Civil Litigation

Civil Litigation

Civil litigation occurs in civil law courts. Commercial litigation is a subsection of civil litigation and involves business disputes, such as contract disputes and employment disputes. Our litigation team can help you in both civil and/or commercial matters.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most Common Questions

Immigration

What are my Options if I have an Order of Deportation & I am now Married to a US or Cuban resident?

You may be able to petition the court to reopen your removal proceedings so that you may be able to apply for residency.

What types of visas are available if I want to come to the U.S. for a visit or temporary stay?

If you wish to visit the United States temporarily or be granted entry for a very specific period of time, you will need a non-immigrant visa. Some of the most common types of non-immigrant visas are a student visa (should you be looking to further your education and skills), business investor visas (if you are planning on coming to the U.S. to invest in a business), or a travel visa (if you wish to do some traveling in the U.S.)

My visa has expired, what can I do?

If your visa has expired, the first thing you need to do is contact an immigration attorney from our firm. We will sit down with you, review your current status and situation, and then help you determine the best course of action to pursue. Time is of the essence when it comes to expired visas, so we advise you do no delay.

I am in the US on a temporary visit and wish to obtain a permanent visa, what can I do?

Changing immigration status while in the United States, can be difficult, and there is no guarantee it can be done. If it is possible, and what you will be required to do, vary from person to person. That is why this kind of question can only be answered after consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. Our attorneys will take the time to review your status and case, analyze the situation at hand, and help you map out the course of action best geared to accomplish your immigration objectives.

I have received a deportation order, is there anything I can do to avoid being deported?

If you receive a deportation order or notification, the first thing you must do is contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney at our firm, who will work with you closely to build your defense. You need an attorney who understands and is skilled in all aspects of immigration law. Our attorneys are committed to providing you with the honest, aggressive representation you need.

Civil Litigation

What is civil and commercial litigation?

Civil litigation occurs in civil law courts. Commercial litigation is a subsection of civil litigation and involves business disputes, such as contract disputes and employment disputes. Our litigation team can help you in both civil and/or commercial matters.

What are the stages of litigation?

A lawsuit begins when a party (the Plaintiff) files a complaint with the court. The complaint identifies the claims that the Plaintiff is alleging. The party who has been accused of the legal wrongdoing (the Defendant) then files an answer (or other response, such as a motion to dismiss). The lawsuit then enters the discovery phase where both Plaintiff and Defendant collect information that they will use at trial to support their side. If the case does not settle, it will then go to trial. At the end of the trial, a judgment will be entered. The prevailing party may then seek to enforce the judgment, or the defeated party may appeal the judgment.

Is there a deadline for filing a lawsuit?

Yes. The law sets statutes of limitations for filing a complaint. The time in which you may file a complaint depends on the type of action you are pursuing (breach of contract, professional negligence, wrongful death, etc.)

I’ve been sued. What do I do?

If you have been properly served, it is important that you answer or otherwise defend against the complaint. The rules for answering or otherwise responding depend on if you are in district or county court. County court has a jurisdictional maximum of $15,000.00. An attorney can help you before or after you file your answer. We certainly recommend hiring an attorney as quickly as possible so that the attorney can file the answer. If you cannot for some reason do this, the Instructions for answering a county court complaint can be found here (form 96). If your case is in district court, some guidance is provided here: Some guidance regarding cases of more than $15,000.00 here. If you have been served with a complaint, contact an experienced Colorado litigation attorney immediately. A defendant has a limited time in which to file a response to the lawsuit. The way in which a defendant responds to a lawsuit will have a significant impact on the case. You have many options and it is best to explore them early.

Will my case go to trial?

If you have been properly served, it is important that you answer or otherwise defend against the complaint. The rules for answering or otherwise responding depend on if you are in district or county court. County court has a jurisdictional maximum of $15,000.00. An attorney can help you before or after you file your answer. We certainly recommend hiring an attorney as quickly as possible so that the attorney can file the answer. If you cannot for some reason do this, the Instructions for answering a county court complaint can be found here (form 96). If your case is in district court, some guidance is provided here: Some guidance regarding cases of more than $15,000.00 here. If you have been served with a complaint, contact an experienced Colorado litigation attorney immediately. A defendant has a limited time in which to file a response to the lawsuit. The way in which a defendant responds to a lawsuit will have a significant impact on the case. You have many options and it is best to explore them early.

Can I try to enforce my rights without suing?

Yes. Our Civil Litigation team offers pre-lawsuit consultations where we explore other alternatives to litigation with our clients.

Bankruptcy

Will I Have Credit Again after a Bankruptcy?

