Litigation Lawyers in Ramsey County
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Ramsey County, 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.
Ramsey County, 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 Ramsey County, 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 Ramsey County, Minnesota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Ramsey County, Minnesota is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Ramsey County, 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: The answer is usually the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It usually denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances 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 proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Ramsey County, 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. 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 Ramsey County, Minnesota to go to trial. Ramsey 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 Ramsey County, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Ramsey County, Minnesota, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Ramsey County, Minnesota are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.