A civil lawsuit is a legal proceeding in which one party, the plaintiff, who purports to have suffered loss on account of some action, inaction or irresponsible behavior of the defendant, raises a dispute in a court of law against the defendant. If the lawsuit is successful then the court passes some order to give relief to the plaintiff. Generally, the order will entail the defendant to pay monetary compensation to the plaintiff, unlike in case of criminal lawsuit where the defendant may be imprisoned or given death sentence.