Filing a Lawsuit in Centerton, 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 Centerton, Arkansas civil litigation attorney first.
Once you have retained an attorney in Centerton, 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 Centerton, Arkansas
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Centerton, Arkansas lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Centerton, 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: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Centerton, Arkansas 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 typically asks the court for particular relief, should it 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. Centerton, Arkansas has particular 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 Defendant's Response: In Centerton, Arkansas, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two typically) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most prevalent response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, typically denying most or all of the allegations) or a motion to dismiss (where the contend that, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, those facts would not establish liability). If the defendant does nothing, and fails to respond, they run the risk of having a default judgment entered against them. This typically means that the court automatically rules against them, treating the plaintiff as if they won the lawsuit. This gives the plaintiff a judgment against the defendant, which they can seek to collect using all legal means.
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As you can see, it can be a intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Centerton, Arkansas, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Centerton, Arkansas, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.