The Court System

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The court system was put in place to allow exiles to settle their differences, whether IC or OOC, using a jury of peers. To file a complaint you go to the courthouse and lodge your complaint.

The courts determine if there are enough eligible jurors on to form an adequate jury. If there is, the Defendant and Plaintiff are summoned to court, where each will be given a chance to state their side of the case and call witnesses.

Each person is allow 90 seconds to state their case, and one 60 second rebuttal to the other person's arguments.

If you'd like to call a witness who would likely help your case, you may do so by saying witness: {name}. That person must be present and approach the north railing to be put into the witness box, and has 60 seconds to state what they saw happen.

After each side has made their case, the jury leaves and can deliberate the guilt or innocence of the person accused. Also, if the jury finds the lawsuit to be frivolous, the plaintiff may face criminal penalties.

These penalties may consist of fines paid to the court, jail time and even banishment from town in extreme cases. Also, if a person who was found guilty has prior convictions the court may add fines and/or jail time.

If the person does not have sufficient funds to cover fines issued, the court will garnish their earnings until the debt is paid off or add jail time to the convict's jail sentence. The court is a criminal court and not a civil court and cannot recover stolen property.

Players who bring multiple frivolous lawsuits may also be banned from filing additional lawsuits and will get the reputation as one who does this, thereby hurting their chances to win even legitimate cases.

As mentioned above, suing over karma is often found to be frivolous. Other things may also be found frivolous — such as suing an exile for failing to depart.

Filing lawsuits that are obviously frivolous or are made to pull a person out of a hunt far away is considered an abuse of the court system. Abusing the court system often earns a person a good amount of BK from the community.

Building a Good Case

Before bringing a case to court, it is often a good idea to consult someone wise in the ways of the court and the general consensus of citizens of Puddleby. You can build a good case by writing up your arguments ahead of time, anticipating the defendant's defense and having text ready to counter it, or responding to charges directly during the rebuttal phase by writing up a counter-argument on the fly in a sticky or other text editor while the plaintiff or defendant is testifying . Having reputable witnesses is also a good idea if any are available.