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616 Cause a Ruckus

 "Penalty compensation in civil litigation generally targets very serious crimes that negatively impact society. Your focus is strong, but in order to highlight the common responsibility of Seth's parents-the local police and municipal government-it is necessary to emphasize the irreparable wrongdoings of Seth's parents in the criminal case. It is even considered a criminal act." He Zhichu lectured Gu Nianzhi as if she were in class. "Understand?"

"Professor He is still the best!" Gu Nianzhi nodded like a little chick pecking for rice and appeared very obedient.

He Zhichu couldn't help stroking her hair. "Quit the flattery and redo the entire plea after lunchtime. Then come to the courthouse with me to submit it."

Gu Nianzhi happily finished lunch with He Zhichu then returned to her room to rearrange the plea. It was completed after an hour, and she sent it back to He Zhichu for a final review. After he signed it, he took Gu Nianzhi to the courthouse so they could personally submit it.

Before they left, He Zhichu had Smith, one of his assistants, call all the major German media outlets in the name of their American law firm to disclose that their firm was about to represent Li Haiqing's parents to file a joint civil claim against Niya, Seth, Seth's parents, and the Dessau Police Department, as well as the Dessau municipal government, with the request compensation amount remaining confidential for the time being. And due to the Munich District Courts' deliberate delay, the case, which had gone viral online for some time, gradually cooled off due to the lack of closure. This was exactly what Seth's parents wanted-the public had to stop following the case in order for them to meddle once again. They didn't expect He Zhichu to have Smith make the calls and, like the stone creating 1,000 ripples, the German media was aghast once again!

This almost became breaking news in Germany. Suddenly, all the major German media outlets halted their normal programming and dispatched live interview teams to live-stream the filing of the civil lawsuit. Li Haiqing's case was introduced and analyzed once again, and it was reported that the Munich District Court was still considering the case. Thus, a sentence had yet to be passed.

The media worked all too quickly. Before He Zhichu's commercial vehicle had even arrived at the Munich District Court, the media had already set up their myriad microphones and equipment before the courthouse entrance. It was a sunny day, and it was the middle of the afternoon, so the sun was not as scorching hot. A gentle breeze brought a refreshing coolness.

The reporters' cameras recorded a discreet commercial vehicle approaching the other side of the street and parking in front of Munich District Court entrance. The car door opened, and a tall, handsome man in a black Armani suit and sunglasses walked out-it was He Zhichu, one of the partners of American law firm everyone was now familiar with. After he got out, he instantly turned back to offer his hand, and a woman took it to jump out of the car. Although she also wore sunglasses, she was immediately recognized as He Zhichu's only female assistant in the case and the one who had appeared in court for the third trial: Gu Nianzhi!

The reporters surged all of a sudden, their countless microphones and recording pens passed in front of He Zhichu and Gu Nianzhi.

"Lawyer He, may I ask why you are seeking civil compensation from the Dessau Regional Police and the municipal government?"

"Lawyer He, may I ask what amount of civil compensation you are seeking?"

"Lawyer Gu, may I ask if you will also be representing in the civil litigation proceedings?"

...

Numerous questions were thrown out anxiously to await He Zhichu and Gu Nianzhi's answers. Gu Nianzhi received He Zhchu's indication and began to speak in English.

"We are filing a civil claim against the Dessau Regional Police and municipal government because of their derelict of duty and for deliberately condoning the criminal destruction of evidence, causing indelible losses and damage to my clients."

All the German reporters spoke English to everyone, immediately translating her words into German and transmitting live video back to their respective media outlets.

He Zhichu looked around then continued coldly in German, "This time, we are seeking compensation from the two defendants, as well as the defendant Seth's parents, York and Ramona, the Dessau Regional Police, and the municipal government in a joint claim for the amount of one billion euros."

"What?!" The crowd of reporters all froze at He Zhichu's words, almost as if they couldn't understand German.

"Did I hear that right?"

"Yes, yes-was it one billion... euros?!"

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"Right, right! I also heard one billion euros!"

Everyone looked at He Zhichu and Gu Nianzhi together to confirm once again. "The claim is for 10 billion euros?!"

"You heard correctly," He Zhichu said as he walked directly toward the courthouse.

Gu Nianzhi followed closely behind and felt very emotional. As expected, a huge civil claim would turn into big news; they wouldn't be able to face the reporters if the claim amount was less.

Lips curving into a smirk, Gu Nianzhi calmly walked toward the courthouse steps. From that point, it only took less than 10 minutes to file the case at the courthouse. However, Gu Nianzhi began recalling many things. Huge civil claims were nothing new in Western countries. They existed to punish and deter so that powerful parties would never dare to harm the weaker parties again. Especially when it was a weaker person making a claim against a government agency or large corporation, their chances of winning were typically very high.

For example, the very famous "McDonald's hot coffee case" from the last century had occurred when an elderly woman was burned by McDonald's coffee. Although she was only hospitalized for three days, she sought millions of US dollars in compensation and ended up winning. This was the power of punitive damages in civil litigation.

Gu Nianzhi hoped that this dramatic civil claim would not only bring new attention from the media and public but also prepare for the possibility of a loss in the criminal case. Gu Nianzhi could already sense that due to the lack of direct evidence-as well as the court's preference for the defendant's position-it could result in them losing the criminal case. Although they would continue to appeal, at this point, they could only use the loss of the criminal case to create indignation among the public. Gu Nianzhi hoped that their civil claim would proceed more smoothly. She would actually never be satisfied with any sentence in the criminal case because there was no capital punishment in Germany. A huge civil claim was the only way to show the other party was it meant to feel pain for themselves.

Because the media had put so much attention on the case-and because He Zhichu had also published the plea online after submitting it to the court-there was no way the Munich District Court could get away with not filing the case. Countless legal experts and senior politicians were all following this case intently.

As powerful as Seth's stepfather York was, he could only do as he pleased in Dessau. His influence did not extend to the entirety of Germany.