In some civil cases, the plaintiff seeks money (also known as damages) from the defendant as compensation for injuries allegedly caused by the defendant. Some common examples are cases involving car accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and contract disputes.
In other cases, the plaintiff seeks the court to command the defendant to do (or not do) a specific action. Some common examples of these types of cases are where a plaintiff is seeking an injunction, specific performance, enforcement of property rights, and testamentary or administrative matters such as trusts and wills.
The Civil Division routinely hears the following types of cases:
Mandatory Arbitration program is an alternative dispute resolution process for civil suits seeking money damages exceeding $10,000 but less than $50,000. A court-appointed arbitration panel reviews the case to decide a just resolution and award. Arbitration is intended to lower court costs for litigants and allow the Court to utilize judicial resources more effectively. If a party rejects the arbitration panel’s findings, the case will proceed to trial.
Chancery handles all cases where the resolution does not involve monetary damages. Examples of chancery cases include injunctions, mortgage foreclosures and mechanics lien.
Eminent Domain cases involve the taking of private land for public projects such as schools, roads, bridges, etc.
Commercial or residential eviction proceedings and for any proceedings for ejectment.
Residential or commercial foreclosure proceedings.
Petition seeking consideration by the court on new matters not included in the permanent case containing such matters as organization, appointment of officers, approval of bonds, and routine orders confirming annexation.
Guardianship of a minor, person with a disability, or an estate of any person under the Probate Act of 1975, as amended.
Law cases involve civil suits for recovery or monetary damages in excess of $50,000. Typical examples of cases would include personal injury, contract disputes and malpractice suits.
Law Magistrate cases involve replevins and detinues.
Review of administrative decisions (other than of a tax commission) and a variety of other actions that include change of name, demolition, and corporation dissolution.
Probate court handles will disputes, disputes over estates when there is no will, and guardianships for minors and disabled adults.
Small Claims cases are tort or contract cases where the amount sought is less than $10,000.
Tax cases first take place as administrative hearings before a government office or agency, such as the Property Tax Appeals Board. After all administrative appeals have been exhausted, the taxpayer can ask for a Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions. The tax court performs the judicial reviews of those administrative decisions.