Filing a Lawsuit in Pendleton, Oregon
If you are a resident of Pendleton, Oregon and believe that somebody has committed a legal wrong against you, and have decided that the effort and expense involved in seeking compensation is worth it, you may consider filing a lawsuit.
If you wish to file a lawsuit, there are several things you need to consider, and the decision to sue someone should not be made without the counsel of a Pendleton, Oregon civil litigation attorney.
Once you hire a Pendleton, Oregon litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Furthermore, 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 Pendleton, Oregon
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Pendleton, Oregon, you should speak with a good local attorney in Pendleton, Oregon. Your legal counsel can make sure you have the best possible chance of winning your case, and help you decide if you should file your lawsuit in the first place.
Drafting the complaint: In Pendleton, Oregon, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you usually have to do is draft a complaint. The complaint is a document that contains all of the allegations you're making against the defendant (the person whom you are suing). It usually must allege all of the facts necessary to constitute a cause of action, though in some systems, very few facts are strictly required to be alleged. It also typically has, at the end, a "prayer" (request) for relief. This final section tells the court what type of relief the plaintiff wants, should the court 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 Pendleton, Oregon requires that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of basic 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 The Response: The defendant has a certain amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Pendleton, Oregon. The defendant will probably respond with an answer to your complaint. An answer is a document in which the defendant admits or denies the specific factual allegations made by the plaintiff. Typically, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for example, if the lawsuit concerns a car accident, they'll probably admit that an accident did, in fact, take place), but deny the more serious allegations (they'll probably deny that they were responsible for the accident). If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
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As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Pendleton, Oregon, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
Therefore, it is important that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Pendleton, Oregon.