What is a Lawsuit? A process through which disputes are heard and settled.
Two parties, a plaintiff and a defendant, enter into a formal contest to persuade an impartial third party to accept their version of the dispute.
Complexities in Hearing and Deciding Cases
- Each side of a story has its own individual complexities.
- A judge’s job is to make fair decisions that are accepted by both parties.
Common Laws - Common Laws were established so that citizens, as well as the courts, had a guide to follow when hearing and deciding rulings on cases. Why do people Sue? - The most common reason people sue one another is over the repayment of a debt. - Lawsuits also occur in order to determine responsibility between two parties.
Who is involved in Lawsuits? - Plaintiff – The individual who brings the lawsuit to court. - Defendant – The individual whom which the complaint is being made against.
Types of Lawsuits include: A. Civil Law - Lawsuits held between two parties that typically involve issues concerning contractual agreements, such as money, property rights, divorce, or slander. - Contractual Law – Lawsuits involving debt collection between two parties. Contractual law can also involve disputes over a service as well.
- Lawsuits Over Tort – This body of law tries to make sense of wrongdoings, which harm the interest of another.
Types of Lawsuits cont: B. Criminal Law – Lawsuits held in enforcement of the law. - These cases vary based on the law, as well as the state in which the case is in question. - Criminal Law cases must meet jurisdictional requirements. Jurisdiction is determined by: - The Constitution - General statuses establishing jurisdiction for a level of court - Specific statuses authorizing the establishment of the court in question - Statuses creating other courts in the same country that may affect the jurisdiction of the court in question - Statuses dealing with specific subject matters
Texas Court Structure
- Justice Courts - County Courts - District Courts - Court of Appeals - Supreme Court - Court of Criminal Appeals
What is the process of a lawsuit? - The Civil Process – Cases concerning Property Disputes, Breach of Contract, Family Matters (such as divorce), Negligence and Personal Injury
Options to Dispute Court’s Ruling: - Appeal the Outcome – After the ruling in a civil trial, both parties have the right to appeal the court’s decision.
- The appeal is usually based on an error made during the trial.
What are your options when being sued for debt?
- Make a list of all your debts
- Try to settle outside of court
If you are being sued for a debt and do not show up in court, default judgment will most likely occur.
- Default Judgment will usually go against the party being sued.
What can you lose in a lawsuit? - Garnishment of wages - Money attained from selling personal property and assets - Depending on the type of lawsuit, individuals could serve jail time What can be sued?
- Individuals - Partnerships - Businesses - Religious Organizations
Do I need an Attorney? - Attorneys have an understanding of the laws, as well as how the law affects you. - Attorneys have experience representing clients in court and can help you resolve your legal issues For more information about Lawsuits or to consult with a professional attorney: Contact Allmand & Lee 214-884-4176