Filing a Lawsuit in Chelsea, Alabama
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If you're considering filing a lawsuit, there are numerous things you need to consider, and it is not a decision to be made lightly. You should not file a lawsuit without seeking the advice of a Chelsea, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you contact a Chelsea, Alabama litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Moreover, your lawyer can inform you on what a lawsuit is likely to cost, both in time and money. Obviously, your lawyer has some control over what it will cost you, based on their fees, and whether they bill an hourly rate, or charge on a contingency rate.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Chelsea, Alabama
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Chelsea, Alabama, you should seek the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable Chelsea, Alabama attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Chelsea, Alabama civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation process, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also typically asks the court for specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you, or your lawyer, have drafted a complaint, the defendant must be served with it, so they have notice that they're being sued, and are given time to prepare a defense. Chelsea, Alabama has particular rules governing how a complaint must be served, for the service to be valid. Personal service (having someone give the documents directly to the defendant) is preferred. However, some courts will also accept service by mail in limited circumstances, or service upon an adult member of the defendant's household.
Await Defendant's Response: In Chelsea, Alabama, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two typically) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most prevalent response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, typically denying most or all of the allegations) or a motion to dismiss (where the contend that, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, those facts would not establish liability). If the defendant does nothing, and fails to respond, they run the risk of having a default judgment entered against them. This typically means that the court automatically rules against them, treating the plaintiff as if they won the lawsuit. This gives the plaintiff a judgment against the defendant, which they can seek to collect using all legal means.
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As you can see, it can be a intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Chelsea, Alabama, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
You should seek the advice of a knowledgeable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Chelsea, Alabama.