Legal Dictionary

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Civil Law

1. Civil Law is all of the law that does not deal with crimes. Civil law concerns contracts and disputes between parties. When a party believes a civil law has been violated, he or she can file a civil lawsuit to recover damages (money) or obtain injunctive relief (stop whatever it is that is violating the law).

2. Civil law also refers to the system of law that prevails in continental Europe derived from Roman law. The basic source of law in civil law is organized codes rather than judicial decisions, as seen in the traditional common law. Louisiana stands out as the state whose law is mostly influenced by civil law.