action | Definition

action

In law, an action is a legal proceeding that is brought by one party (the plaintiff) against another party (the defendant) in a court of law. An action may be civil (i.e., a lawsuit seeking monetary damages or other relief) or criminal (i.e., a prosecution brought by the government against an individual or organization for violating a criminal law). In an action, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant has committed some wrong or violation of law, and the plaintiff seeks some form of relief, such as damages, an injunction, or a declaratory judgment. The defendant may respond by denying the allegations and raising defenses or counterclaims. The action is then resolved through a trial or other legal process in which a judge or jury determines the case’s merits.


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