How Companies Are Sued

If you are curious about the process of how a company get sued, we’ve created this simple graphic that explains it:

First, a lawyer drafts the lawsuit which is called a petition.

Next, the petition is filed with the court in the county chosen based on the rules of the state or, if the suit is about a written contract and the contract specifies the location, that location is used.

The court then assigns the case a unique tracking number called the cause number and also assigns it to a judge.

A constable or private process server picks up a copy of the petition from the court and serves it on the company.  The normal method is to serve it on the company’s registered agent in person during regular business hours.  If customers or vendors are around, they might see the company being sued, which isn’t so good for business.

The company must now hire a lawyer to file an answer.  The owner cannot represent the company unless the owner is also a lawyer.  That is because a company is considered a separate person and only lawyers are allowed to represent other people in court.

If no answer is made on time, the person or company who filed the petition may take a default judgment against the company.

Since the default judgment is made without any arguments by the company being sued, it could result in a very large judgment.

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