Litigation Lawyers in Ottawa County
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Ottawa 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.
Ottawa County, Michigan's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to promote those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
Ottawa County, Michigan's civil procedure rules can get pretty complicated, however. They govern every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Ottawa County, Michigan Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Ottawa County, Michigan, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is usually 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 typically 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: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few options at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Sometimes, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.
Discovery: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Ottawa County, Michigan court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Essentially, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this process: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can also request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Ottawa County, Michigan to go to trial. Ottawa County's civil procedure rules actually discourage trials, and instead 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 Ottawa County, Michigan Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Ottawa County, Michigan, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Ottawa County, Michigan are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.