Filing a Lawsuit in Barling, Arkansas
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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 Barling, Arkansas civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have hired an attorney in Barling, 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 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 Barling, Arkansas
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Barling, Arkansas lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Barling, Arkansas. Your lawyer will have crucial 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 Barling, Arkansas, once you have decided to file a lawsuit, the first 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. Barling, 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 in Barling, Arkansas has an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. They have several options in how they respond to a lawsuit. They can move to dismiss the case (arguing that, even if everything the complaint alleges is true, they would still not be liable for anything), or they can file with the court, and serve upon the plaintiff an answer. An answer is a point-by-point disposal of every allegation against the defendant. The defendant can admit the allegations, deny them, or claim that they do not have enough information to admit or deny them (which basically operates as a denial). Usually, the defendant will admit the inconsequential allegations, so they don't have to be litigated (if the lawsuit is about a car accident involving the plaintiff and defendant, they'll probably go ahead and admit that the accident took place), but deny any allegation that could establish liability, if true (they'll deny responsibility for the car accident, for example). If the defendant does not respond by the deadline, they will have a default judgment entered against them, and automatically lose the case.
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As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Barling, Arkansas, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
If you have suffered a legal wrong in and decide to sue the person who you believed wronged you, you should consult with a qualified Barling, Arkansas attorney.