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Civil Law Terms

TermDefinition
Injunction a judicial order that restrains a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another, or that compels a person to carry out a certain act, e.g., to make restitution to an injured party.
Punitive Damages damages exceeding simple compensation and awarded to punish the defendant.
Compensatory Damages A sum of money awarded in a civil action by a court to indemnify a person for the particular loss, detriment, or injury suffered as a result of the unlawful conduct of another.
Damages In tort law, a remedy in the form of monetary compensation to the harmed party.
Small Claims Court An alternative to a regular civil trial designed to handle smaller amounts of money. *TN has General Sessions Court up to $25,000
Arbitration The use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute *Handled outside the tort law system
Mediation Use of a mediator to settle a dispute
Negotiation Use of a negotiator to settle a dispute
Request to Admit a set of statements sent from one litigant to an adversary, for the purpose of having the adversary admit or deny the statements or allegations therein. Requests for admissions are part of the discovery process in a civil case.
Motion to Produce asks the court to order either the opposing party or a third party to take some action.
Interrogatory a written question that is formally put to one party in a case by another party and that must be answered.
Deposition the process of giving sworn evidence.
Discovery a pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party, through the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the other party or parties by means of discovery devices
Counterclaim a claim made to rebut a previous claim.
Motion A formal proposal for a rule or order of court
Answer Formal reply to the court and the plaintiff's attorney
Summons an order to appear before a judge or magistrate, or the writ containing it.
Complaint the first document filed with the court (actually with the County Clerk or Clerk of the Court) by a person or entity claiming legal rights against another
Litigation The process of taking complaints to the court system to be solved.
Clear and Convincing Evidence Evidence that leaves you with a firm belief or conviction that it is highly probable that the factual contentions of the claim are true
Preponderance of Evidence The greater weight of the evidence required in a civil lawsuit
Plaintiff Person or entity bringing a case against another in civil court
Tort A wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to civil liability
Created by: ronda.blevins