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A civil action is a lawsuit in which one person (the plaintiff) who claims to have been harmed by the actions of another person (the defendant) seeks relief from the court.  The relief requested by the plaintiff may include an award of money, the imposition of an injunction to prevent the defendant from doing something or require the defendant to do something, and/or a declaratory judgment in which the court determines the parties’ rights under a contract or statute.

Most lawsuits can be divided into the following stages:

Here is a flow-chart showing how a typical civil action proceeds through the courts. The following information will guide you through the Civil Action process:



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