So, Your Civil Trial’s Over. Now What?

judge-1587300_640It’s finally over. Maybe you settled out of court or wound up embroiled in a long, exhausting, and bitter court trial. Regardless, you and your lawyer have finally brought this chapter in your life to a close.

So…what happens now, then? Chances are pretty good that especially if your trial ended up going to court, the case has been part of your life for months, maybe even years. How can you set aside all the bad blood and get things back to normal?

It’s easier than you’d think, actually – assuming, of course, you make it through the appeal process unscathed.

The Appeal Process

Basically, once a judge or jury in a civil case lays down a verdict, the losing party has the right to file for an appeal. Within 30 days of the ruling, they must submit, in writing, a notice of appeal outlining their reasons for contesting the judgement. The case is then submitted to a secondary court, which examines it with a fine-toothed comb for any factual errors or unsound applications of law.

If it finds errors, it can either return the case to trial court or simply accept the judgement. If it finds no errors, the judgement is rendered final. Basically, if you’re appealing a civil suit, you’d best be certain you’ve an ironclad reason for doing so, because you’re throwing yourself on the mercy of the courts.

What To Do If The Defendant Dodges Judgement

Not every defendant will accept their loss gracefully. They might refuse to pay, even going to far as to try skipping town. Don’t worry – you’re not powerless here. When a defendant fails to accept the verdict of the court in a civil suit, you have the right to Execute it.

That’s exactly what it sounds like. You file a written request to the court, which will then submit a writ of execution to law enforcement. At that point, you can choose to seize property belonging to the defendant until you’ve the agreed upon amount from the settlement.

Note that you can only seize certain forms of property as part of an execution:

  • Bank accounts
  • Cars
  • Personal belongings such as electronics, jewelry, etc.
  • Real estate generally cannot be seized, but you can contact a judgement creditor to place a lien against it and force the defendant to sell, with proceeds from the sale going towards your judgement.

Bormaster Law Can Help You Keep Things Civil From Filing Through To Settlement

At Bormaster Law, we’ve a great deal of experience working with civil cases on both the plaintiff and defendant’s side. We know the ins and outs of the law, and understand what’s involved in reaching a settlement both parties can be happy with. And if the case goes to court, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure it’s settled in your favor.

Better yet, consultations are free – we’re interested in helping you win, not taking your money.