How to file a Federal Lawsuit in Court?

Practically, if you have any complaint regarding any slander, mismanagement, or misconduct, you cannot go directly to resolve your complaint by filing a lawsuit, you must try to resolve it first through the administrative process regulated by Congress.

Requirements to file a lawsuit

There is certain scenarios when you can go directly to the court skipping the administrative process and in some cases, you have to go through the administrative process first. For example, if the complaint contains age and gender discrimination, then you can go directly to the court and file a lawsuit – skipping the administrative complaint process. For age discrimination, you have to submit written notice 30 days in advance to EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) before going to court. For gender discrimination, you can have the chance to file a lawsuit against the organization within two years from the day the discrimination occurred. But it is important to know how to file a federal lawsuit?

Can you sue someone?

Before you make a move to the court, make sure the claim you are taking to the court is legit. The things you should ask yourself first are:

  • Is the claim for the lawsuit valid?
  • Do you have adequate proof that it has caused you harmed?

A lawsuit can be filed if you are sure that you meet the legal requirements.

File The Lawsuit

Know your footsteps

When filing a lawsuit, you must gain knowledge about the state and local rules. If you are seeking a federal claim and want to file the lawsuit in the federal court, then reading and understanding the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures is necessary along with the district rules. You are required to be familiarized with local rules that the local judges of some states follow in their states.

Establishing jurisdiction

When filing a lawsuit against a defendant, you have to establish jurisdiction for yourself. This means that a state in which you are seeking a lawsuit will be having the authority over the defendant. It is appropriate to file a claim when you are following a slander issue. In the recent U.S. laws, ‘targeting’ the forum is mandatory, if you want to bring the defendant to the court. This can be done if you claim that the defendant has intentionally committed a crime.

Keep reading the article to know more about “how to file a federal lawsuit”.

Establish the venue

Additionally, you have to classify a certain court in which you want to file your lawsuit. The court usually specifies counties for the cases when the lawsuit is taken to a civil court whereas, the districts are designated by the federal courts. If the lawsuit is filed online, then the venue can be complicated to discover.

Draft the complaint

Drafting a complaint should be your priority when the venue has been decided for your lawsuit. A complaint in the designated county or district court includes the facts that why jurisdictions and venues have been selected for the lawsuit.

Serving complaint

After complaint filing, it has to be served to all the defendants (if more than one). Normally, a plaintiff will follow a process of personally serving the complaint to the defendant (you should follow the rules your federal or state court regulates). Mostly, the plaintiffs and complainants withdraw their case due to the inadequate services.

Wait for the defender’s response

After receiving the complaint, a defendant will have to submit the response to the court in the designated amount of time, which is 30 calendar days (including weekends). As for the Federal Court, the defendant has to file the response in 20 calendar days after the complaint has been served. A response can be the acceptance of the allegations or the compilation of defenses against the complaint.

Heading towards discovery

The complaint has been made and the defendant has also filed the response. Now, the legal process moves towards the discovery period. It is said to be a pretrial stage when both of the parties’ (defendant and plaintiff) exchange the information and evidence for the preparation of the trial. However, if the case is tricky and has special points to be considered, then the length of this discovery period can differ.

Discovery includes:

  • Depositions (verbal interviews)
  • Interrogations (questioning the other party under oath)
  • Product documentation request
  • Admission request and approvals
  • Subpoenas

Most of the time, discoveries in the cases take the most time and be the expensive part in a case proceeding. Additionally, they require a vast knowledge of the rules of examining and obtaining evidence, not only this in-depth information of the legal strategies is also needed.


If you and the defendant or the attorneys (if you both are represented by attorneys) agreed on a settlement after negotiating on certain points, then the case can be settled before going for a trial (as most cases settled outside the court). That saves the time of the court and encouraged by the court as well.


If the parties do not agree on a point or the case did not settle outside the court, then the case will move to the trial. The judge will examine the evidence, listen to the witnesses, and then decide whether the defendant is alleged truly or not. The plaintiff will then get compensation for the damages and injuries s/he faced.

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