Filing a Lawsuit in Citrus Heights, 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 knowledgeable Citrus Heights, California civil litigation attorney.
The Citrus Heights, California attorney you end up retaining 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 Citrus Heights, California
Consultation With Your Attorney: Before filing any lawsuit in Citrus Heights, California, you should speak with a local attorney. Your Citrus Heights, California attorney will be able to advise you on the merits of your lawsuit, and your chances of success.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Citrus Heights, 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 process, 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 specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: Once you have drafted your complaint, you need to serve the defendant with it, and file it with the court. Citrus Heights, California requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a specific way. This is to ensure that the defendant has a good deal of notice that they're being sued, giving them time to find an attorney, and work on how they're going to defend themselves. It is strongly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Sometimes, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Citrus Heights, California, the defendant has time to respond. They typically do so by drafting an answer to the complaint, in which they deny the plaintiff's allegations, or assert a legal defense. If the defendant fails to respond within a set period of time, they will be in default, and you may be able to get a "default judgment" against them, in which all of your allegations against the defendant are treated as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to establish that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
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This simple outline is meant to give you a general idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Citrus Heights, California, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Accordingly, it's always a good idea to speak with a Citrus Heights, California litigation attorney if you are contemplating filing a lawsuit against a person or company.