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Civil Cases - Return to Table of Contents Civil cases are those in which individuals corporations or government agencies seek to recover damages enforce their rights or otherwise protect a legal interest from interference by another Essentially the civil law enables people to assert or defend their rights in an orderly nonviolent manner and enables them to resolve legal disputes in a fashion which society finds acceptable As might be imagined civil cases encompass a broad range of legal subjects such as breach of contract injury to person or property divorce proceedings and a contest of the validity of a will In contrast criminal cases involve a prosecution for violations of statutes that define particular crimes such as murder or robbery Because criminal conduct is a breach of the public order and a violation of the public interest the prosecution is brought on behalf of the people by the state or federal government The purpose of a civil case will vary depending on the nature of the matter involved For example if a person hurt in an automobile accident were to bring an action against the other driver the object would be to recover damages for the physical injury suffered Similarly in a case involving breach of contract the wronged party might seek to recover money damages caused by the breach or if feasible seek to have the other party fulfill the terms of the contract Or if a person is trespassing on the property of another the owner might seek an injunction to prevent that conduct from happening again Thus many remedies are available with the appropriate choice depending upon the circumstances involved A civil case develops in accordance with procedures that enable it to progress in a logical manner Assume for example that a person believes he has been injured or damaged by another and consults an attorney The lawyer will first obtain the necessary information from the client including all facts and
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