In some instances, your attorney may be able to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf without filing a lawsuit. In situations where a claim cannot be settled because the opposing parties cannot agree on liability or fair compensation, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit. To initiate a lawsuit, your attorney will draft and file a legal “complaint”.
In an Ohio civil case, a complaint is a legal document that sets forth the allegations against the defendant or defendants, the injuries resulting from the defendants’ actions, and a request for compensation for one’s injuries. Your attorney will draft the complaint to be filed to initiate your lawsuit.
Generally, Ohio courts do not require a great deal of detail when filing a complaint. It is sufficient for a complaint to include enough detail for a defendant to understand and respond to the allegations against them. Certain types of civil suits, such as fraud, breach of contract, and medical malpractice claims, have additional complaint requirements. Having an attorney draft your complaint can ensure that any specific requirements are met.
Once drafted, the complaint will be filed with the Court in order to initiate the lawsuit. Choosing which Court is appropriate for your case is a jurisdictional issue which your attorney will have considered while drafting the complaint.
Upon filing of the Complaint with the Court, your attorney will next have the complaint served on all defendants. This means delivering the complaint through an approved method to notify the defendants of the legal action filed against them.
Upon the filing with the Court, a judge is assigned to oversee the lawsuit. Assuming that the complaint is served on the defendant, the defendant may retain a defense attorney to defend their interests. The parties and the Court will soon begin to proceed with the lawsuit.