Litigation Lawyers in Old Tappan
If you are in Old Tappan, New Jersey and believe that some form of legal wrong has been committed against you, and determine that seeking legal redress will be worth the time and expense involved, you may wish to file a lawsuit.
If you think that filing a lawsuit is a good choice in seeking redress, you should not rush into this decision. A lawsuit is a time-consuming and costly process. You should not make a final decision without talking to an Old Tappan, New Jersey attorney.
Your Old Tappan, New Jersey civil litigation attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not you have a legitimate case, and, if so, your best avenues on how to proceed. The attorney will also discuss with you the fees for their services, and whether he or she can represent you on a contingency basis.
Steps for Filing a Lawsuit in Old Tappan, New Jersey
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with an Old Tappan, New Jersey lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Old Tappan, New Jersey. Your lawyer will have critical information and advise, helping you decide whether or not your chances of success in the lawsuit make it worth your while to proceed.
Drafting The Complaint: Once you determine that pursuing a lawsuit in Old Tappan, New Jersey 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, 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. Old Tappan, New Jersey has specific 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: When you have served the defendant with the complaint in Old Tappan, New Jersey, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they particularly address the factual allegations you've made against them, usually by denying most of the allegations. They might also move to dismiss the case if they can argue that the complaint is legally flawed. A judge then has to rule on this motion. If the defendant doesn't respond within a certain period of time, they are said to have "defaulted." This allows the court to enter a default judgment, in which the plaintiff essentially automatically wins the lawsuit. Once this happens, the defendant, if they're ever located, can be served with the judgment, and will have very little power to challenge the merits of your case.
How Can A Old Tappan, New Jersey Tort Lawyer Help?
This simple outline is meant to give you a basic idea of what goes into filing a lawsuit in Old Tappan, New Jersey, but it is by no means a comprehensive guide.
Thus, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Old Tappan, New Jersey, you should not delay to talk with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.