Depending on the jurisdiction, there are a variety of ways in which lawsuits are conducted. Typically, a civil lawsuit is a legal dispute between two or more parties. This type of case is usually settled for monetary damages.
The legal procedure for a civil lawsuit is quite different than that of a criminal case. Generally, a criminal case involves jail time, a fine, probation, or compelled community service. In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff usually asks the court to order the defendant to pay a sum of money, or to stop the defendant from doing harm.
In a lawsuit, the plaintiff may also ask the court to declare his legal rights, or to order the defendant to stop doing harm to the plaintiff. A judge may decide to award punitive damages if the defendant has done something egregious.
The most important part of the process is filing a complaint. This is a document that sets the framework for the entire lawsuit. The complaint describes the plaintiff’s damages and lays out the claims that will be asserted throughout the lawsuit.
It also tells the court that the lawsuit is technically ready for trial. The complaint is followed by the notice for discovery and inspection. This requires the side to provide more details. The notice for discovery and inspection also requires the plaintiff to pay a fee.
The plaintiff may also request a declaration of the legal rights of the defendant, a restraining order against the defendant, or an order to stop the defendant from doing harm to the plaintiff.