Filing a Lawsuit in Arkadelphia, Arkansas
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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 Arkadelphia, Arkansas civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have retained an attorney in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, 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 Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Arkadelphia, Arkansas lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Your lawyer will have essential information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting the complaint: In Arkadelphia, Arkansas, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the initial thing you usually 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 usually 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 typically 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, 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. Arkadelphia, Arkansas has specific 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 certain amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The defendant will likely 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. Typically, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for instance, 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 set 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 complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
Thus, it is crucial that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.