Civil Attorney - Bartlesville, OK

If you need to file a civil case, or if someone has filed a civil case against you, you will likely need a civil litigation lawyer to help you. At the Persaud Law office, we have helped many businesses and individuals successfully resolve civil disputes.

What is a civil law case?

In Oklahoma, a civil case, is any court case that is not a criminal case. A case is criminal if:
 

  • The state files the case

  • The state accuses someone of behavior that is listed as a “crime” in the Oklahoma statutes, and

  • The state seeks to impose the death penalty, imprisonment, a fine, or removal or disqualification from public office.

If your case does not have all of the above-listed characteristics, your case is a civil case.

Common types of civil cases include:

  • Automobile Negligence. If you or your property have been injured in a car wreck, you may have an automobile negligence claim, and the Persaud Law Office can assist you. For further information on what to do if you are a victim of an auto accident, click on this blog post
     

  • Breach of contract. Civil suit lawyers often assist clients in cases where one party has accused the other of violating a contract.
     

  • Civil forfeiture. In a civil forfeiture case, the government alleges that a piece of property has been used to commit a crime, and then the government attempts to take that property. Sometimes, if you own property (or of you are a lender and have a security interest in the property), and someone else has used the property to commit a crime, the government will try to take the property even if you had nothing to do with the crime. We don’t want that to happen to you! If the government has filed a civil forfeiture case against you, call us today. For further information on civil forfeiture (including a recent Supreme Court decision that restricts the government’s power to take your property) click here.
     

  • Debt collection. If you are trying to collect a debt from someone, or if someone claims you owe them money you haven’t paid, the Persaud Law Office can assist you.
     

  • Evictions. Civil lawsuit lawyers also handle evictions. In this post, I describe how you may evict someone if you are a landlord; in this post, I explain what to do if you have been, or are about to be, evicted. The Persaud Law Office has represented both landlords and tenants in evictions.
     

  • False representation in business dealings. If someone has taken unfair advantage of you in a business dealing, or if someone has accused you of taking unfair advantage of them, you may be at a loss for what to do. The Persaud Law Office has handled numerous cases involving misrepresentation in business, and we can assist you.
     

  • Real estate litigation. If there is a dispute as to who is the rightful owner of a piece of land, the dispute often ends up in court. If you are in the midst of a land dispute, give us a call.

    One type of real estate litigation is the mortgage foreclosure. If someone fails to pay the mortgage on a home, the lender may file a foreclosure suit in court, and take possession of the home. If you are a lender and need to file a mortgage foreclosure proceeding, or if you are a borrower and the lender has filed a mortgage foreclosure suit against you, the Persaud Law Office can represent you.
     

  • Recovery of personal property. A suit to recover personal property is called a replevin suit. For more information on replevin, click on this post.

If you find yourself in any one of the above scenarios, feel free to contact the Persaud Law Office. We will provide you a free consultation.

What will the Persaud Law Office do if we represent you?

 

Our first consultation with you will be free. If you do decide to retain us, we will review all of your information, and recommend whether you should file a suit in court, or whether we can resolve your case without filing suit. We have resolved many cases without ever filing suit. 

If we do choose to file a suit, or if another party files suit against you, we will make our best efforts to settle your case without going to trial. We strongly believe that it is in most clients’ best interests to settle a civil case outside of court. Settling out of court is less time-consuming, less costly, and less emotionally difficult, than going to court and having a judge decide your case. Studies have shown that the majority of civil lawsuits settle without ever going to trial. 

If your case goes to trial, we will represent you at trial, and we will make our best efforts to present your case as persuasively as possible. 

At all stages of the representation, we will keep you informed about what is going on. Many clients have complained that their attorneys have kept them “in the dark” about their case. We will be transparent with you, and make sure you are properly informed.

Civil Law Frequently Asked Questions

I've been sued. What should I do?


