The Lawsuit Stage (“Stage”) is the final stage in our process to recover your security deposit. It is the riskiest stage. Why? Because if we are unsuccessful, the landlord can request that the tenant pay landlord's attorney's fees. Therefore, tenants should carefully consider this when negotiations are underway in The Quick Demand Stage and The Motivational Demand Stage. Also, since this is a significant stage of the entire security deposit recovery process, we will send you another retainer agreement at this Stage.
In this Stage, we draft the lawsuit against your landlord and serve your landlord with the lawsuit. Since most security deposit cases are small claims cases, many of our client's lawsuits will start with a pretrial date, which tenants can attend or decide not to attend. The pretrial hearing will be our final, formal opportunity to negotiate with the landlord.
However, if we can find a strategy that exceeds the small claims court's amount, we will consider whether it's to your advantage to file a lawsuit in the county court. If we file your case in county court, the case will proceed like a typical lawsuit. We will attempt to conduct discovery, conduct hearings, and obtain a trial date at the earliest convenience. Your lawsuit's progression will depend on various variables–including the court's availability, the other side's availability, and our availability. Typically, a case can last as little as three (3) months to as much as three (3) years.
If successful, we get paid directly from the landlord–leaving the full recovery to you. Therefore, although this stage takes the most amount of time, it creates the maximum opportunity for the tenant's recovery. However, it is also the riskiest.
Have questions about the Lawsuit Stage? If you are ready to move forward—or if you have any questions about us or our process, email us at [email protected], text us, or call us at (407) 294-9959. Otherwise, we wish you good luck with your legal matter.