Step 1: The plaintiff (person suing) files a complaint against a defendant (person being sued) to recover damages or receive compensation (usually money)...this can be for a variety of things.

Speeding is a crime. But the damages that happen to someone's car in an accident? That's not handled as a criminal court case, because the damages to the car and the crime of speeding itself are handled separately. Divorce and child custody are civil cases, and often involve money and property disputes. Failure to pay rent and "breach of contract" are another couple of examples of civil cases.

Step 2: Going to Court--a judge and sometimes a jury may decide the case. Remember, a Civil case includes one person suing another person (not the government taking you to court--that's a criminal case!)

Step 3: The case can be appealed by either side to the Court of Appeals and the Virginia Supreme Court. Remember an appeal is heard if either side feels there was unfair treatment. Appeals are often heard in the Court of Appeals and the Virginia Supreme Court.

A Note on Juveniles

• Because of the emphasis on rehabilitation and privacy, procedure in juvenile cases are different from adult cases

• Judges have greater freedom in handling juvenile cases.

• Older juveniles who commit serious crimes can be tried as adults.

A note on Contracts

A note about contracts: When you sign a contract--a roommate you're paying rent to, for instance, you agree to do whatever the written piece of paper says. This is written down--if both parties agree to something they MUST uphold this. If one party does not it can be taken to Civil Court.

A VIDEO for you on an example of Civil Court Case Proceedings

Credits:

Created with images by orangesky3 - "Accident with two cars" • PublicDomainPictures - "adult caucasian child" • MichaelGaida - "architecture build construction" • stevepb - "divorce separation marriage breakup" • Mypixhell - "document paper former war" • stevepb - "binding contract contract secure" • edar - "business signature contract" • TeroVesalainen - "handshake hand give" • viganhajdari - "handshake business hand"

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