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Civil Court Cases

When you sue someone for damages, such as in an assault or defamation suit, you are engaging in a civil court action. The legal justice system is divided into two main courts: criminal and civil. Criminal courts try defendants for crimes against the state (hence, "The People" of a given state are the named plaintiffs), while civil courts try cases alleging wrongs by one party against another. Also, criminal convictions result in fines, incarceration, public service, or other such sentences, while civil cases determine whether the defendant is financially liable for the plaintiff's injuries. FindLaw's section on Civil Court Cases covers the stages of a civil case, provides a practical guide to lawsuits, and offers other information and resources related to civil court cases.

Learn About Civil Court Cases

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