Q. I want to start a court case.
I was told I need to file a pleading with a cause of action. What help can the courts provide? How do I amend a pleading? What are defenses?
The CourtHelp page describes the steps of a legal case and links to forms. If your case is not covered by a DIY form, you will need to prepare papers according to court rules. The attached bibliographies list books and materials in Public Access Law Libraries that can help you.
The CourtHelp glossary defines many common legal terms:
cause of action 1. A group of facts used as a reason to sue. 2. Grounds that say a case can be started. 3. The charges (or "counts") that are in the case or lawsuit.
defense: In a civil case, the facts or arguments given by the defendant to show why the plaintiff should not win. In a criminal case, the reasons why a defendant should not be convicted of the charge(s).
pleading: A written statement given to the court describing a party's claims about the case and what the party wants from the court.