What Is the Difference Between the Plaintiff and the Defendant in a Court Case?

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The plaintiff in a court case is the person who has filed a complaint/charges against the defendant for prosecution by the courts, while the defendant is the person who is refuting the charges and is seeking to prove their innocence. This is the beginning of a lawsuit in both state and federal courts.

As opposed to criminal claims, which are issued by the government and feature penalties such as imprisonment and fines, lawsuits are civil claims that can result in the defendant being forced to pay the plaintiff. This exchange of money may be in order to cover claims of wrongdoings such as property damage or pain and suffering.