Civil law plays a diminished role in the United States when compared to many other countries. Where common law operates on the assumption that laws can be interpreted in varying ways depending on circumstances, civil law assume only one correct answer to a legal question. For instance, if a person sues a neighbor in small claims court because the neighbor's dog bit him, the judge will make a determination based on the community's laws regarding control of animals and private property issues. Did the person walk onto the neighbor's property and enter a gated yard, and then get bit? Or was the person walking down the sidewalk when the dog attacked, not on a leash in violation of the leash law? If the community allows people to keep their pets off a leash in a fenced area and the victim entered that area uninvited, then the bittern person will probably lose. If he was walking down the street minding his own business and the dog was off leash, he will probably win. If he taunted the dog, the outcome will be up to the judge's discretion, but might say there are no winners: the victim shouldn't have taunted the dog, but the dog should have been on a leash.
Apple, James G, and Deyling, Robert P. "A Primer on the Civil-Law System." Federal Judicial Center. Accessed via the Internet 1/12/05.
Encyclopedia Britannica. "Civil Law. " Viewed on 10 June 2011. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/119262/civil-law
Scarry, L. (2006). Moonlighting & civil liability. Lawofficer Webpage. Viewed on 10 June 2011. Retrieved from http://www.lawofficer.com/article/magazine-feature/moonlighting-civil- liability