Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out



  • pg 1
									Civil and Criminal Law
      Chapter 16
           Plaintiff v Defendant
• In civil cases the plaintiff–the party bringing a
  lawsuit–claims to have suffered a loss and
  usually seeks damages, an award of money
  from the defendant.
• The defendant–the party being sued–argues
  either that the loss did not occur or that the
  defendant is not responsible for it.
         Types of Civil Lawsuits
• Lawsuits involving a few thousand dollars or
  less are often handled in a small claims court,
  where people act as their own attorneys.
• Lawsuits may involve property disputes,
  breach of contract, or divorce.
• A negligence suit is filed when a person has
  been injured or killed or when property has
  been destroyed because someone else has
  been careless or negligent.
     What Happens in Civil Cases
• A lawsuit starts when the plaintiff’s lawyer
  files a complaint–a formal statement naming
  the plaintiff and the defendant and describing
  the nature of the suit.
• The court then sends the defendant a
  summons, a document telling him of the suit
  and requiring him to appear in court at a
  certain time.
     The Defendant’s Response

• The defendant may respond by having his
  lawyer file an “answer” to the complaint.
• The answer may admit to the charges or
  deny responsibility.
• The complaint and answer together are
  called pleadings.
• During the discovery process before the
  trial, both lawyers check facts and gather
  evidence by questioning the other party
  and witnesses.
           Pretrial Discussions

• The judge may call a pretrial conference with
  both parties.
• If the case is weak, the plaintiff may decide to
  drop the suit.
• If it is strong, the defendant may offer a
  settlement in which parties agree on the
  amount of money the defendant will pay the
• Another way to resolve disputes before going
  to trial is through mediation.
  -A trained mediator does not decide the case,
  but serves as a neutral party to help the two
  sides reach an agreement.
• The two sides may choose arbitration.
  -A professional arbitrator reviews and resolves
  the dispute, and the arbitrator’s decision is
  usually binding on both parties.
           Pretrial Discussions
• Most civil cases are settled before trial for
  several reasons.
• First, parties often prefer a negotiated
  outcome to the uncertain outcome of a trial.
• Second, it may take years for a case to come
  to trial.
• Third, trials are expensive and time-

• If the parties do not settle, the case goes to
• A jury of 6 to 12 members or, more likely, a
  judge will hear the case.
• First the plaintiff and then the defendant
• The plaintiff has to present enough
  evidence to persuade the judge or jury
  that the defendant is likely to be
  responsible for the incident.
• This is a lower standard than prosecutors
  must meet in criminal cases.
• The judge or jury considers all evidence and
  decides on a verdict in favor of one of the
• If the plaintiff wins, a remedy is set. If the
  defendant wins, the plaintiff gets nothing and
  must pay court costs.
• If the losing side believes the judge made
  errors or some injustice occurred, it may
  appeal to a higher court.
• Cases involving large awards are often
• As a result, the winning plaintiff may wait
  years for the money and may end up with
__ 1. a notice directing someone to appear in
     court to answer a complaint or a charge
__ 2. a formal notice that a lawsuit is being
__ 3. a person or party filing a lawsuit
__ 4. an individual or group being sued or
     charged with a crime
__ 5. Parties agree on an amount of money the
     defendant will pay the plaintiff.
             A. Plaintiff    B. defendant
             C. Settlement   D. complaint
             E. summons
Criminal Cases
   Chapter 16
    Section 2
              Types of Cases
• In criminal law cases the government charges
  someone with a crime and is always the
• The accused person is the defendant.
               Types of Cases
• A crime is an act that breaks a federal or state
  criminal law and causes harm to people or
  society in general.
• Each state has a set of written criminal laws,
  called the penal code, that spells out
  punishments for each crime.
      Felonies v. Misdemeanors
• Misdemeanors are minor violations.
  – Sentence of one year or less
• Felonies are serious crimes
  – Murder, burglary, kidnapping, arson, rape.
  – Imprisonment for a year or more
  – Also lose certain civil rights and employment
             Types of Felonies
• Crimes against people include murder,
  manslaughter (accidental killing), assault
  (physical injury or threat of injury), rape, and
• Crimes against property include larceny
  (burglary, robbery, and theft), vandalism
  (deliberate destruction of property), and fraud
  (taking property by dishonest means.)
• Crimes such as unauthorized gambling and
  illegal drug use are considered victimless
  crimes, because there is no victim to bring a
         Functions of Penalties

