Filing a Lawsuit in Glendale, Arizona
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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 Glendale, Arizona civil litigation attorney first.
When you retain a civil litigation lawyer in Glendale, Arizona, they'll be able to give you some extremely useful advice, especially in devising a strategy that maximizes your chances of winning your lawsuit. You'll probably also wonder how much this lawsuit is going to cost you, especially if you don't win. This largely depends on the attorney's fee structure. If the attorney charges an hourly rate, you will simply have to pay the lawyer for every hour they work. This can add up to a huge amount of money, very rapidly. If they charge on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay any attorney's fees unless you win, and payment comes in the form of the percentage of the judgment. However, if you lose, you might still be responsible for costs, such as court fees, which are incurred no matter what happens to the case.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Glendale, Arizona
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Glendale, Arizona lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Glendale, Arizona. 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 a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Glendale, Arizona court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is usually the initial step in actually filing a lawsuit. The complaint is the plaintiff's first opportunity to lay out the allegations against the defendant. If a complaint doesn't allege facts that add up to a legitimate lawsuit (that is, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, the defendant has still not committed a legal wrong that the court can compensate), the case will have to be dismissed. When a case is dismissed for this reason, the court usually gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
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. Glendale, Arizona 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 Glendale, Arizona. 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 Glendale, Arizona, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
Thus, it is important that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Glendale, Arizona.