Are You Being Sued in an Illinois Court?
Experienced Civil Litigation Attorneys Serving the Chicago Area
In Illinois you are notified when someone has filed a lawsuit against you typically by being served with a document called a Summons (in an extraordinary case you may receive a Notice of Motion). If you received such a document — or any other document that leads you to believe that you are being sued — do not ignore it.
What To Do When You Are Being Sued
After receiving a Summons or Notice of Motion, take the following steps:
- Save everything that you receive, including envelopes.
- Make note of when you received the document and how you received it. Was it handed to you personally or a family member? Did you get it through the mail or was it left on your doorstep?
- Look on the face of the Summons – or Notice of Motion – for the date by which you have to respond (the Return Date).
- Contact an attorney.
You may have only a few days to respond, so act quickly. If you ignore the matter a judgment may be entered against you. Having a judgment entered against you will not only hurt your credit, but it may also mean that your wages will be garnished and the court may order a taking of your bank accounts and other property.
Civil Litigation Services at Sacks, Goreczny, Maslanka & Costello, P.C.
If you are being sued, our attorneys will advise and assist you by responding to the complaint or petition. We will help you gather evidence and prepare your defense. We will explore all possible avenues to resolve your lawsuit, including negotiating a settlement if possible.
Are You Looking to File a Lawsuit in Illinois?
You should always consult an attorney before you file suit against anyone no matter how much money is at stake. Before filing a lawsuit there several things you need to consider, such as:
- What jurisdiction you should file in, i.e. federal or state court. The procedures followed in federal courts are different from those followed in state courts and those differences may affect your chances of winning depending on the type of claim that you have
- Where should you file, i.e. Illinois or Indiana, Cook County or DuPage County. Filing in the wrong state may lead to dismissal of your complaint. Filing in the wrong county, in Illinois, will not be a basis for dismissal.
- What remedies you want. Attorneys fees may be recoverable depending on your claim.
- Whether your claim has any merit. Filing a meritless claim may subject you to an order that you pay the other side’s attorneys fees
If your claims do not exceed $10,000 and your suit will be in Illinois, you may proceed under the rules applicable to “Small Claims.” The rules for small claims are relaxed and are designed to allow you to present your own case, without an attorney. However, you should know that many lawyers, legal assistance organizations and law firms offer small claims assistance under which, for a relatively small fee, you will receive help in preparing your filings and with your pre-trial preparations.
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