• Criminal penalties punish criminals and
  protect society by keeping dangerous
  criminals in prison.
• They serve as a warning to deter others from
  committing the same crime.
• Criminal penalties are also intended to help
  prepare lawbreakers to reenter society after
  their prison terms end.
          Penalties for Crimes
• In some cases, a parole board may decide to
  grant a prisoner parole, or early release.
• In these cases, the person must report to a
  parole officer until the sentence expires.
          Penalties for Crimes

• Some states require mandatory sentencing, in
  which judges must impose whatever sentence
  the law directs.
   – Opponents say the judge should be able to
     impose harsher sentences than the law
• Indeterminate Sentence, a judge imposes a
  minimum and maximum sentence.
           Sentencing Options
• Suspended Sentence= sentence is given, but not
  served at that time
• Home confinement= serve sentence at home
• Restitution=the defendant must pay back or make
  up damages
• Monetary fine= Damages are paid
• Work Release= the defendant s allowed to work but
  must return to prison at night and on weekends.
• Imprisonment
• Death
• Officers make arrests if they have witnessed a
  suspected crime, if a citizen has reported a crime,
  or if a judge has issued an arrest warrant.
• At arrest, the officer informs the person of four
  rights: the right to remain silent,
  to have an attorney present during questioning,
  to have a court-appointed attorney if the person
  cannot afford one, and to stop answering
  questions at any time.
              After an Arrest
• The suspect is then booked, or
  charged with a crime.
• Police take fingerprints and a photograph.
• The suspect may call a lawyer
  at this time.
          Preliminary Hearing
• In a few hours, the suspect appears in court.
• The prosecution must show the judge
  probable cause–a good reason–to believe the
  accused committed the crime.
• The judge then sends the accused back to jail,
  sets bail, or releases him on his own
  recognizance (without bail) with a promise to
  appear in court when called.
    Indictment by a GRAND JURY
• In federal and many state courts, a
  grand jury decides whether to indict.
• In some states, a preliminary hearing
  is used instead.
• In others, the prosecutor files an
  “information” and the judge decides whether
  to indict.
            The Arraignment
• The defendant then appears for an
  arraignment and must enter a plea.
1. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case
2. If the plea is guilty, the defendant stands
  convicted and the judge determines the
3. A plea of no contest means that the
  defendant does not admit guilt but will not
  fight the charges.
• For a jury trial, both sides select
  potential jurors from a large pool of residents
  within the court’s jurisdiction.
• Both can reject some candidates.
• The lawyers for each side outline their case in
  an opening statement.
• The prosecution and defense then present
  their cases in turn.
• They call witnesses who give testimony–
  answers given under oath.
• The other side may cross-examine witnesses
  to try to discredit their testimony.
• In closing statements, both sides
  highlight the evidence most favorable
  to their case.
• The judge then “instructs” the jury on
  the law that relates to the case.
                  The Jury

• The jury goes off to discuss the case.
• They choose a foreman or forewoman
  to lead the discussion.
• Deliberations are secret and have no time
• Finally, they vote.
          The Jury Decides!

• A guilty verdict means the jury found
  the evidence convincing “beyond a
  reasonable doubt.”
• Most states require a unanimous vote.
• Acquittal is a vote of not guilty.
• If the jury cannot decide on a verdict,
  the judge declares a hung jury and
  rules a mistrial.
• The prosecution must then decide
  whether to drop the charges or retry the

