Filing a Lawsuit in Center Point, Alabama
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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 Center Point, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you retain a Center Point, Alabama litigation attorney, he or she will be able to advise you on your chances of succeeding in your lawsuit. Additionally, 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 Center Point, Alabama
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Center Point, Alabama, you should seek the advice and counsel of a brilliant Center Point, Alabama attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Center Point, Alabama civil court is worth your time and effort, you need to file a complaint. The complaint can set the tone, and frame the issues, for the rest of the litigation process, which can drag on for months, or even years (and decades, in some cases). This is because the complaint lays out all the allegations against the defendant. It also normally asks the court for 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. Center Point, Alabama 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 The Response: The defendant has a specific amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Center Point, Alabama. 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. Usually, 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 specific period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
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This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Center Point, Alabama, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Center Point, Alabama litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.