Litigation Lawyers in Elkhart County
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Elkhart County, Indiana. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to protect, just the process by which it protects them.
The rules of civil procedure in Elkhart County, Indiana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
In Elkhart County, Indiana, civil litigation is often extremely complicated. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complex. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Elkhart County, Indiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Elkhart County, Indiana the first step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is usually filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most important documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire rest of the case.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Elkhart County, Indiana court of competent jurisdiction, the next major phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be obtained by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Elkhart County, Indiana to go to trial. Elkhart 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 Elkhart County, Indiana Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Elkhart County, Indiana, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Elkhart County, Indiana 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.