Civil Legal System

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The civil legal system provides victims options that are separate from the criminal justice system.

The civil system deals with issues between people (such as divorce, broken contracts or arguments about property) as well as harm to people and property. Sometimes people refer to a civil case as a lawsuit or suing someone.

In the civil system, the victim is a “party” in the case. Being a “party” means that the victim is one of the two sides in the case. This is different from the criminal system, in which the prosecutor files charges on behalf of the government. There is no prosecutor in a civil case. Usually, law enforcement and corrections officers are not involved in civil cases. 

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There are many kinds of civil legal issues. Below are descriptions of some kinds of legal issues that can be addressed in civil courts in Colorado. Colorado law has specific requirements for each issue, with more details than are given here.