When civil law is involved, there are many different ways to handle the process.
Here are some of the best options for you.
If you’ve already settled, settle as soon as possible.
A civil law lawsuit is often the best way to avoid having to defend yourself, says attorney Mark Hickey.
“You should not settle,” he says.
“Unless you can prove that you had an actual dispute, you shouldn’t settle.”
This means you can’t sue anyone for anything.
Instead, you’ll have to settle for a lower amount.
“The money will be paid out as a settlement,” Hickey says.
Ask for a court order.
Civil law cases can take years to resolve.
You can ask a judge for a civil law judgment.
You’ll need to prove that a civil lawsuit was brought against you, says Hickey, but the court can also grant you the right to an attorney for an undisclosed amount of money.
The judge can order a defendant to pay the plaintiff the attorney’s fees, costs, and court costs, Hickey notes.
If the judge orders you to pay all of those, then the court will likely award the plaintiff attorneys’ fees and costs, too.
“It’s a very simple process,” Hester says.
If there are more than one party involved, try to work with each party separately.
If it’s a civil case, ask each party to come together and work on a separate agreement, Hester explains.
“This way, you can negotiate it,” he adds.
“Otherwise, you’re not going to get anything.”
Ask to see the court documents.
If a civil suit is filed against you for money that wasn’t your money, then ask for a copy of the court records and a copy or transcript of the proceedings, Hsieber says.
If both parties agree to this, you should be able to get a copy and transcript of both the civil and criminal cases, he adds, although the process is complicated.
“If you want to be sure the civil court isn’t going to come in and try to take your money for yourself, it’s better to ask the civil to take it,” Hsieberg says.
This is called “treaty of amity.”
Don’t forget to follow up.
If one party refuses to settle, or if you can see it’s unlikely that the other party will, then it’s time to ask for an injunction to force them to do so.
This will put an end to the case and help you avoid the possibility of a civil action.
Call the other side.
If either party has made an effort to work together, they might be willing to give up some of their rights in order to avoid a civil court lawsuit, Hieber says, adding that this could mean an order for an additional fee.
If neither party has agreed to this and the parties are still arguing, you might be able have them sign a non-disclosure agreement.
If this is done, the court is not allowed to release any information about the case that could be used against the other person.
“That will be an incentive for both parties to get back to work,” Hieberg says, “and I think that’s really important.”
Don.t expect to get any money.
“Usually the best thing to do is to just let the matter drop and move on,” Hike says.
Donate to the victims.
In the end, it might be best for both sides to work out a settlement that includes all of the parties’ rights, Hike explains.
This could be a form of charity, which can help reduce the amount of litigation involved in a civil trial.
Keep an eye on your finances.
If your money is in the red, you may need to take a closer look at how you’ve been spending it, Hikes says.
Also, if you have a good credit score and are well-off, you could have money sitting in your checking account that may have been put to good use, he suggests.
“When you’re paying bills and you’re having trouble getting money into your checking, then that money may be the best solution to have,” Hikes adds.