When two parties establish a contract, they do so with the understanding that the contract is to remain mutually beneficial. You can sue for breach of contract if you feel the other party violated the contract terms and owes you money as a result. The burden of proof is on you to prove that a legitimate contract exists and that the other party willfully violated it. The contract must also be enforceable, which means that neither party agreed to commit an illegal act to benefit the other party. Besides proving that you lost money due to the breach of contract, you must also show that the other party was not prevented from holding up his or her end of the agreement by an unforeseeable act like a natural disaster or war.
Steps to Take When Filing a Breach of Contract Civil Suit
Once you have determined the legality of the contract, you can file a petition in civil court in the jurisdiction where the contract was signed. If the contract was drafted and signed outside of Illinois, it can be difficult to determine the proper jurisdiction to file your civil suit. At this point, you may want to consider hiring a Chicago-area lawyer who is experienced in handling contract disputes. He or she will guide you through the entire process to ensure that you don’t make any factual errors before serving the other party with your civil suit. Most states have some form of a Complaint and Cause of Action that must be completed in order to file a civil suit. The form number varies based on the regulations of the state where the contract was originally filed.
Serving the Other Party
Once you have completed all of the necessary paperwork, you are ready to have the civil suit served on the other party. Your lawyer should inform you of the proper way to have the suit delivered, which varies depending on the state where the contract was initiated. The other party will receive a summons to appear in court to respond to your charge of contract violation. You and your lawyer should have determined ahead of time the amount of damages you are requesting from the other party. The judge who hears the case will make a determination if there was indeed a contract breach and whether or not you are entitled to financial compensation. He or she has the final discretion to adjust the amount of damages rewarded.