• If the verdict is guilty, the judge sets a court
  date for sentencing.
• Sometimes the jury recommends a sentence.
• More often, the judge decides the sentence.
• Sentences often specify prison time, but may
  include fines or community service work.
        Verdict and Sentencing
• The defense often appeals a guilty verdict.
• The Fifth Amendment prohibition against
  double jeopardy bars the prosecution from
  appealing a not-guilty verdict.
__ 1. the statements a witness makes under
__ 2. to question a witness at a trial or a hearing
     to check or discredit the testimony
__ 3. a vote of not guilty
__ 4. an act that breaks a law and causes harm
     to people or society in general
__ 5. a hearing in which a suspect is charged and
     pleads guilty or not guilty
               A. Crime         B. arraignment
               C. Testimony     D.cross-examine
               E. acquittal
Young People and the Courts
          Chapter 16
           Section 3
   Cases of Juvenile Delinquency
• In most states, anyone under age 18 is
  considered a juvenile–not yet legally an adult.
• Our system treats young people who commit
  crimes–called juvenile delinquents–
  somewhat differently from adults.
• Older juveniles charged with serious crimes,
  though, may be tried as adults.
         Juvenile Delinquency
• Factors such as abuse, neglect, emotional
  or mental problems, and poverty contribute to
  juvenile delinquency.
• However, many children with these risk factors
  never have trouble with the law, while
  children from all backgrounds can become
    Stages in the Juvenile System

• The main goal of juvenile courts is to try
  to rehabilitate, or correct a person’s
  behavior, rather than punish.
• Cases begin with arrest or petitions to the courts
  filed by school administrators, store managers, or
  others. Parents may also petition.
• This means that children can be put into the
  juvenile justice system without having been
  accused of a crime.
 Stages in the Juvenile Justice system
• Before reforms in the late 1800s, juvenile
  offenders received the same sentences and
  were sent to the same prisons as adults.
• Today, juvenile courts try to do whatever is
  best for the young person.
    Two types of cases: Neglect and
• In cases of neglect or abuse by caregivers, a
  court may place youths in foster homes.
• Delinquency cases involve crimes.
• Other cases involve actions that are
  considered illegal only for juveniles,
  such as running away or curfew violation.
  What happens if I get arrested?
• When a juvenile is arrested, police notify the
  parents or caregivers.
• The child may be sent home or placed in
  juvenile detention until time to appear in
       Diversion or Detention?

• In nonviolent cases, juveniles may be
  diverted away from court and placed into
  special programs, such as counseling, job
  training, or drug treatment.
• A judge may hold a detention hearing to
  determine whether the juveniles might
  be dangerous to themselves or others.
• If so, they may remain confined.
                    The Trial

•   The trial is less formal than in adult court.
•   Only the parties involved may attend.
•   Both sides call and cross-examine witnesses.
•   There is no jury.
•   The judge decides whether the young person
    is delinquent or nondelinquent.
                  The Trial

• The system tries to protect juveniles by
  keeping their identities and criminal records
   – No fingerprints are taker or photographs
• In some cases, records may be erased when
  the offender becomes an adult.
• Some states are experimenting with peer
  juries for the sentencing stage, if the
  defendant agrees.
• If a juvenile has been found delinquent, the
  court holds a hearing to decide the
  disposition, or sentencing.
• Delinquents may be sent home with a stern
  lecture or placed in a special training school,
  reformatory, treatment center, or teen shelter.
• If the young people attend school and obey
  their caregivers during the probationary
  period, the charges will be removed from
  their record.
• Juveniles who were neglected may become
  wards of the court until they are adults.
• Judges may place juveniles with serious
  mental or emotional problems in a hospital or
                 In re Gault
• Gerald Gault, age 15, had been sentenced to
  six years in a reformatory for making indecent
  telephone calls to a neighbor.
• His parents were not informed of his arrest.
• He had no attorney present and the neighbor
  was never questioned.
                 In re Gault
• The Supreme Court overturned the
  ruling in the 1967 case In re Gault
  and established rules for juvenile criminal
• Juveniles have the right to counsel, the right
  to confront witnesses, and the right not to be
  forced to incriminate themselves.
__ 1.a person not yet legally an adult

__ correct a person’s behavior

__ 3.a child or teenager who commits a
    serious crime or repeatedly breaks the
         A. juvenile
         B. juvenile delinquent
         C. rehabilitate
              Suits of Equity
• Equity is a system of rules by which disputes
  are resolved on the grounds of fairness.
• People may file a suit in equity to seek fair
  treatment in a situation in which no law exists
  to decide the matter.
• An equity court may stop a wrong before it
  occurs. Ex. Highway through park
             Suits of Equity
• A judge decides suits in equity.
• The judge may issue an injunction,
  or court order commanding a person
  or group to stop a certain action.

To top