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What Is a Court Hearing?

When individuals wish to decide disputes or other issues within the legal system, they often attend a court hearing. This procedure is instigated in order to investigate and decide upon the matter through a process of argumentation. A court hearing takes place within the confines of a courtroom and involves a judge or jury, legal counsels for the plaintiff and defendant, the plaintiff and defendant themselves, as well as witnesses and other court officials.

The purpose of a court hearing may vary, although they are generally classified as one pursuing civil or criminal matters. The actual format of a court hearing differs among jurisdictions, but there is a general style as to how a court hearing is conducted. A preliminary court hearing often takes precedence over the actual court hearing. This allows the plaintiff or prosecutor to provide ample information regarding the defendant’s crimes or issues. This is also known as an arraignment. Once the judge is satisfied that sufficient information has been provided, the case proceeds to an actual court hearing wherein the plaintiff or prosecutor faces the defendant. The responsibility of a plaintiff or prosecutor within a court hearing or trial is to convince the judge or jury of the defendant’s guilt. Thus, the plaintiff or prosecutor has burden of proof. This may be done by presenting evidence and testimonies to support the arguments forwarded by this side of the litigation. The defendant on the other hand is usually innocent until proven guilty, and makes use of evidence and testimonies as well to counterclaim any arguments made by the prosecution.


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