Filing a Lawsuit in Smiths Station, 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 Smiths Station, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have retained an attorney in Smiths Station, 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 Smiths Station, Alabama
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Smiths Station, Alabama, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Smiths Station, Alabama attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Smiths Station, 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 procedure, 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 usually asks the court for particular relief, should it 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. Smiths Station, Alabama requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a certain 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 highly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Occasionally, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Smiths Station, Alabama, the defendant has time to respond. They usually 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 prove 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 Smiths Station, 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 Smiths Station, Alabama litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.