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What Is a Petition? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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A written, formal request properly filed with the Court, for a specific action or order. Some form petitions are preprinted and available on the Court’s websites.

When a lawsuit is filed, it undergoes a number of steps before being settled. In civil proceedings, the plaintiff must first submit a petition or complaint with the court, laying out the legal grounds for the lawsuit. The defendant is served with a copy of the document and a summons to court.

At this point, both parties are given the option of settling the case privately or through an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system rather than proceeding to trial. Additionally, the courts may provide a summary judgment. If the case proceeds to trial, the judge will eventually render a verdict, and either party to the complaint may appeal.

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