There are a lot of lawsuits you can bring.You could file for a divorce or seek child custody.Sometimes you will want to file a lawsuit because someone has hurt you or broken a contract.To file a lawsuit in Colorado, you need to find the appropriate court and complete a complaint form.
Step 1: Meet a lawyer.
A qualified lawyer can tell you if you have a case.You should schedule a consultation with an attorney.The Colorado Bar Association has a website where you can find a lawyer.You can use the online tool to find a lawyer.You can browse the listings after entering your city and the type of lawyer you need.It’s possible that you can’t afford a lawyer.You should know that Colorado allows lawyers to provide limited scope representation.You can either pay for a half-hour of advice or have the attorney draft your complaint for you.When you call for a consultation, ask the lawyer if he or she offers limited scope representation.
Step 2: You have to read the law.
If you have a valid legal claim, you can file a lawsuit.Check Colorado’s civil law to see if you can file a lawsuit.Statutes and the common law are the two main sources of civil law.You should use the Internet to find relevant statutes.You can type in Colorado or property damage if you want to file a lawsuit.You should read the statute.You can go to the law library.The Civil Jury Instructions can be seen at the library.The instructions are short and to the point.All common law is included.If you don’t know if you can bring a lawsuit, talk to a lawyer.
Step 3: Decide the dollar amount that is controversial.
You need to estimate the damages you suffered as a result of the defendant’s conduct.The amount of controversy will affect which court you can file your lawsuit in.It is possible to recover the cost of medical treatment and lost income from a personal injury lawsuit.You can be compensated for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and property loss.If someone destroyed your property, you could get an appraisal.You would want to file a lawsuit against the person who caused the damage.You should calculate how much the contract would have been worth if the defendants had not broken it.You can calculate interest on money owed.Colorado has a maximum legal amount of interest of 8%.
Step 4: Understand the court system in Colorado.
There are four courts in Colorado.Some of them are related.Understanding the differences will allow you to file a lawsuit in the correct court.There are small claims.If your case is worth less than $7,500, you can file in small claims court.You can only recover for damage to property in small claims court.Small claims court can’t be used for defamation, traffic violations, or evictions.There is a county court.Cases worth less than $15,000 are dealt with by county courts.Domestic relations cases are not heard by them.There is a district court.Regardless of the amount in controversy, you can file in Colorado district court.The district courts have the power to hear cases worth more than $15,000.Domestic relations, criminal, and probate matters are heard by district courts.Federal courts.The Colorado federal courts deal with federal law violations.You would usually file for violations of civil rights in federal court.If the controversy is worth more than $75,000 and the defendants live in a different state than you, you can file a lawsuit in federal court.
Step 5: Find the correct county to file a lawsuit in.
The judge will dismiss your lawsuit if you don’t file it in the correct county.Taking the time to figure out which courthouse you should file your petition in will benefit you greatly.You will need to file the lawsuit in the county where the person lives.There are some exceptions.You can file suit in any county where the defendants are employed regularly or have an office for the transaction of business.In the county where the college student is attending, you can file a lawsuit.
Step 6: Make a complaint.
If you are filing in small claims court, you can use a printed form, Form 250, “Notice, Claim, and Summons to Appear for Trial”, which is available for download at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/renderForm1.The form will ask if you are an attorney and if the defendants are in the military.
Step 7: You can file the complaint.
After you finish the complaint, make several copies.One copy will be for your records and the other for the defendants.If you want to file, you should take all copies to the courthouse.The court will give you a trial date when you file.
Step 8: You have to pay the filing fee.
If your claim is worth less than $500, you will pay $31.00 in small claims court.If the claim is worth more than $500.00, you will have to pay a filing fee in small claims court.If you can’t afford the filing fee, ask the court clerk to waive it.You need to give information about your finances, such as how much you make a month and your expenses.
Step 9: Notices be served on the other party.
All defendants need to be given at least 15 days notice of the trial.You will need to serve a copy of the complaint.By hiring a private process server, service can be made.They can be found in the phone book or online.They cost between 45-75 per service.You can ask the court clerk to charge the sheriff a fee.Personal service can be made by having someone 18 or older.The person cannot be part of the lawsuit.The clerk was asked to mail certified mail.You have to pay in advance.You can’t mail it yourself.
