How Does a Law Suit Work
Step 1: A detailed summons and complaint is prepared, along with an affidavit or verification for the client. The original summons and complaint is sent to the court for filing. A copy is sent to the defendant, advising that after the court assigns a docket number it will be formally served if there is no immediate settlement. At the same time, the affidavit or verification is emailed to the client for execution.
Step 2: The summons and complaint with executed affidavit and court docket number is either sent to Albany for delivery to the NY Secretary of State or given to a process server for direct service on the defendant.
Step 3: The affidavit of service is received from the process server. A letter informing of the service of process is sent to the defendant. The affidavit is filed with the court. From that moment, the defendant generally has about 30 days to answer the complaint.
Step 4: The defendant has either answered the complaint or the 30 days are up and the defendant defaulted. If the defendant defaulted, a judgment is submitted to the court for the court clerk to sign. At the time the judgment is submitted, a letter is sent to the defendant notifying of the default and advising that as soon as the judgment is entered, an execution will follow.
Step 5: If the defendant answered, a summary judgment motion can be made in most cases. If not, or if the summary judgment motion is not granted, the court gives an opportunity for pre-trial, or discovery proceedings. During this stage, either side is allowed to demand information from the other in regard to the proof needed either for the claim or for any defense. We are expert in getting proof that there is no defense and then moving for summary judgment, and in preventing a defendant from using this process to waste time. Unless we get summary judgment or a default judgment, the case is then put on the trial calendar.
Step 6: After judgment is entered, we automatically restrain all the major banks in New York, as well as any known bank, and serve any and all appropriate subpoenas. If the defendant has an active place of business, the City Marshal or Sheriff is issued an execution in order to collect the judgment.