Filing a Lawsuit in Butte County, California
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If you think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision lightly, and there are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account. Obviously, you should never go into a lawsuit without at least consulting a reliable Butte County, California civil litigation attorney.
The Butte County, California attorney you end up contacting will be able to advise you on whether you have a good case. If you do, they will also advise you on your best options on how to proceed. Your lawyer can also inform you about what their fees are, and if they have multiple payment options.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Butte County, California
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any lawsuit in Butte County, California, you should speak with a local attorney. Your Butte County, California attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting a Complaint: Once you have decided to go through with filing a lawsuit in a Butte County, California court, you need to draft a complaint, with the help of your lawyer. A complaint is normally the first 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 valid 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 normally gives the plaintiff a chance to re-submit the complaint, with the errors corrected.
Serving The Defendant: Once you and your attorney have written a good complaint, and filed it with the court, it needs to be served on the defendant within a particular period of time. This is required under the law of Butte County, California to ensure that the defendant actually knows that he's being sued, and has time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense. Generally, the defendant should be served in person. However, when this isn't possible, service by mail is also acceptable in a few instances.
Await The Response: The defendant has a specific amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Butte County, California. The defendant will probably 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. Usually, the defendant will admit the allegations that are not seriously in dispute (for example, 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 specific period of time, they are in "default," and basically lose the case automatically.
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This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Butte County, California, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Therefore, it is imperative that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Butte County, California.