Litigation Lawyers in Merrillville
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Merrillville, 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 Merrillville, Indiana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, cost-effective, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Merrillville, Indiana is almost never a simple process. So, the rules governing this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure covers every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Merrillville, Indiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Merrillville, Indiana is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Merrillville, Indiana 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: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Merrillville, Indiana court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required evidence to one another. The lawyers for each side can submit written questions, which the other party is required to answer under oath, unless the information is privileged. Each side can also request any relevant documents, physical evidence, and can conduct depositions of witnesses and parties to the lawsuit.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Merrillville, Indiana, it is truly extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Merrillville is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, 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 Merrillville, Indiana Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Merrillville, 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 Merrillville, Indiana are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.