Litigation Lawyers in Ingham County
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Ingham County, 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.
Ingham County, 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.
Ingham County, Michigan's civil procedure rules can get pretty convoluted, 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 Ingham County, Michigan Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Ingham County, Michigan is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Ingham County, 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 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, normally 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 show that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Ingham County, Michigan 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 received by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: it's really very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Ingham County, Michigan, because the rules of civil procedure in Ingham County, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely accomplished by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. However, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them decide the issues.
How Can a Ingham County, Michigan Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Ingham County, Michigan, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
The rules of civil procedure in Ingham County, Michigan are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a brilliant attorney on your side, to help you through the process.