Filing a Lawsuit in Jasper, 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 Jasper, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you retain a Jasper, 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 Jasper, Alabama
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Jasper, Alabama, you should speak with a brilliant local attorney in Jasper, Alabama. 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 a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Jasper, Alabama court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is normally the first step in actually filing a lawsuit. The complaint is the plaintiff's first opportunity to lay out the allegations against the defendant. If a complaint doesn't allege facts that add up to a valid lawsuit (that is, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, the defendant has still not committed a legal wrong that the court can compensate), the case will have to be dismissed. When a case is dismissed for this reason, the court normally gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
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. Jasper, 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 Jasper, 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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As you can see, it can be a complex and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Jasper, Alabama, and it is, in fact, much more complex than the basic outline you just read.
Therefore, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Jasper, Alabama, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.