A grievance, in customary law jurisdictions, is a civil error that causes another person to suffer losses or damages that result in the legal responsibility of the person committing the wrongful act.
The person who commits the act is called offender. Although offenses may be wrongs, the cause of a legal action is not necessarily a crime, since the damage may be due to negligence that does not amount to criminal negligence. The victim of the damage can recover his loss as damages in a lawsuit. To prevail, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, commonly referred to as the injured party, must show that the actions or lack of action was the legally recognizable cause of the damage. The equivalent of tort in civil law jurisdictions is a crime.
Legal injuries are not limited to physical injuries and may include emotional, economic or reputational injuries, as well as violations of privacy, property or constitutional rights. The grievances include subjects as varied as automobile accidents, false imprisonment, defamation, product liability, infringement of copyright and environmental pollution (toxic damage). While many grievances are the result of negligence, the grievance law also recognizes intentional wrongs, where one person has acted intentionally in a way that harms another, and in some cases (particularly for product liability in the United States) ” strict liability “that allows recovery without the need to prove negligence.
The law of grievances differs from criminal law in that: (1) grievances may result from negligent or intentional or criminal actions and (2) grievance claims have a lower burden of proof, such as the preponderance of evidence, more beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes a plaintiff can prevail in a civil liability case, even if the person who allegedly caused the damage was acquitted in a previous criminal trial. For example, O. J. Simpson was acquitted in the criminal murder court, but was later found liable for the tort of culpable homicide.