Starting Your Lawsuit
When it comes to filing your legal papers within the court system, are known as your “pleadings”. It is up to your attorney to explain pleasing to you in the specific context of your case, and how it works. However, the specific summary that follows will give you a head start in understanding some of the many court documents that will essentially make up the beginning of your legal case. Filing the complaint itself and other court documents is just the beginning stage of a personal injury case, however, according to Mr. Charles Spinner, the top auto accident attorney Sarasota has to offer, it will very likely be able to set the stage for the remainder of your lawsuit.
Beginning the Lawsuit: The Complaint
In most cases, the first document filed in a lawsuit is the complaint otherwise known as the petition, which provides an outline of the plaintiff’s case, against the defendant. The complain is a document that identifies the parties involved, and according to Mr. Spinner, the top auto accident attorney Sarasota has in practice, it also sets out the legal basis for the court’s jurisdiction over the controversy, states the plaintiff’s legal claims and relates the facts giving rise to the claims. The complaint will also contain a section called a demand for judgement or prayer for relief. Here the plaintiff will set forth what he or she wants the court to require the defendant to do, such as pay damages. The purpose for the complaint is to provide the defendant with notice of the factual and legal bases of the plaintiffs claims. Generally, the facts set forth might seem relatively sketchy and may not tell the whole story.
Summons & Service of Process
The summons is an order from the court where the lawsuit is going to be heard or litigated. It notifies the recipient (in this case, the defendant) that they have been sued, and according to Mr. Spinner, the top auto accident attorney Sarasota has to offer, it also refers to the complaint or petition and sets out the specific time limit within which the defendant must file an answer or seek to have the case dismissed. It will also describe the consequences of failing to respond within a timely manner – essentially, the case may be decided without the defendant and he or she may be bound by the result even if they did not participate. Failing to respond to a lawsuit on time will cause a defendant to be in default. In addition, the summons is usually a form document, it will have a preprinted caption that contains the name of the court, the names of the parties and a docket number, which is generally the court’s identification number for the matter. The body of the document will tell the defendant that he or she has officially been sued. According to Mr. Spinner, the top auto accident lawyer Sarasota has to offer, this language is called the “notice”.
The summons will generally be delivered or served on the defendant along with the complaint, either when somebody actually confirms his or her identity and gives them the documents, or when they are mailed to the defendant. According to Mr. Spinner, the top auto accident lawyer Sarasota has practicing, the legal term for this is service of process – something many are often unknowing of. The summons, properly served, gives the court the power or the “jurisdiction” over the case and over the defendant. That generally means the court can make decisions about the controversy described in the complaint, and decisions affecting the defendant with respect to the controversy.
One of the most important aspects of the early parts of the case, is known as the “answer”, though some states use a different word for this type of document. According to Mr. Spinner, the top auto accident lawyer Sarasota has to offer, the answer will address each paragraph in the complaint, and each separate response will ordinarily take one of three different forms: “admitted”, “denied”, “insufficient knowledge to admit or deny”.An answer may also set forth various affirmative defenses, which are legal reasons why the defendant should not be held liable for the plaintiff’s damages. Some of these defenses may also be the basis of a motion to dismiss. Moving forward is something known as a counterclaim, in which a defendant has his r her own claim that may be made against the plaintiff and their party. It should be raised in the answer in a section titled “counterclaims.” The counterclaim will be written in a manner similar to the complaint. For more information on this and further knowledge of your claims, be sure to contact Spinner Law Firm today.