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State Civil Case Flow


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The following state flow chart shows how a civil case flows through state court. If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at 888-678-5550 or visit our website at

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State Civil Case Flow

  1. 1. STATE CIVIL CASE FLOWCHART COMPLAINT This is the written document Plaintiff (MinCal) files with the clerk to begin your lawsuit. It sets out your claims against the Defendant(s) and the relief requested. PAY COURT FEE At the time the complaint is filed, Plaintiff also pays the statutory filing fee. Note: MinCal will pay your case filing fee. SERVICE OF PROCESS The complaint is “served” on Defendant(s). This process is judicially required to give Defendant(s) notice so that they can respond. © 2010 MinCal Consumer Law Group
  2. 2. ANSWER DEFAULT The Defendant(s) response to Plaintiff’s complaint is When Defendant fails to answer or otherwise respond called the Answer. Defendant(s) usually must respond to the complaint, the clerk may enter a default upon within the statutory time once they have been served. motion by Plaintiff. For example, in California it is 30 days for most types of complaints. DISCOVERY DEFAULT JUDGMENT Information shared among the parties. If Defendant fails to cure the default after proper notice, a judgment may be entered awarding Plaintiff relief sought in the complaint. © 2010 MinCal Consumer Law Group
  3. 3. TRIAL A trial allows the parties to formally present their case in court by offering testimony and evidence. JUDGMENT After a verdict, the court enters a judgment on its docket which states the results of the proceeding and clearly indentifies the specific relief to which the prevailing parties are entitled. NOTICE OF APPEAL A dissatisfied party may appeal the judgment by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk usually within 30 days after the judgment. © 2010 MinCal Consumer Law Group