Preparing for a Court Summons

Posted on: 5 January 2015

If a legal problem has landed in your lap and you have been served with a summons, you may not even know where to begin. Weighing your options and deciding on your best plan of attack is a must. After being served, it is up to you to respond in a timely and educated fashion. Here are three scenarios that may unfold after you have been served legal paperwork.

1. Let the Paperwork Stand

If you truly think the summons you have received is a bogus complaint, you might think that you can just ignore it. The problem with ignoring a summons is that you will not be given the option to settle out of court, or tell your side of the story. By not responding or submitting paperwork, the other party might win by default. Bringing your summons to a qualified attorney just to review your options is the best idea. You need to become an active participant if you have been served; legal paperwork won't disappear just because you ignore it.

2. Respond and Prepare for Court

If the summons is something you are prepared to fight for, find an attorney that can review your case and do the heavy lifting for you. Regardless of your opinions on the case, your lawyer can research and objectively let you know your chances of winning in court and if you have a case. The important thing is to find an attorney right away that can get started on your response to the summons, and prepare for court.

3. Respond and Work with Your Lawyer to Settle out of Court

If you have been served and you don't stand a good chance of winning the case, your lawyer might suggest trying to settle out of court. You may have the best chances of reaching an agreement with the other party this way, especially if you are at fault. Going to court might eliminate your chances of a fair settlement. Trusting your lawyer's judgment is key in this situation.

Many people are involved in the legal system so rarely it can be a confusing and scary process. While you can try to handle a summons on your own, it is best to at least seek out an attorney, such as Law Offices Of Doonan & Doonan Inc, for advice. Remember to act quickly and efficiently since summons require a quick response to be filed, usually within a month. You are still in control and can make your own decisions on how to handle the process, but will at least be equipped with advice and information from an expert.