The basic difference between criminal and civil court cases is that in civil court, the plaintiff requests monetary compensation while in criminal court, the plaintiff seeks to stop a certain action and receive an injunction. A civil lawsuit can also be filed by an individual or organization seeking to protect their rights or impose a financial penalty on another party. However, civil cases differ from criminal cases in their laws and burdens of proof. Read on to learn more about how the differences between the two types of court cases work.
A civil trial is held before a jury. A jury determines whether a defendant is legally liable and then rules on the amount of compensation that should be awarded to the plaintiff. The jury can also award non-monetary or equitable relief in some cases. A civil jury will also consider whether or not the defendant should have to pay restitution to the plaintiff. As you can imagine, civil court cases are as popular as they are complex, so choosing a lawyer is extremely important.
While civil court cases can sometimes be difficult to access due to their large size, it is possible to find them by visiting your local courthouse and doing a simple search. This search allows you to see what cases were decided, when they were heard and by whom. Using a courthouse’s website to look up court cases can help you make informed decisions. The records from civil courts vary considerably in terms of their accuracy and completeness. Fortunately, a majority of state civil courts put their case files online, so a simple search will get you started.