Filing a Lawsuit in Duarte, California
If you live in
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 Duarte, California civil litigation attorney.
The Duarte, 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 Duarte, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Duarte, California, you should seek the advice and counsel of a reputable Duarte, California attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: In Duarte, California, the initial step in filing a lawsuit is drafting a complaint. The complaint is a document that lays out all of your allegations against the person you're suing. It generally provides necessary background information, details the injuries you suffered, and why the person you're suing is to blame for those injuries. It also usually contains a specific "prayer" (request) for relief - a brief statement telling the court what the plaintiff is asking of it, such as monetary damages, and injunction, or other relief.
Serving the Defendant: When you have determined that you want to file a lawsuit in Duarte, California, and have drafted the complaint, your next important step is to file the complaint with the court, and serve it on the defendant. The defendant must be given at least several weeks' notice that they're being sued, and as much time to review the complaint. This is a matter of general fairness and due process, and allows the defendant to hire a lawyer and get to work on a defense. The law requires that the defendant be served in a few specific ways. The initial choice is to give it to them in person. This has to be done by a person who does not have any direct involvement in the lawsuit. If that isn't possible, the defendant can be served by giving the complaint to another adult member of their household; this is called substituted service.
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 Duarte, 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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As you can see, it can be a complicated and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Duarte, California, and it is, in fact, much more complicated than the basic outline you just read.
Thus, it is imperative that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Duarte, California.