Litigation Lawyers in Hastings
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Hastings, Michigan. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to safeguard, just the process by which it protects them.
Hastings, Michigan's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to encourage those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
Hastings, Michigan's civil procedure rules can get pretty difficult, however. They control every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Hastings, Michigan Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Hastings, Michigan is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Hastings, 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). Normally, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is just 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 chance to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, normally by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could keep the defendant from being held liable. For instance, 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 show that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Hastings, Michigan court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the procedure in which both sides of the lawsuit are obligated to disclose obligated 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 Hastings, Michigan, it is really very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Hastings is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, 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 Hastings, Michigan Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Hastings, Michigan whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
It should go without saying that you should have a Hastings, Michigan attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.