Filing a Lawsuit in Thomasville, 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 Thomasville, Alabama civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have retained an attorney in Thomasville, 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 Thomasville, Alabama
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Thomasville, Alabama, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Thomasville, 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 Thomasville, 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: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Thomasville, Alabama states that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of general fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, generally through the use of a paid process server.
Await Defendant's Response: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Thomasville, Alabama, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, usually by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a certain period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
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The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Thomasville, Alabama.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Thomasville, Alabama, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.