Filing a Lawsuit in Lakewood, California
If you live in
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 reliable Lakewood, California civil litigation attorney.
The Lakewood, California attorney you end up contacting 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 Lakewood, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you continue in any legal action in Lakewood, California, you should speak with a brilliant local attorney in Lakewood, 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 Lakewood, California, the first 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 determine if they add up to a valid 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 normally 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 Lakewood, California requires that the defendant be given advance notice of the lawsuit as a matter of basic 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, typically through the use of a paid process server.
Await the Response: The defendant in Lakewood, California has an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. They have many options in how they respond to a lawsuit. They can move to dismiss the case (arguing that, even if everything the complaint alleges is true, they would still not be liable for anything), or they can file with the court, and serve upon the plaintiff an answer. An answer is a point-by-point disposal of every allegation against the defendant. The defendant can admit the allegations, deny them, or claim that they do not have enough information to admit or deny them (which basically operates as a denial). Normally, the defendant will admit the inconsequential allegations, so they don't have to be litigated (if the lawsuit is about a car accident involving the plaintiff and defendant, they'll probably go ahead and admit that the accident took place), but deny any allegation that could establish liability, if true (they'll deny responsibility for the car accident, for example). If the defendant does not respond by the deadline, they will have a default judgment entered against them, and automatically lose the case.
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As you can see, it can be a complex and difficult process to file a lawsuit in Lakewood, California, and it is, in fact, much more complex than the basic outline you just read.
Therefore, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Lakewood, California, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.