How they differ from regular civil or criminal court trials?

Criminal Proceedings
Criminal proceedings include upholding public rules of behaviour that are established in state legislation. In criminal proceedings, the government prosecutes people who break the law (in other words, for allegedly committing a crime). In criminal instances, punishment might include fines, community work, probation, or jail.

Cases in Civil Law
Civil lawsuits include disagreements between individuals or organisations, such as enterprises, over money. Civil cases include litigation for money, landlord/tenant issues, breach of contract claims, and instances in which one person is attempting to force another person to do something (for example, sell some property) or cease doing something (for example, stop a foreclosure).

If you require basic civil case information or paperwork, you can contact the Civil Law Self-Help Center online or in person on the first floor of the Regional Justice Center.

Family Law Cases
Family cases are a sort of civil lawsuit, although they typically feature or concern concerns between or between spouses, parents, and children. Family courts hear a wide range of situations including domestic issues. The following are the most prevalent concerns dealt with in family court:

Dissolution of a marriage. When someone wishes to dissolve a marriage, they can file a lawsuit in family court and get a court order to do so. Marriages can be ended by divorce or annulment proceedings. The court may also award a separation, in which the court makes property, alimony, and child custody decisions while the parties remain legally married. More information can be found in the Divorce, Annulment, or Separation parts of this website.

Child Custody and Paternity When a man has to be proclaimed the father of a child, any parent can file a lawsuit in family court requesting that paternity be determined. This permanently establishes the child’s paternity. Unmarried parents can also petition the court for legal and physical custody, visiting schedules, and child support. More information on these sorts of cases may be found in the Custody, Paternity, and Child Support section of this website.

Domestic Violence Protection Orders. Domestic violence victims can seek protection orders from the family court to keep their attacker at far. For additional information, please see DV Protection Orders.

Changes in Name A name change case in family court may allow a kid or adult to legally alter their name. For further information, please see the Name Change section.

Guardianship. Guardianship is deciding who will be in charge of making medical, personal, and financial choices for a child or adult who is unable to care for themselves. More information can be found on this website’s Guardianship page.

Adoptions and termination of parental rights If a parent should no longer have a parental contact with a child for significant reasons (such as abandonment, neglect, or abuse), the family court may terminate that parent’s rights. If another person wishes to become a child’s legal parent, the family court can allow an adoption in which the parent-child connection is legally established. This website’s Adoptions and Terminating Parental Rights section has further information.

Juvenile Issues All cases involving claims of child abuse, child neglect, or juveniles suspected of criminal activity are heard in family court. The District Attorney Juvenile Division is in charge of these cases. Work permits for kids under the age of 14 can also be granted by the family court. For further information, go to Juvenile Work Permits.

Emancipation and Permission for Underage Marriages Those under the age of 18 who desire to marry or be “emancipated” (legally free from their parents’ authority) can petition the family court for permission. The Self-Help Center does not have forms for approving minor marriages, however the Emancipation part of this website does provide information concerning emancipation.

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