Litigation Lawyers in Polk County
In Polk County, Iowa, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Polk County, 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 complex. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Polk County, Iowa are also going to be somewhat complicated 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 Polk County, Iowa Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Polk County, Iowa is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Polk County, 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 simply 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 Polk County, Iowa were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding 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 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Polk County, Iowa to go to trial. Polk County's civil procedure rules actually discourage trials, and instead have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Polk County, Iowa Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Polk County, Iowa, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
The rules of civil procedure in Polk County, Iowa are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a good attorney on your side, to help you through the process.