A merit trial, also known as a trial on merits, focuses on the basic facts of the case. USLegal explains that the judge hears arguments and facts from both sides and decides the case on the merits of each, which is how merit trials in Maryland and throughout the United States function. In such a trial, the plaintiff has the burden of proof.
This approach to the trial does not rely on a technical rule of practice, such as failure of proper service or jurisdictional defect, according to USLegal. Each court jurisdiction has its own rules and procedures for bringing cases against others. For suits involving small amounts of money, it is best to do your own research. Your jurisdiction's website points you to where you can find the appropriate legal code. For larger amounts of money or value, it pays to hire an attorney to represent you in court. An attorney is much more familiar with the rules at hand and guides you in finding and presenting the appropriate evidence to the court. Advice from an attorney may also indicate that you do not have sufficient evidence to prove your case.
Those against whom a merit suit is pursued should be aware that if judgement is found for the plaintiff, it is possible to face a wage garnishment, a levy on a bank account or a lien on titled property, according to JustAnswer Legal.