A Petit Jury will hear and decide civil and criminal cases. Civil cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, governments, government agencies, or other organizations. Usually, the party who brings the suit is seeking money damages for an alleged wrong that has been done. The party who brings the suite is called the plaintiff, and the one being sued is called the defendant. Civil trials can involve small claims, personal injury, and medical malpractice cases. Criminal cases are brought by the state against persons accused of committing a Crime. In these cases, the state is the plaintiff, and the accused person is the Defendant. Criminal trials can involve traffic, misdemeanor, felony, and capital (death penalty) cases.
A Grand Jury has broad powers to investigate a wide range of criminal offenses and to examine the performance of public officials and public institutions. Its deliberations are conducted in secret, in conjunction with the State Attorney or a designated Assistant State Attorney.