Filing a Lawsuit in Santa Fe, New Mexico
If you are in Santa Fe, New Mexico and believe that some form of legal wrong has been committed against you, and determine that seeking legal redress will be worth the time and expense involved, you may wish to file a lawsuit.
If you think that filing a lawsuit is a good choice in seeking redress, you should not rush into this decision. A lawsuit is a time-consuming and costly process. You should not make a final decision without talking to a Santa Fe, New Mexico attorney.
The Santa Fe, New Mexico attorney you end up hiring 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 Santa Fe, New Mexico
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Santa Fe, New Mexico lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 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: In Santa Fe, New Mexico, the initial step in filing a lawsuit is drafting a complaint. The complaint is a document that lays out all of your allegations against the person you're suing. It generally provides necessary background information, details the injuries you suffered, and why the person you're suing is to blame for those injuries. It also usually contains a specific "prayer" (request) for relief - a brief statement telling the court what the plaintiff is asking of it, such as monetary damages, and injunction, or other relief.
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 Santa Fe, New Mexico 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, generally through the use of a paid process server.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, usually 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 certain 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.
Find a Santa Fe Lawyer that Specializes in Your Area of Need:
How Can A Santa Fe, New Mexico Tort Lawyer Help?
The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Thus, it is critical that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Santa Fe, New Mexico.