If you’ve been injured in an accident and want to sue the responsible party, the first thing you need to do is serve them with a Summons and Complaint. Here is more information on how to do that and what happens after it’s done.
What are Summons and Complaints?
The summons and complaint is a legal document that tells the defendant about your lawsuit. It explains what happened, who was involved, and what you’re asking for from them. The summons also tells the defendant when to respond (usually within 30 days).
The summons and complaint should be filed with the court at least 15 days before it’s served on anyone else (except if there are special circumstances).
Serving the Defendant
The defendant is the person or entity you are suing. The defendant is usually a corporation, but it can be any other legal entity that has been sued. If there are multiple defendants in your case, they should all be served with summons and complaint at the same time, as per personal injury lawyer in Edmonton.
The process server or sheriff will serve each defendant using their valid driver’s license as identification and having them sign the summons and complaint before they leave (this means having them sign under penalty of perjury).
Proof of Service
Proof of service is the process by which you prove to the court that you have delivered a copy of your summons and complaint to the other party. If you fail to serve them properly, they may not be legally bound by any judgment entered against them in court.
To prove service, there are two ways:
Mailing through certified mail (with return receipt requested) or using an alternative method such as faxing or emailing; or
If it isn’t possible for you to use either method above because of a lack of access at the defendant’s place of business/residence, then there are other methods available depending on what type of lawsuit was filed against them (e.g., personal injury vs medical malpractice).
When you serve the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit, he or she is obligated to respond within 20 days. A response can be filed by either party, but if it’s not filed within this time frame and on time, the court will issue an order for default judgment against that party.
The Summons and Complaint are the first step in filing a lawsuit. They are sent to the defendant, who has been served with these papers, informing him or her that you intend to sue them for damages caused by their actions.
In order for a defendant to be liable for your injuries, he or she must have knowledge of them—and this is where serving the summons and complaint comes into play. If you don’t serve the summons and complaint on someone after filing it with court documents (like through mail), then they won’t know about your claim until it’s too late.
Remember that serving a summons and complaint is a legal requirement. If you fail to serve the defendant, your lawsuit may not be heard in court or dismissed. You may also lose the rights to file other lawsuits against the same person.