In the United States, there are two types of courts – criminal and civil. As its name suggests, criminal courts adjudicate cases involving individuals and entities accused of breaking the law (e.g., drunken driving, theft, assault, etc.).

On the other hand, civil courts do not deal with criminal cases. Instead, they are responsible for judging litigations in which a plaintiff may sue a defendant seeking monetary damages or other types of compensation. 

In this article, you will discover the purpose of a civil court case in Florida. 

Civil Law vs. Criminal Law – Understanding the Difference 

In a civil case, one person (plaintiff) brings legal action against another person (defendant) who has allegedly wronged them to seek damages in court. In this context, the term “damages” refers to the amount of money imposed by the court to compensate them for loss or injury caused by a wrongful act.

The judge can order the defendant to compensate the plaintiff by paying money (reimbursement, compensation, or punitive damages) or performing a service that was promised (e.g., breach of contract lawsuit). 

In a criminal case, the government prosecutes someone to prove them guilty of committing a crime. Consequently, the victim is often a witness in the government’s case against the accused individual or entity.

Except in a few cases, a judge in a civil case cannot send the defendant to jail. Nonetheless, criminal cases may send an accused individual to jail, depending on the verdict determined by a criminal judge or the jury. 

Usually, penalties for criminal cases vary, ranging from hefty fines, community services, anger management classes, and other forms of punishment to serving time in a state or federal prison.

In comparison with criminal cases, civil cases have a much lower burden of proof. Hence, a plaintiff to a civil case needs to demonstrate a “preponderance of evidence” (a greater amount of evidence) to win a civil case in Florida. 

What is the Purpose of a Civil Court Case in Florida? – Explaining the Types of Civil Cases

US Civil Law encompasses a set of different topics, such as civil rights, contracts, property, family relationships, and civil wrongs. 

Civil rights are a primary topic in civil law. Among the most fundamental civil rights, it is vital to highlight examples such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, religious freedom, the right to a fair trial, the right to vote, and the right to use public facilities.

Contract law involves the analysis of legal agreements made between individuals, business entities, and other groups. When one of the parties in a contract fails to fulfill one or more provisions outlined in the agreement, the injured party has the right to sue the infringing party in court. 

Property law encompasses a set of different fields in US Civil law, as it governs all forms of ownership in real property and personal property. In this context, the term “property” refers to both tangible (e.g., land) and intangible assets (e.g., patents, trademarks, etc.).

Family law involves family-related issues, such as divorces, child custody, termination of parental rights, adoption, name changes, emancipation, approval of underage marriages, etc.

A civil wrong is any wrong caused under civil law. It is a broad subject, as it encompasses issues like torts, contractual breaches, and breaches of trust. 

Additionally, other situations like landlord-tenant disputes (e.g., evictions), accidents, bankruptcy cases, and most lawsuits involving debtors/lenders are judged by civil courts. 

We Can Help You Win a Civil Court Case in Florida – Work with Jurado and Farshchian, P.L.

With a decade of experience helping clients win civil court cases in Florida, Attorney Romy B. Jurado is a well-versed civil law expert. Waste no time with uncertainty. Contact us today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.