Litigation Lawyers in Westfield
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Westfield, 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 Westfield, Indiana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Westfield, 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 Westfield, Indiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Westfield, Indiana lawsuit, and it is typically the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Consequently, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer typically contains a few things: normally, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will typically 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: After the complaint has been filed in the Westfield, 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 acquired 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 Westfield, Indiana to go to trial. Westfield's civil procedure rules truly discourage trials, and alternatively 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 Westfield, Indiana Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Westfield, Indiana, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Westfield, Indiana 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.