Litigation Lawyers in Portsmouth
If you are in Portsmouth, 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 Portsmouth, Ohio before you proceed.
Once you have hired an attorney in Portsmouth, 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 Portsmouth, Ohio
Consultation with your attorney: You should always speak with a Portsmouth, Ohio lawyer who specializes in civil litigation before filing any type of lawsuit in a court in Portsmouth, Ohio. Your lawyer will have crucial 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 decide that pursuing a lawsuit in Portsmouth, Ohio 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 process, 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 specific 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. Portsmouth, Ohio 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 Portsmouth, Ohio, the defendant has time to respond. The most common response is known as an "answer," in which they specifically 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 Portsmouth, Ohio Tort Lawyer Help?
This article gives you a basic picture of what is required to file a lawsuit in Portsmouth, Ohio. However, it should not, under any circumstances, be read as a complete guide to the litigation process.
Therefore, if you want to file a lawsuit against someone in Portsmouth, Ohio, you should not hesitate to speak with an attorney, who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.