The Difference between Civil Courts and Criminal Courts
LCCR/EF is concerned only with civil courts, because they deal with the enforcement of civil rights laws.
|Civil Courts||Criminal Courts|
|In a civil suit, one party (the plaintiff) who feels they were harmed brings a complaint against another party (the defendant). Sometimes the government is one of the parties.||The government (the plaintiff) brings suit against (prosecutes) a person who they believe has broken the law (the defendant).|
|Reasonable doubt is not required. A "preponderance of evidence" is enough in most cases.||The guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.|
|The plaintiff can either ask for monetary relief, or equitable relief
||If the defendant is convicted, he or she may have to serve time in jail or pay a fine.|