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Five Most Common Types of Civil Cases

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

Civil and criminal litigation has a primary difference. Civil cases have one or both of the parties seeking money or another form of compensation rather than criminal charges. In general, the prosecution in criminal cases represents the state in which the trial is taking place (with the state or government seeking a judgement), but in civil cases both parties represent themselves, with the assistance of a civil litigation attorney or legal council.

These are some of the most common types of cases to appear in civil court;

Contract Disputes

Contract disputes occur when one or more parties who signed a contract cannot or will not fulfill their obligations. Occasionally, this is due to a contract that is written with loose terms that creates disparate expectations in the signers, but usually it is because one party overextends itself and doesn’t have the resources to fulfill their obligations.

Property Disputes

Property law involves disputes about property ownership and damages to one person’s property or real estate. There are many different types of property disputes that a civil litigation attorney may handle. One common one is property line disputes, in which one party alleges that a neighbor crossed the property line boundary between their two homes for building or planting.


A tort is a civil case in which one party alleges that another caused them physical or emotional harm. Tort cases can take many different forms, and can relate to a person’s personal safety, safety of their property, and financial security. Common torts related to accident and injury include assault or battery cases, and negligence cases in which one party alleges that a caregiver did not do their assigned duty.

Class Action Cases

Class action cases are similar to tort cases, only the prosecution in these cases represents represents a group or class of people who have all been injured by the same thing. These are common in cases of defective products or exposure to hazardous materials in which the faulty item injured multiple people before it was recalled.

Complaints Against the City

Complaints against the city or federal government are generally settled out of court, but in the event that the government refuses to settle the complaints are generally tried as civil cases. These cases can be brought in any case where the plaintiff alleges that city law or policy has caused harm to its citizens.

There are numerous types of civil cases that be brought to court. In fact bringing a legal case before the court is truly dependent on the desire of one or more of the parties. Sometimes a civil cases will follow up a criminal case that has had an unfavorable outcome for the prosecution. In all situations, proving the merit of your case beyond here say is imperative to win.



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