Personal Injury, Probate, Employment, & Complex Litigation


What Do You Have To Do To Sue Someone?

When suing someone, there is a two-step process. You must first file the complaint with the court, but then you must provide adequate notice to the person you are suing.

What this means is that you have to serve the defendant with both the complaint, as well as the summons.

A summons is a basic form that essentially warns the defendant that their assets are in jeopardy due to the suit you filed against them. Generally speaking, a summons must be personally served (pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 410.10 although there are exceptions to this rule). The reason for this is because the court wants to make sure that the defendant is on actual notice of the pending action because if no answer to the complaint is filed within 30-days, the defendant may be subject to default judgment. For that reason as well, you want to go to as great of length as possible to personally serve the defendant, that way if default judgment is made, it is much more unlikely for a court to undo that judgment.