Litigation Lawyers in Battle Creek
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Battle Creek, Michigan. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to protect, just the process by which it protects them.
Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in Battle Creek, Michigan reflect specific values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to advocate. So, the rules of civil procedure have the stated goal of ensuring that the justice system is fair, cost effective, efficient, and accessible to everyone who has a legitimate legal grievance.
Civil litigation in Battle Creek, Michigan 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 Battle Creek, Michigan Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Battle Creek, Michigan is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Battle Creek, Michigan 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: The answer is typically the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It typically denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances that negate the defendant's liability even if their conduct would ordinarily be unlawful. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that he struck the plaintiff, but claim that he acted in self-defense. If that can be proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Battle Creek, Michigan 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Battle Creek, Michigan to go to trial. Battle Creek'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 Battle Creek, Michigan Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Battle Creek, Michigan, you are going to confront civil procedure issues.
It should go without saying that you should have a Battle Creek, Michigan attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're engaged in a lawsuit.