Filing a Lawsuit in Athens, Alabama
If you live in
If you're considering filing a lawsuit, there are many 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 Athens, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you contact a Athens, Alabama litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Moreover, 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 Athens, Alabama
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Athens, Alabama, you should seek the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable Athens, Alabama attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting the complaint: In Athens, Alabama, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you typically 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 typically 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 normally 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. Athens, Alabama has particular 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 the Response: The defendant in Athens, Alabama has an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. They have various options in how they respond to a lawsuit. They can move to dismiss the case (arguing that, even if everything the complaint alleges is true, they would still not be liable for anything), or they can file with the court, and serve upon the plaintiff an answer. An answer is a point-by-point disposal of every allegation against the defendant. The defendant can admit the allegations, deny them, or claim that they do not have enough information to admit or deny them (which basically operates as a denial). Typically, the defendant will admit the inconsequential allegations, so they don't have to be litigated (if the lawsuit is about a car accident involving the plaintiff and defendant, they'll probably go ahead and admit that the accident took place), but deny any allegation that could establish liability, if true (they'll deny responsibility for the car accident, for example). If the defendant does not respond by the deadline, they will have a default judgment entered against them, and automatically lose the case.
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The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the details involved in filing a lawsuit in Athens, Alabama.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should speak with a qualified Athens, Alabama attorney.