Filing a Lawsuit in Santa Clarita, 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 Santa Clarita, California civil litigation attorney.
Once you have retained an attorney in Santa Clarita, California, he or she will be able to help you devise a strategy on how to proceed, which will hopefully maximize your chances of success in your lawsuit. Your lawyer can also provide you a rough idea of how much the lawsuit is likely to cost, taking into account court fees, expert witness fees, and other costs.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Santa Clarita, California
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Santa Clarita, California court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Santa Clarita, California can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how possible it is to prevail.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Santa Clarita, 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 usually asks the court for particular 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. Santa Clarita, California requires that lawsuits be served on defendants in a certain 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 highly preferred to serve defendants in person (with a disinterested third party delivering the papers to the defendant). Occasionally, however, the defendant cannot be found, or is trying to avoid service, they can be served by mail with court approval.
Await Defendant's Response: In Santa Clarita, California, the law gives civil defendants a fairly long period of time (a month or two usually) to respond to a lawsuit against them. The most common response is either an answer (where they address the factual allegations against them, usually 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 usually 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.
Find a Santa Clarita Lawyer that Specializes in Your Area of Need:
How Can A Santa Clarita, California Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a general picture of what is necessary to file a lawsuit in Santa Clarita, California. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
You should seek the advice of a qualified litigation attorney if you are planning on filing a lawsuit against somebody who you think has wronged you in Santa Clarita, California.