Civil Action

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Civil Action

A lawsuit brought to enforce, redress, or protect rights of private litigants—the plaintiffs and the defendants—not a criminal proceeding.

Today, courts in the United States generally are not divided into common-law courts and Equity courts because most states and the federal government have merged the procedures for law and equity into one system. Now all kinds of lawsuits are simply called civil actions without the former distinctions of procedure in law or in equity.

A criminal proceeding is called a penal action to distinguish it from civil actions.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

civil action

n. any lawsuit relating to civil matters and not criminal prosecution. (See: lawsuit)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

CIVIL ACTION. In New York, actions are divided only into two kinds, namely, criminal and civil. A criminal action is prosecuted by the state, as a party, against a person charged with a public offence, for the punishment thereof. Every other action is a civil action. Code of Procedure, s. 4, 5, 6; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2638. In common parlance, however, writs of mandamus, certiorari, habeas corpus, &c., are not comprised by the expression, civil actions. 6 Bin. Rep. 9.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The Ordinance is far broader than the Massachusetts regulation invalidated by the Supreme Court in Lorillard," the civil action said.
Reuters has reported that the former chief executive of Freddie Mac, Richard Syron, could face civil action related to mortgage disclosure practices.
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What is the appropriate jurisdiction and venue to bring a civil action under ERISA Section 4070?
BOOTS OPTICIANS may have not heard the last over the Isle of Man supervision of staff revelations aired in a General Optical Council fitness to practise case, and could face a civil action.
The man punched in a nightclub by England football star Steven Gerrard is launching a civil action against the player and six of his friends.
Currently only those convicted of harassment or putting someone in fear of violence can be hit with an order, unless victims take a civil action. Breaking the terms of an order can lead to five years in jail.
6511 is of utmost importance in protecting the taxpayer's right to seek a civil action for a refund.
Mr Justice Lightman ruled that Mr van Hoogstraten "recruited two highly dangerous thugs" to murder Mohammed Raja in order to halt a civil action Mr Raja was bringing against him.
(16) See In the Matter of Baker Hughes Incorporated, Civil Action No.
AB 528 (Frommer et al) allows any person with a "beneficial interest" in the outcome to bring civil action to enforce laws regarding the protection or enhancement of public health or the environment.