Filing a Lawsuit in Montgomery, Alabama
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If you're considering filing a lawsuit, there are numerous 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 Montgomery, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have hired an attorney in Montgomery, Alabama, he or she will be able to help you devise a strategy on how to proceed, which will hopefully maximize your chances of success in your lawsuit. Your lawyer can also give you a rough idea of how much the lawsuit is likely to cost, taking into account court fees, expert witness fees, and other costs.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Montgomery, Alabama
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any lawsuit in Montgomery, Alabama, you should speak with a local attorney. Your Montgomery, Alabama attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting the complaint: In Montgomery, Alabama, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first thing you normally 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 normally 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 usually 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 have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Montgomery, Alabama requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a particular way. This is to ensure that the defendant has a good deal of notice that they're being sued, giving them time to find an attorney, and work on how they're going to defend themselves. It is strongly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Sometimes, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Await Defendant's Response: In Montgomery, Alabama, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two normally) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most frequent response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, normally 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 normally 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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This article gives you a basic picture of what is required to file a lawsuit in Montgomery, Alabama. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
You should seek the advice of a reliable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Montgomery, Alabama.