Step 10: Get forms.
You can start a lawsuit by filing a complaint.There is a form complaint at the Colorado Judicial Branch.The area of law applies to your case.Click on “Evictions & Foreclosures” or “Money Cases” if you want to bring a civil suit for money.If your case is worth less than $15,000, then you should download the instructions for a county court civil case.It will be easier to file your lawsuit if you fill in the blank forms.If your case is worth more than $15,000, you should download the District Court Civil Cover Sheet and instructions.You can use the “County Civil Complaint” as a template to see what information you should include, but there is no form complaint for District Court.If you want to revise the form, download it in Word.The court’s name should be changed.
Step 11: You need to complete your forms.
Each form requires you to provide information.Either type the information or print it out.Make copies of the forms.You will get one copy for your records.Service will be given to each of the defendants.
Step 12: You can file the complaint.
If you want to file, you should take the completed forms and all of your copies to the court clerk.The clerk will stamp your copies with the date.You will have to pay for it.You will need to pay a fee in the courts.If you want a jury, you will have to pay more.You must fill out a motion to proceed without payment of filing fees if you can’t afford them.You must provide copies of the previous three months’ bank statements, as well as proof of income, along with this motion.
Step 13: Notices should be served on the defendants.
The defendants must be given notice.There will be a summons and a copy of the complaint.You must serve notice at least 14 days before the court date.serve notice as soon as possible because there is no reason to wait.Anyone who is not a party to the case can make service.Private process server can be hired to make service.There is a fee for each service that you can find in the phone book.You can arrange for the sheriff to make service for you with the court clerk.The sheriff’s fee should be similar to the process server fee.Give the server a copy of the Affidavit of Service and have them fill it out.The original summons and Affidavit will be returned by the server after service.The Affidavit and summons should be filed with the court clerk.
Step 14: Read the instructions.
You can read about electronic case filing at http://www.cod.uscourts.gov.Federal court documents are filed electronically.
Step 15: The cover sheet should be filled out.
You need to complete a “Civil Cover Sheet.” This sheet is available for download at http://www.cod.uscourts.gov.The requested information can be typed into the PDF.You and the defendants are asked for the names and counties of residence.It asks about the nature of the lawsuit.To save an electronic copy, you should fill out the information.You can print out a completed copy.
Step 16: Make a complaint.
A complaint in federal court will be similar to one in Colorado County or District court.There is a caption, a title, and a body in which you list the factual allegations surrounding the dispute.There is a sample civil complaint for federal court at http://www.cod.uscourts.gov/.As you type your complaint, you can use this as a template.
Step 17: You need to complete a summons.
You have to show up to the court with a summons.You can get a blank summons form at the website.The requested information must be filled in.
Step 18: Make copies of things.
You have to give the federal court the original documents.Make copies of the defendants.Make sure the exhibits are attached to the copies.
Step 19: You need to register for an electronic court filing account.
You will need to file all the documents electronically.To apply for an ECF registration, you need to download an application form from the website.Complete page two of the form if you read the instructions.You need a PACER account to view the documents.You can get your account by calling.
Step 20: You can file a complaint.
If you have a pending suit before the court, you won’t be given an ECF account.You have to file your complaint with the court clerk.Initial documents will be uploaded to the electronic system by the court staff.You should also take your Civil Cover Sheet and summons with you.You should give your completed ECF registration form to the clerk at the same time.
Step 21: A filing fee is paid.
If you want to file a lawsuit in Colorado federal court, you will need to pay $400.The filing fee can be paid in cash, money order, credit card, or personal check.If you can’t afford the fee, you need to fill out an Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs.The form can be downloaded from the website.
Step 22: Notices be served on the defendants.
All defendants must be served notice.You need to give a copy of the complaint along with the summons.You can have a person make personal service on the defendants if he or she is at least 18 years old and not a party to the lawsuit.Provide them with a proof of service Affidavit.This is the second page of the summons.The marshal won’t make service for you.You can find a private business that will make service for you by looking in the phone book.You have 90 days to make service.You should make service as soon as possible because there is no reason to wait.
Step 23: Proof of service can be filed.
Before service is made, have the server complete the Affidavit and file it with the court.You should keep a copy of your records.