Filing a Lawsuit in Anniston, Alabama
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If you're contemplating filing a lawsuit, there are several 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 Anniston, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you hire a Anniston, Alabama 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 Anniston, Alabama
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Anniston, Alabama, you should seek the advice and counsel of a reputable Anniston, Alabama attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting the complaint: In Anniston, Alabama, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the initial 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: 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. Anniston, Alabama has specific 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 Anniston, Alabama, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two usually) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most common response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, usually 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 usually 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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The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Anniston, Alabama.
Thus, it is crucial that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Anniston, Alabama.