Filing a Lawsuit in Lafayette, 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 Lafayette, California civil litigation attorney.
The Lafayette, 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 Lafayette, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Lafayette, California, you should speak with a reputable local attorney in Lafayette, California. Your legal counsel can make sure you have the best possible chance of winning your case, and help you decide if you should file your lawsuit in the first place.
Drafting The Complaint: In Lafayette, California, the initial step to filing a lawsuit, once you've actually decided to do so (in consultation with your attorney), is writing a complaint. A complaint is simply a list of facts that you allege against the defendant. A court must look at these allegations and decide if they add up to a legitimate cause of action, assuming they're true. If they do not add up to a cause of action, the case may be dismissed. The complaint also usually ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving The Defendant: After you draft your complaint, and file it with the court, you have to let the defendant know that they're being sued. The law of Lafayette, California states that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of general fairness: if you were being sued, you'd want to be given time to find a lawyer and prepare your defense strategy, right? So, with that in mind, the law prefers that defendants be served personally, generally through the use of a paid process server.
Awaiting the Defendant's Response: Once a lawsuit has been filed, and the defendant has been served in Lafayette, California, the defendant has time to respond. They usually 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 viewed as if the defendant admitted them, and you only need to prove that you've suffered losses that warrant the damages you're asking for.
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The basic outline above does not come close to covering all the specifics involved in filing a lawsuit in Lafayette, California.
Thus, it is important that you consult a qualified civil litigation attorney before you file any type of lawsuit in Lafayette, California.