Filing a Lawsuit in Belvidere, Illinois
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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 retain a seasoned attorney from Belvidere, Illinois before you proceed.
Once you have retained an attorney in Belvidere, Illinois, he or she will be able to help you devise a strategy on how to proceed, which will hopefully maximize your chances of success in your lawsuit. Your lawyer can also provide you a rough idea of how much the lawsuit is likely to cost, taking into account court fees, expert witness fees, and other costs.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Belvidere, Illinois
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Belvidere, Illinois court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Belvidere, Illinois can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: In Belvidere, Illinois, the initial step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and decide if they add up to a legitimate cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also normally ask the court to provide 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. Belvidere, Illinois has certain 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: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Belvidere, Illinois, the defendant has time to respond. The most frequent response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, normally 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 specific 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 simple outline is meant to give you a basic idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Belvidere, Illinois, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
You should seek the advice of a reliable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Belvidere, Illinois.