Litigation Lawyers in Northfield
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Northfield, Minnesota. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to protect, just the process by which it protects them.
Northfield, Minnesota'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.
In Northfield, Minnesota, civil litigation is typically extremely complicated. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complex. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Northfield, Minnesota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Northfield, Minnesota is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Northfield, Minnesota court that lays out the plaintiff's (the person filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the person being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically 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: After the complaint has been filed in the Northfield, Minnesota 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 obtained by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Northfield, Minnesota to go to trial. Northfield'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 Northfield, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Northfield, Minnesota, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Northfield, Minnesota are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a good attorney on your side, to help you through the process.