Friday, 22 May 2015

What to Do When You’ve Been Served With Legal Documents

Completely confused about what you should do when served with legal documents? Lawyer and solicitor Glenn Duker provides a brief outline.

Glenn Duker

Whether you’ve been served a Complaint, a Statement of Claim or a Writ, it means that the issuing party (the plaintiff) seeks to initiate Court proceedings against you (the defendant). Claims can vary from simple issues like owing a debt to complex cases such as a defamation lawsuit.

Dispute the Claim

Litigation is the process of taking legal action and it begins once you have been served with legal documents. This means you must undertake a number of procedures within a certain timeframe. These include:
  • Engaging a lawyer to prepare the defence.
  • Filing your defence with the relevant court within 3 to 4 weeks. (The timeframe is dependent on the court.)
  • Serving a copy of the defence on the plaintiff during this time.
Preparing your own legal defence is possible, but it can be expensive and time-consuming if the documents you’ve prepared:
  • Lack the necessary information required
  • Do not comply with court rules
Also, a court defence requires strong knowledge of the relevant law, which is often complicated and tricky to navigate.

However, simply avoiding the issue altogether is not a good option, either – and can result in large fines or even prison! Being served papers is a serious matter, and should never be ignored. If you find yourself in this situation and are unsure what to do, contact experienced lawyer and solicitor Glenn Duker for quality legal assistance.

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