Definition - What does Civil Action mean?
Civil action may simply be referred to as a lawsuit. It is a lawsuit which does not form a part of the criminal proceedings, but which protects or enforce the rights of private parties involved.
Justipedia explains Civil Action
In the modern era, there is no distinction between the equity courts and common-law courts. They have been combined into a simple system and now all lawsuits are civil actions, which is of course different from criminal proceedings