How Will I Be Served In A Business Lawsuit?
Typically, you’re going to be personally served. What does that mean? If you have a corporation or an LLC, those entities have a registered agent. That agent will be served by someone handing them a copy of a summons and complaint and the agent will then notify you. If you don’t have a corporation, they will personally serve you. The summons is a document stating that you are being sued and a complaint is attached. The complaint details why you are being sued. It’s written in legalese. An attorney can review and get a quick idea what your case alleges.
The only time you’ll get served by mail or in another format is if they’ve attempted to attempt to serve you personally and they can’t reach you. There are other ways to serve people. You can even have it published in the newspaper at some stages. This would require attempts to serve you personally and by substituted service followed by a Court Order to publish. If it gets to the publication stage there’s a good chance you don’t know about the lawsuit. It’s important to not ignore a Summons and Complaint. It won’t go away. If you don’t respond the Plaintiff can take a default and have a default judgment entered. A default judgment is no different than judgment. A judgment allows the Plaintiff to enforce by levying your bank account, placing a lien on business assets and your house if you are a sole proprietor or if they pierce the corporate veil, depending on ownership of the business. Take those documents that you have received to an attorney. The attorney has the background and the legal training to decide whether it is an actual lawsuit, an administrative sanction, or even just a citation. In the situation where you get personally served with a document, you should contact your business attorney immediately. If you don’t have one, find a business attorney and show them the documents. Most attorneys, even if they don’t offer free consultations, will take a quick look at a document and tell you what it means.
Another common document to receive is a subpoena for company records called a subpoena duces tecum. It should also be shown to a lawyer. You may have a legal obligation to give the information or you may not. Any time you are served with legal documents, you need to find out who, what, when, where, why, and how. Create a timeline from the beginning of your contact with the person or business suing you or your business until now. That’s what a lawyer needs. If a lawyer has something like that, he or she will be in a much better position to tell you how to solve your problems.
For more information on Being Served with a Business Lawsuit, a personalized case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 935-1128 today.
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