Litigation Lawyers in Plymouth
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Plymouth, Minnesota. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to safeguard, just the process by which it protects them.
Plymouth, Minnesota's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to advocate those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
In Plymouth, Minnesota, civil litigation is usually extremely confusing. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complicated. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Plymouth, Minnesota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Plymouth, Minnesota is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Plymouth, Minnesota court that lays out the plaintiff's (the individual filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the individual being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: The answer is typically the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It typically denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of reasons that negate the defendant's liability even if their conduct would ordinarily be unlawful. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that he struck the plaintiff, but claim that he acted in self-defense. If that can be shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the proper Plymouth, Minnesota court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Basically, 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 procedure: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can additionally 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 is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Plymouth, Minnesota to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Plymouth highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Plymouth, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Plymouth, Minnesota, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Plymouth, Minnesota attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're engaged in a lawsuit.