Civil Claims in the United States

If you’ve ever legally filled a dispute against another person, organization, or company, chances are you have pursued a civil claim. In the United States, matters that involve the court can essentially be categorized into two separate groups: civil and criminal cases.

A civil case involves a person or entity (government or corporation) known as the plaintiff, who claims that another person or entity (defendant) has failed to fulfill a legal duty promised to the plaintiff. In the court of law, both the plaintiff and defendant are referred to as the “parties” or “litigants” of the case.

If found justified in the court of law, a successful plaintiff may ask the defendant to do the following:

  • Fulfill the original duty (business contract, sale price, agreed-upon services, etc.)
  • Compensate for the harm done (typically financially)
  • Respect the rights established under the Constitution or federal/state laws

Plaintiffs are often permitted to request one or all of the following actions for the defendant. Many types of civil cases are expedited, or sometimes even resolved amongst the parties without the assistance of a court. Litigation is often expensive for both sides, so an expedited resolution is in both parties’ interests.

The types of cases that involve civil courts can essentially be broken down into 4 subcategories:

  • Tort claims—a  wrongful act (sometimes called a “tortious” act), that causes injury to someone’s person, property, reputation, or the like, for which the injured person is entitled to compensation. 

Cases involving claims for such things as personal injury, battery, negligence, defamation, medical malpractice, fraud, and many others, are all examples of tort claims. Tort claims should not be confused with an outright breach of contract.

  • Breach of contract claims—results from a person’s failure to perform some term of a contract, whether the contract is written or oral, without some legitimate legal excuse.

Common examples of this involve situations where a job is not completed on time, salary is not paid in full/on time, promised goods are not delivered, etc.

  • Equitable claims—asks the court to order a party to take some action or stop some action.  These claims may or may not be joined with another claim for monetary damages.  

Familiar examples may involve the restraint/prohibition of destruction of property, improper land transfer, or illegal solicitation of a business’ customers.

  • Landlord/tenant issues—involve handling disputes between landlords and tenants. 

Common cases usually have a landlord trying to evict a tenant from a rental property. Contrastingly, it can also involve a tenant who has moved out and is in the process of suing a landlord for the return of a security deposit.

The aforementioned types of civil cases and notable examples are only a partial list. If you are currently undergoing an issue and are unsure whether your case involves a civil claim, it is best to seek a legal expert.

Additionally, if you already know you have a civil case, legal counsel is necessary. There are many stages to a civil claim starting with the pre-filing all the way to post-trial matters. It is important that your lawyer is experienced and can guide you through each step to increase your success.

This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice.

For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.

Ms. Ramona Kennedy received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

She is licensed to practice in the United States Supreme Court, US Immigration Courts, California Federal Courts of Southern & Central District & All California Courts. Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing).

Phones: 13106230080 & 19496770063
Telegram & WhatsApp: 19496770063
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Published by kennedylawblog

Lawyer in California, USA Fluent in American English & Persian (Farsi); Speaks Azeri (Turkish)

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Kennedy Law Ramona Kennedy, Esq. (949)677-0063


Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate(Doctorate in law) in America. Ramona Kennedy is a licensed Attorney in California (USA) and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ms. Kennedy's areas of practice are US Immigration law, US federal Laws and California State Laws. This is an immigration law blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advise. For further information please contact the law offices of Attorney Ramona Kennedy.

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