Pro Se Litigant: Someone who is representing themselves in a court case.
Petitioner (or Plaintiff): The party who brings the suit in a court of law.
Respondent (or Defendant): The party against whom the suit is brought.
Pleading: Paperwork that is filed with the court in which a party to the case makes claims or presents defenses. Examples: Complaint. Answer. Answer and Counterclaim.
Petition: A form that requests certain action from the court.
Notice of Appearance: A form that tells the court who will be representing you in court.
Summons: A notice to the Defendant that a case has been filed against him or her, requiring that the person come to court.
Subpoena: An order commanding a person to provide evidence in some way, such as appearing in court to testify and/or provide documents to the court.
Good rules of thumb for any court proceeding:
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