Filing a Lawsuit in Cerritos, California
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If you think that you may want to file a lawsuit, you should not make this decision easily, 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 qualified Cerritos, California civil litigation attorney.
The Cerritos, California attorney you end up hiring will be able to advise you on whether you have a good case. If you do, they will further 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 Cerritos, California
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any case in Cerritos, California, you should talk with a local attorney. Your Cerritos, California attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Cerritos, California 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 usually asks the court for particular relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
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 certain period of time. This is necessary under the law of Cerritos, 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 certain amount of time to respond to your lawsuit, once they confirm that they've been served in Cerritos, California. 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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This simple outline is meant to give you a basic idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Cerritos, California, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Cerritos, California, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.