To kick off the process of a civil suit, the plaintiff is required to file the initial pleadings. This includes the summons and complaint with the clerk of court for the respective area of jurisdiction. The area of jurisdiction is where the incident took place and where either party works or lives.
After filing of the civil suit is complete, the defendants named in the suit must be served with copies of the pleadings. In most states, the defendants have 30 days to file a response, which is usually an admittance or denial of the allegations levelled against them by the plaintiff. If this is not done by the defendants, the court can decide whether to continue in their absence and declare them to be ex-parte and even decide in favour of the plaintiff.
If the defendants decide to participate in the proceedings, the next phase of the suit will be the discovery. This is where evidence, statements and witnesses are produced in court for the trial to officially begin. All necessities of trial will be filed and can be demanded further form the court like interrogations of the parties involved.
Before the case is decided by the court, a settlement can take place in order for the plaintiff to take it back after making an offer. This is done by the attorneys on both sides that negotiate with the parties that they represent. If a settlement takes place, the court will no longer continue with the proceedings. If there is no breakthrough on the settlement, the court will continue with the trial and use its powers to order a judgment and decree in favour of either parties after taking into consideration all the evidence, statements and other legalities involved.