How to File a Lawsuit Without a Lawyer


A lawsuit is a legal claim that someone files against another to get something that they are entitled to, such as money damages for being wronged. There is also a procedure for seeking “equitable relief” which includes orders that force the defendant to do or not do certain things.

There are a lot of steps to take in starting and filing a lawsuit, and it is usually best to have a lawyer. However, there is a lot of information on how to file a lawsuit without a lawyer available, and you can find some of it by checking the websites of your county’s court or the local law library. Some counties even have “pro se” (self-help) offices for people who do not have lawyers and want to file a civil case on their own.

Before you can file a lawsuit, it is important to determine whether or not you have a good case. You must have grounds to sue-the defendant must have done or failed to do something that caused you harm or harmed your rights. Then you must figure out who to sue (the defendants) and what to ask the court for (relief).

Once you know what you are going to sue for, it is time to start drafting your paperwork. Typically, you will need to include a civil cover sheet, a summons and a complaint. Most courts have their own forms for these documents, so check with the clerk or visit the court’s website to find out what to use. You must file these papers in the right court and within the statute of limitations for your claim.

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