In a civil suit, the person who files an action in court is known as the plaintiff. The plaintiff is the individual or entity (such as a corporation) that has allegedly suffered harm or damage and is seeking legal remedy from the court. This harm or damage could be physical, financial, or emotional.
The process begins when the plaintiff files a complaint or petition with the court. This document outlines the alleged wrongdoing of the defendant (the person or entity being sued), how this wrongdoing caused harm to the plaintiff, and what kind of relief or compensation they are seeking.
Once this complaint is filed and served to the defendant, they have a certain amount of time to respond, either by agreeing to the terms set out by the plaintiff, denying them, or asserting their own counterclaims. The case then proceeds through various stages including discovery, negotiation, possibly trial and potentially appeal.
It's important to note that in civil cases, unlike criminal cases where government prosecutors bring charges against defendants for violating laws, it's private parties who initiate legal proceedings.