Litigation Lawyers in Middletown
If you are in Middletown, Ohio and believe that some type of legal wrong has been committed against you, and decide that seeking legal redress will be worth the time and expense involved, you may wish to file a lawsuit.
If you are contemplating filing a lawsuit, you should know that there are many factors that need to be considered before doing so. You should definitely hire a good attorney from Middletown, Ohio before you proceed.
Once you have hired an attorney in Middletown, Ohio, 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 give 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 Middletown, Ohio
Consultation with your attorney: Before you file a lawsuit in a Middletown, Ohio court, you need to meet and confer with a local lawyer. You lawyer in Middletown, Ohio can advise you on whether or not your lawsuit has merit, and how likely it is to succeed.
Drafting The Complaint: In Middletown, Ohio, 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 usually ask the court to provide specific relief, should it rule in the plaintiff's favor.
Serving the Defendant: When you have decided that you want to file a lawsuit in Middletown, Ohio, and have drafted the complaint, your next major step is to file the complaint with the court, and serve it on the defendant. The defendant must be given at least several weeks' notice that they're being sued, and as much time to review the complaint. This is a matter of basic fairness and due process, and allows the defendant to hire a lawyer and get to work on a defense. The law requires that the defendant be served in a few specific ways. The first choice is to give it to them in person. This has to be done by a person who does not have any direct involvement in the lawsuit. If that isn't possible, the defendant can be served by giving the complaint to another adult member of their household; this is called substituted service.
Await Defendant's Response: In Middletown, Ohio, 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.
How Can A Middletown, Ohio Tort Lawyer Help?
Filing a lawsuit in a Middletown, Ohio court is a bit more complicated than the basic outline laid out above.
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 Middletown, Ohio.