You've been served.
Television shows and movies use this phrase all the time. Service, however, ceases to be entertaining when it happens to you in real life. This is especially true if the action against you is unexpected. Once the shock of being served passes, many questions will inevitably race through your mind:
-Why was I served?
-What are these papers and what do they mean?
-What should I do next?
-What can an attorney do for me?
Why was I served?
In Illinois, service is designed to provide notice to parties to a lawsuit that action is pending against them. Essentially, it is the legal way to inform someone that they will part of a lawsuit.
What are these papers and what do they mean?
Typically, service is accomplished by either handing or mailing a Complaint and a Summons or a Petition and Notice to the party being served. The Complaint or Petition states the claims against you and the relief being sought. The Summons provides a timeframe in which you must respond to the Complaint, typically a few weeks. The Notice provides the time and date of the initial hearing at which your presence is required.
What should I do next?
Unexpected lawsuits will cause initial feelings of anger, confusion, and fear. The most important thing to do upon being served is to keep your cool. Any actions that you take or things that you write may be admissible and against your interests. It is also important to resist the urge to reach out to the other side to work things out. At this point, the best thing to do would be to reach out to an attorney as quickly as possible. The sooner that you contact an attorney the more options that you will have to protect your rights in
What can an Attorney from Larson & Greenberg Law Group do for me?
1. We will review the lawsuit and explain what it means for you as well what your options are including fighting the lawsuit, seeking to settle with the opposing party, or filing a countersuit;
2. We will review the complaint filed against you as well as the way you were served. Properly filing a lawsuit and serving a party is complicated and frequently done incorrectly. We will review both components of your case to find ways to have the lawsuit dismissed; and
3. We will work with you throughout the lawsuit to work for the best resolution for you and your interests.
If you have been served contact the Larson & Greenberg Law Group. We will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome for you.