Filing a Lawsuit in Fresno, 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 knowledgeable Fresno, California civil litigation attorney.
The Fresno, California attorney you end up retaining 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 Fresno, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you proceed with any legal action in Fresno, California, you should seek the advice and counsel of a reliable Fresno, California attorney. He or she will be indispensable in helping you succeed in your lawsuit.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Fresno, 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 typically asks the court for particular relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
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. Fresno, California has particular 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 Defendant's Response: In Fresno, California, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two typically) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most prevalent response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, typically denying most or all of the allegations) or a motion to dismiss (where the contend that, even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, those facts would not establish liability). If the defendant does nothing, and fails to respond, they run the risk of having a default judgment entered against them. This typically means that the court automatically rules against them, treating the plaintiff as if they won the lawsuit. This gives the plaintiff a judgment against the defendant, which they can seek to collect using all legal means.
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As you can see, it can be a intricate and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Fresno, California, and it is, in fact, much more intricate than the basic outline you just read.
You should seek the advice of a knowledgeable litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Fresno, California.
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Life in FresnoFresno is the seat of Fresno County, California and home to over 500,000 residents. As the largest city in the San Joaquin Valley, the Fresno Metropolitan area plays host to 1.2 million. Fresno is Spanish for ash tree. The ash tree's leaf is even featured on the City of Fresno flag. Many locals are work on large scale agricultural farms that produce many fruits and nuts distributed throughout the world. Community Medical Centers, the City of Fresno, Kaiser Permanente, and the Saint Agnes Medical Center are other major employers. Another major employer and attraction to Fresno is California State University, Fresno.
Fresno is host to a number of important Courts. The United States Courthouse for the Eastern District of California is located downtown and handles a number of Federal cases like Immigration issues. The Fresno County Court is responsible for many of the cases that arise in Fresno including Criminal cases like assault and DUI as well as Civil cases like personal injury. The Fifth Appellate District of the State of California Court of Appeals handles any criminal appeals. The San Joaquin College of Law is one of the local law schools serving potential Fresno lawyers.