Filing a Lawsuit in Oxford, 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 Oxford, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have retained an attorney in Oxford, 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 provide 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 Oxford, Alabama
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Oxford, Alabama, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Oxford, Alabama attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting The Complaint: In Oxford, Alabama, the initial step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and decide if they add up to a legitimate cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also typically ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you and your attorney have written a good complaint, and filed it with the court, it needs to be served on the defendant within a specific period of time. This is necessary under the law of Oxford, Alabama to ensure that the defendant actually knows that he's being sued, and has time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense. Generally, the defendant should be served in person. However, when this isn't possible, service by mail is also acceptable in a few instances.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Oxford, Alabama, the defendant has time to respond. They typically do so by drafting an answer to the complaint, in which they deny the plaintiff's allegations, or assert a legal defense. If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they will be in default, and you may be able to get a "default judgment" against them, in which all of your allegations against the defendant are viewed as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to establish that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
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This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in Oxford, Alabama. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Therefore, it's always a good idea to talk with a Oxford, Alabama litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.