You usually have 20 days, after being served with the summons, to file a response in court. (Read the summons — the summons will tell you how many days you have to file a response in court. If you are sued in small claims court, you don’t have to file an answer — you only need to appear in court on the date given in the summons.) If you do not file a response in court within the deadline given in the summons, the plaintiff can ask the judge to grant a default judgment against you, and you lose the case by default. You can also file an “Entry of Appearance and Reservation of time” where you ask the court to give you more time to file a response. If your request is reasonable (for example, you ask for 20 more days) your request may be honored. If your deadline for responding is already expired, and the plaintiff has not asked for a default judgment against you, you may still file a response. At this point, you may also ask the judge (or the opposing party) to allow you to file your answer out of time. If you’ve already passed the deadline, and the court has granted the other party a default judgment against you, then you may ask the judge to overturn the default judgment. If the judge grants your motion, the case proceeds. If you want to countersue the plaintiff, you may file a counterclaim. When you file your answer, you must either admit or deny each accusation in the petition. If there is any accusation that you don’t deny, that accusation will be deemed admitted. At any time before or during the lawsuit, you may contact the plaintiff and attempt to agree to a settlement or payment plan. You can also agree to a settlement or payment plan even if the court has already granted a judgment against you. It would be wise at this point to remember the words of Jesus: “Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.” (Matthew 5:25-26) See “What is Mediation?” below. If the court grants a judgment against you and you do not pay, you can be ordered to appear at an asset hearing. The plaintiff can obtain possession of certain items of your personal property, and can also garnish your wages — this means that your employer will have to pay a portion of your wages to the plaintiff. For further information, click on my blog post, " What to Do After You've Been Sued in Oklahoma?"




I want to sue someone, but I can’t find them. Can I still sue?


Yes. If all efforts to locate the person have failed, you may ask the judge to give you permission to serve the defendant by publication. If the judge allows this, then you may publish notice of the lawsuit, for one day a week for three consecutive weeks, in a newspaper in the county in which the suit is filed. If the defendant does not respond within 41 days after the first publication, then you can be granted a default judgment, and you win the case by default. (If you’re asking for money or property, collection may be difficult — unless you can locate the defendant’s property or bank account.) Also, if the defendant can prove that he did not actually receive notice of the case, then the defendant may ask the court to overturn the default judgment anytime within three years of the judgment.




What is mediation?


Mediation is the process where you, and the opposing party, meet together before a neutral person called a mediator. The mediator will attempt to bring the parties together in an agreement. (Sometimes, if the case is particularly contentious, the parties will be in separate rooms.) In many types of mediation, the mediator has no authority to render any decision – he is not like a judge. So, a decision can only be reached if both parties agree to it. (This means that, in mediation, you will not walk away with a result to which you did not agree.) Sometimes, courts will order mediation before the case can be set for trial. Or, you and the other party can agree to mediate without a court order. If an agreement is reached in mediation, then a trial will not be necessary, since all of the issues will have been resolved. Often, mediation is a much less expensive option than a trial. Some mediators charge for their services; others offer their services free. For more information, see my blog post on " Mediation in Oklahoma."




My apartment is unlivable. Can I sue my landlord?


Yes. In most lease agreements, there is an “implied warranty of habitability.” Even if this warranty is not mentioned in the lease agreement, Oklahoma law holds that the “implied warranty of habitability” still exists. If your apartment is uninhabitable, your landlord may have breached the contract against you, and you may sue for breach of contract. For further information, see my blog post: " If your apartment is defective in Oklahoma"




I am a landlord, and I have a tenant who won’t pay. What can I do?


You may evict the tenant. To do this, file a forcible entry and detainer action. You would file it with the court clerk. After the tenant is served with the summons, you and the tenant will appear before a judge (usually within ten days after you file the action.) If the judge rules in your favor, the judge will grant you a writ of execution. This means that a sheriff will be able to come onto the land and force the tenant to be removed from the property. You may also be able to recover the back rent that the tenant owes you. For more information on how to pursue an eviction, click on my blog post: How to evict someone in Oklahoma.





Articles on Civil Law from the Bartlesville Law Blog

NOTE: The information provided on this website is not intended to be, and does not constitute, the giving of legal advice. The information provided here is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for individual reliance on privately retained legal counsel. Information provided on this site may not constitute the most current or complete information with respect to legal topics or developments. Mr. Persaud expressly disclaims all liability based on any information contained on this site.”

© 2020, by Kyle Persaud.