Litigation Lawyers in Eaton Rapids
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Eaton Rapids, 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 Eaton Rapids, 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 Eaton Rapids, 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 Eaton Rapids, Michigan Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is typically the complaint. The complaint is very important, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint normally contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is typically the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer normally 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: The civil procedure rules in Eaton Rapids, 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 Eaton Rapids, Michigan to go to trial. Eaton Rapids'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 Eaton Rapids, Michigan Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, you are going to confront civil procedure issues.
The rules of civil procedure in Eaton Rapids, Michigan 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.