Litigation Lawyers in Sergeant Bluff
In Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Sergeant Bluff, 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.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently confusing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa are also going to be somewhat intricate 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 Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Sergeant Bluff, 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). Typically, 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, typically 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 establish that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone engaged 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: In Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, it's truly extremely rare for civil lawsuits to go to trial. Of all the lawsuits that are filed, only a tiny minority make it to trial. The majority are either dismissed, or settled. This is by design: the civil procedure rules in Sergeant Bluff are specifically meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. However, when a case does go to trial, it is for the purpose of a jury resolving all of the factual disputes between the parties. Each side will present evidence obtained through the discovery process, call witnesses, and make arguments on behalf of their position. Once the jury reaches a verdict (a finding of fact), the judge enters a judgment on the verdict.
How Can a Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
Civil Procedure in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa can be pretty intricate. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.