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Civil Litigation Defined

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When two parties have a civil dispute, one may resort to civil litigation as a means to resolve it by filing a lawsuit in a civil court. In civil litigation the plaintiff is seeking to collect monetary damages from the defendant, as opposed to pursuing criminal charges. A plaintiff may also use civil litigation for specific performance, which is to force the defendant to perform a legally obligated act. An example would be a car buyer using civil litigation to force the seller to transfer the car title after the payment has been made.

Landlord/tenant civil disputes are often resolved through civil litigation. If a tenant fails to pay his rent then a landlord may use civil litigation to obtain the money he is owed. Conversely, if a landlord does not perform basic maintenance duties that are his responsibility then a tenant might seek a specific performance judgment against the landlord to require him to make any necessary repairs.

Another form of civil litigation is product liability. In these cases an individual can sue the manufacturer or seller of a product if a product defect or malfunction caused an injury. A civil attorney can defend the company by showing that the plaintiff was injured by using the product incorrectly.

Personal injury is another very common form of civil litigation. Personal injury can include either physically harming someone or damaging someone's reputation or professional standing. Physical harm can come from any number of things such as a car accident, a construction mishap, slipping and falling due to negligence and countless other ways. The injured party can use civil litigation to recover medical expenses and possibly additional compensation for pain and suffering.

Damage to someone's reputation usually comes through libel or slander. Libel is printing false and damaging statements about a person, slander is when the false statements are spoken. The wronged party has the right to sue for damages if he can prove the statements were false and show how they caused personal or professional damage.

Civil litigation can be a good way to recover monetary damages when one party feels he has been wronged by another. A civil attorney is important in helping you work through the various complexities of the legal system and knowing your rights, whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant.

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