civil action

civil action
Action brought to enforce, redress, or protect private rights. In general, all types of actions other than criminal proceedings. Gilliken v. Gilliken, 248 N.C. 710, 104 S.E.2d 861, 863.
The term includes all actions, both those formerly known as equitable actions and those known as legal actions, or, in other phraseology, both suits in equity and actions at law. Thomason v. Thomason, 107 U.S. App.D.C. 27, 274 F.2d 89, 90.
In the great majority of states which have adopted rules or codes of civil procedure as patterned on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, there is only one form of action known as a "civil action." The former distinctions between actions at law and suits in equity, and the separate forms of those actions and suits, have been abolished. Rule of Civil Proc. 2; New York CPLR No. 103(a)
Compare penal action
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Civil actions are such as lie in behalf of persons to enforce their rights or obtain redress of wrongs in their relation to individuals. Fed.R.Civ.P. 2.

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • civil action — n. A lawsuit brought by a private citizen to protect a private or civil right or to seek a civil remedy; a noncriminal action. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. civil… …   Law dictionary

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