Iowa attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.