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Civil Action Related Questions

Civil action is a law under which a citizen’s civil rights is protected from being violated by another. This term is to be distinguished from a crime or “criminal offence” where a deliberate “evil act” is perpetrated by one upon another. Here are some of the commonly asked questions on Civil Action.

Is it possible for a person convicted in a magistrate’s court in London (U.K.) to sue relevant authorities in a civil court?

A person so convicted cannot take any action in a civil court. Civil action will be possible after the person, if on appealing to the Crown Court, is absolved of the crime.

Can a person be served with a civil action in jail? What if he happens to be serving time in a jail in another state?

It is possible to serve a civil action on a person while in jail, even if he is jailed in another state. The court will make all the arrangements for the person in jail to appear if the action is served in the same state. If the civil action is served in another state, and the jailed person is not allowed to attend the hearings, he or she stands the risk of losing the suit.

Can a divorcee who is pregnant and on the verge of delivering a baby arrange for postponement of a hearing in a civil action served by her ex-husband?

The lady will need to file a “motion to continue” in court which is permitted if it is for a “reasonable” or “good” cause. The motion may simply state the actual reason/s and length of time required in seeking the case to be continued or postponed.

What should a person who has filed a civil action against a mortgage servicer do if the latter has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy?

Usually, if the defendant has filed for bankruptcy, the claimant stands a better chance of getting his or her claim settled by filing a “proof of claim” before bankruptcy case proceedings begin. An Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors which will be set up will represent claimants and take up the case on their behalf.

A person makes a mistake in a civil action complaint by entering the wrong person’s name as the defendant. Can the complaint be amended?

A “Motion to Amend” the complaint can be filed in order to change the name of the defendant. However, it is entirely the court’s discretion whether to grant the amendment or not.

Is it possible to find details of a civil action suit filed in 1948 online? What should an individual who cannot obtain a copy of the suit in person do?

Since the case is an old one, it is highly unlikely that the details would be posted on the internet. It is necessary for a person to personally go to the court and locate the case in the “Plaintiff/Defendant” Index and have a clerk obtain the file. If going to the court is not possible, an individual may hire the services of a “legal copy service” or “process server” who will do the needful on behalf of the person making the request and send it to him or her.

Can a defendant in a civil action lawsuit relating to a $1400 debt defend himself in court instead of hiring the services of a lawyer?

It is not essential to hire the services of a lawyer and the defendant may defend himself in court.

Is there protection for a person working in the armed forces against civil action lawsuits?

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 provides respite in the form of delaying any action by a civil court such as bankruptcy, foreclosure or divorce proceedings. Members of the armed forces are also protected from being evicted from rented houses of which the rent is $1200 or less.

In Australia, how can one initiate a civil action in court using the law of tort?

Civil action may be initiated in the Magistrates’ Court by filing a Statement of Claim if the amount being sued for is less than $6000.

Since civil law involves citizens’ rights, its reach is vast and varied. Since all citizens of free countries are entitled to some basic civil rights, they need to be aware of the provisions of the law they are protected by.
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