Filing a Lawsuit in Des Moines, Iowa
If you live in
If you are contemplating filing a lawsuit, you should know that there are many factors that need to be considered before doing so. You should definitely contact a reliable attorney from Des Moines, Iowa before you proceed.
The Des Moines, Iowa attorney you end up retaining will be able to advise you on whether you have a good case. If you do, they will further advise you on your best options on how to proceed. Your lawyer can also inform you about what their fees are, and if they have multiple payment options.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Des Moines, Iowa
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Des Moines, Iowa lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Des Moines, Iowa. Your lawyer will have essential information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Des Moines, Iowa 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 procedure, 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 particular relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Des Moines, Iowa states that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of general fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, usually through the use of a paid process server.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Des Moines, Iowa, the defendant has time to respond. The most prevalent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, typically by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a given period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
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This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in Des Moines, Iowa. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Des Moines, Iowa, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.