Influence of Civil and Criminal Laws and the Criminal Justice System

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1466 Words
Date:  2021-09-02

Civil and criminal laws have had the considerable impact on the protection of the rights of the citizens through justice system when it comes to various prospects. For instance, their influence has been felt on issues regarding property rights concerning search and seizure. Besides, protection of arrest and the right to counsel are among other aspects that have been impacted by civil and criminal laws in the contemporary justice system. The rule of law requires that law is adopted concerning the established procedures that are known to the public. Therefore, laws are to be consistently and even-handedly enforced without any form of discrimination or favor towards a given side. The role of the rule of law is to ensure that the government can exercise its authority with equity and securing the liberty of the people.

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According to the Constitution's Fifth Amendment, "No person shallbe deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" (Tushnet, 2017, p. 37). It is imperative to note that this amendment protects the right of a citizen to own and use private property. Equally, the English common law and federal laws provide that property rights must be observed and protected. Therefore, property ownership has well been stipulated in the constitution, and it should be protected by the law. For instance, property owners have the right to use, sell, and develop their property with limited fear that the government will interfere.

Property subject to seizure concerns the lawful protection of the citizens` property under the private property ownership rights has stipulated in the constitution. Legal officers are required not to violate this law with no warrants issued, but upon probable cause and should be supported by oath. It is critical to note that warrants issued for searches and seizure should adequately describe particular places that are to be examined, persons, and possessions to be apprehended. There have been limited doubts when it has come to the issuance of search warrants in the United States. For instance, in Gouled v. United States case, an anonymous Court approached limiting the classes of possessions subject to confiscations to the defendant while repudiating certification of the confiscation of "mere evidence." From the court`s perspective, there was no special inviolability in documents, as compared with other procedures of possessions that could provoke issuance of immune from search and seizure. Therefore, this gives an example of how property subject to seizure can at times face unlawful authorization by the legal system.

Property rights have been observed in the United States. On June 23, 2005, the supreme court ruled a case between Kelo and City of New London after considering that the government should extend its right to take private property for public use. The accuser, Suzette Kelo who was a homeowner in New London was notified by the city in 2000 that the area she considered her home was economically depressed (Neubauer & Fradella, 2015). Therefore, the court came up with a comprehensive compensation plan that entailed buying her home, including her 115 neighbors.

Private assets rights are endangered by the Constitution`s Fifth Alteration. According to the provisions of the Williams County v. Hamilton Bank ruling that was conducted in 1984, plaintiff property taking may be approached by the government or local governments for public use. For the case between Kelo and City of New London, the Supreme Court ruled against Suzette because the area he was inhabiting was economically depressed and the city wanted to develop it. Through such approaches, the private property ownership rights are infringed. It is imperative to note that regulation of the private property rights has been undermined in different cases that have prevailed before the justice system. On the other hand, even though the private property rights provide for an individual`s use of the property as he desires, it is important to note that the government may intervene when it comes to pollution or construction on a wetland. This is provided by the Federal Control Act and the Clean Water Act that prohibits settlement on wetlands because it would to the destruction of animal or plant habitats.

Civil law is a body that describes and protects the privacy rights of a person in his or her country. It also offers legal remedies that may be sought in a disagreement and covers various areas of justice such as contracts, property, and family. There exist distinct differences between the civil law and criminal law as stipulated in the constitution. For instance, the core purpose of criminal law is to prevent undesirable behavior in the society through punishing the offenders of the act that is undesirable. On the other hand, in civil law, it is the injured individual who brings the lawsuit. For instance, the case between Kelo and City of New London in 2005 that was ruled by the Supreme Court was by civil law. This is because the individual whose rights were infringed brought the lawsuit against the City of London.

The standards of proof required to make a ruling or verdict is another element that is important when differentiating between civil and criminal law. For instance, a plaintiff only requires proving in civil law through a preponderance of the evidence. Therefore, this requires that the plaintiff convinces the court that the evidence presented at the trial stage of the case is sufficient or that his allegation is true. In a criminal proceeding, the standard of proof required is higher. The claimant must prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is due to the fact that a person`s life is at stake and requires critical evidence which may result in convicting an innocent person. There are different branches of civil law that exist in the justice systems. They include contract, tort, family, and property law.

The constitution provides for the protection of private property and the property law. This entails personal property and real property such merchandise and land. Essentially, property law torts include trespass and conversion. The government and federal criminal justice structures handle offenses within specific constraints, and this should be taken into account. Most felonious justice systems entail five components; law execution, prosecution, defense attorneys, courts, and corrections. All these are significant elements that form the criminal justice system. Property laws have been necessary since the beginning of nations since the majority of citizen could not own property in the countries (Schmalleger et al., 2014).

The case of Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants is another example of a civil lawsuit where a 79-year-old Liebeck, who was a passenger in a car that belonged to her son purchased coffee at one of the restaurants of McDonald`s. However, as he opened the lead of the cup and added cream to the coffee, it dropped, and the hot coffee spilled on her lap resulting in third-degree burns. The lawsuit against McDonald by Liebeck based her argument on the torts of strict liability and negligence (Chandra, Frakes & Malani, 2017). Even though media perceived the case to be of no meaning since she is the one who bought the hot coffee, Libeck prevailed in court because of the damages that the hot coffee impacted. I support the approach by the court because McDonald neglected customer safety and approached selling hot coffee. In essence, the practice of selling hot coffee in unstable areas such as in cars was dangerous not only to the Liebeck but other individuals around her.

In conclusion, their influence has been felt on issues regarding property rights in relation to search and seizure. Property ownership has well been stipulated in the constitution, and it should be protected by the law. Seizing private property by the government has been observed over the years, despite the private property rights. An individual has the right to use his property, even sell it at his or her wish. The government has taken up private property in the past with a claim of developing the property or a speculated disaster. Kelo and City of New London are one of these cases that portray violation of secluded possessions rights by the regime. The core purpose of criminal law is to prevent undesirable behavior in the society through punishing the offenders of the act that is undesirable.


Chandra, A., Frakes, M., & Malani, A. (2017). Challenges To Reducing Discrimination And Health Inequity Through Existing Civil Rights Laws. Health Affairs, 36(6), 1041-1047.

Neubauer, D. W., & Fradella, H. F. (2015). America's courts and the criminal justice system. Cengage Learning

Schmalleger, F., Donaldson, S., Kashiwahara, K., Koppal, T., Chase, S., Brown, A., ... & Marash, D. (2014). Criminal justice today. Prentice Hall.

Schmalleger, F. (2017). Criminal justice. Pearson.

Neubauer, D. W., & Fradella, H. F. (2015). America's courts and the criminal justice system. Cengage Learning.

Tushnet, M. (2017). Comparative constitutional law. In the Oxford handbook of comparative law. Prentice Hall.

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Influence of Civil and Criminal Laws and the Criminal Justice System. (2021, Sep 02). Retrieved from

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