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Court Case

Court Case Definition 

A court case is a dispute between two or more parties that is decided in a court of law. Court cases can either be criminal or civil, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. Court cases are very serious and are very difficult to appeal once a decision has been made. Individuals need to carefully select the lawyer they will work with and their strategy in order to have the best possible outcome in their upcoming court case. 

What Are the Different Types of Court Cases? 

Criminal Cases

Criminal court cases usually are enforcing public codes of behavior, which are codified in the various laws of the state. In criminal cases, the government often prosecutes individuals for violating criminal laws. Punishments in criminal cases can include community service, fines, prison, or probation. Once an individual has a criminal record, it has many implications on their life related to their reputation or ability to obtain employment. Individuals being charged in criminal court are highly recommended to work with an attorney to be able to strategize the best possible plan to minimize their total time in jail and fines to be paid. 

Civil Cases

There are many diverse types of civil cases that are listed below: 

  • Tort Claims: a tort is a wrongful act that results in injury to an individual's property or reputation. Usually, in tort-related cases, an individual is entitled to compensation for the damages that they have suffered. Some common examples of tort cases are defamation, negligence, battery, personal injury, negligence, medical malpractice, fraud, among others. 
  • Breach of Contract Claims: a breach of contract claim is typically the result of a person's failure to perform on a specific part of a written or oral contract without any legitimate legal excuse. Some common examples of breach of contract claims are not paying on time, failing to deliver goods or services sold, or not completing a construction job. 
  • Equitable Claims: an equitable claim asks the court to force a party to take some form or action or to stop a specific action. At times, it is joined with a claim for monetary damages. Some common examples of equitable claims are the improper transfer of land, destruction of property, or the solicitation of business customers. 
  • Landlord/Tenant Issues: landlord and tenant issues are quite common in civil court. Civil courts manage disputes where landlords are trying to evict tenants from a rental property, or a tenant has moved out and is suing a landlord for the return of a security deposit. Additional examples are improper sublets or violations to the Housing Code that the landlord is failing to follow. 

What Do I Do If I Can't Afford a Lawyer for My Civil or Criminal Case? 

A common misconception is that lawyers are always expensive. In fact, many individuals in the United States are not able to afford attorneys for their case. For civil cases, it is quite common for a lawyer to take a contingency fee arrangement where they earn a percentage of the settlement of the case when it is decided by the judge. There are rules surrounding this model to be sure that the lawyer is not charging unfair fees that disadvantage the plaintiff or defendant. For criminal cases, many non-profit organizations allow individuals to find lawyers for free. Even though the lawyers are free, it is essential to understand that many of these lawyers have hefty caseloads and are not able to devote the same amount of attention to their clients that other lawyers can. 

Court Case Glossary Definition 

Court cases are disputes that occur between two or more parties that are heard by a court of law in the United States. Court cases are an effective way to solve a legal dispute between two parties in civil cases, but also to determine if an individual has violated the criminal code. Depending on the type of case, there are federal and state courts for cases to be tried. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, an appropriate venue will be agreed upon by the filing parties and the judge involved in the case.