Yes! Remember the main purpose of Bankruptcy is to give you a fresh start or another opportunity. Your credit report will state that you filed for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven years if you filed for Chapter 13 and ten years if you filed for Chapter 7. Lenders use credit reports in deciding whether to make loans. A bankruptcy does not mean you will never be able to borrow money again in fact, in order to rebuild your credit you will need to start using your credit again but use it wisely. Soon after the Bankruptcy Discharge you will begin to get credit card offers again. You will have the ability to start rebuilding your credit. Please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and for tips on how to rebuild your credit after a Bankruptcy.

Can My Employer Fire Me If I file For Bankruptcy?

The Bankruptcy Code prohibits an employer from firing you solely because you filed for bankruptcy or because you did not pay a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy. If your employer has other reasons for firing you, the fact that you filed for bankruptcy will not protect you. Please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or other possible options.

Do all Debts Get Discharged in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

No, not all debts will be discharged through the bankruptcy, even if you have followed all of the Bankruptcy Code’s rules during your case. First, a bankruptcy case only discharges debts that you owed and listed at the time you filed the case, not those you incurred after filing the case

In addition, even after bankruptcy, you will have to pay debts that are not discharged. Non-dischargeable debts include:

  • debts for income and property taxes
  • debts to creditors you did not list in your bankruptcy paperwork
  • domestic support obligations such as alimony and child support debts
  • fines payable to any governmental unit, such as a city or state
  • restitution imposed on you as part of a criminal sentence
  • student loans

Other debts that may not be discharged include debts you may have incurred through fraud or by willful or malicious actions. An example of a debt incurred by fraud is a loan you obtained when you knew you could not repay. Some credit card use immediately before bankruptcy may be considered fraudulent, especially if you use the card to pay for "luxury" goods or services, such as a vacation. If the creditor does not ask the court to rule on these debts, they will be discharged. Please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or other possible options.

Do I Have to File Bankruptcy if I am Uncollectible because I am Unemployed?

In Florida, your creditor can sue you for five years and collect against you for another twenty years after that. That’s 25 years of looking over your shoulder, and hopefully, you will not be unemployed for 25 years. You have choices, and The Santos Law Offices PA we can help you ease your worries and concerns, don’t let misinformation guide your decisions, get armed with the facts, call us today at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation.

Do I Have to Go to Court?

It depends but most of our clients never have to go to Court. In fact, the process can be very easy if you work with an experienced attorney. You will only have to appear briefly at a meeting. This meeting doesn't happen in Court and it doesn’t include a judge. Attorney Dalyla Santos will personally prepare you before the meeting and appear with you at this required meeting.

Attorney Dalyla Santos understands the anxiety this process causes to many clients and that is why she takes the time to answer all of your questions during her initial free consultation and throughout your bankruptcy process. Please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Bankruptcy or other possible options.

What Can I Keep After Bankruptcy?

Most people are reluctant to declare bankruptcy for fear of losing their home, car or other personal possessions. In reality, you may be able to keep most things, depending on the kind of bankruptcy you file.

Under a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy most of your debt should be wiped out. In exchange the Court may sell some of your personal items and property. In general the Court is looking for luxury items, boats, jewelry, high end electronics to sell. Worker’s compensation benefits, social security income, assets from a prepaid college fund and retirement accounts are usually exempt. If you can continue making payments on your home or car, you will likely be able to keep it.

Under a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy you will be required to repay a percentage of what you owe and as such the court will not need to sell your property. You should be able to keep all or most of your assets.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy but you are unsure of the consequences please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Bankruptcy or other possible options

What is the Main Purpose of Bankruptcy?

Contrary to what many believe, the purpose of bankruptcy is not to make people destitute; rather is intended to give people a second change, a fresh start. The moment you sign up with The Santos Law Offices PA to file for bankruptcy, you are protected from your creditors. We immediately notify your creditors that Attorney Dalyla Santos represents you and Creditors must stop calling you and sending letters to you. If you receive any collection communications after you signed up with our office then you may be entitled to receive up to $1000.00 in damages for the collection phone calls or letters received.

Once we file the Bankruptcy if a creditor has already sued you, that lawsuit must stop. The automatic stay also prevents creditors from repossessing your property and from foreclosing on your home.After Bankruptcy, the Discharge prevents your creditors from trying to collect the remainder of what you owe them. Please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Bankruptcy or other possible options.

Who Qualifies for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy under new bankruptcy laws, you either have to be under the “median income” for your geographical location or pass a “means test”. The means test takes into consideration and your expenses such as retirement income contributions or auto loan payments. Please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or other possible options.

Who Qualifies for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for the consumer who does not meet the eligibility for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, either because your income is too high or you have too many assets. Ch. 13 allows the Debtor to keep their property and pay back some or all of their debt in a 3 or 5 year court approved repayment plan. Please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or other possible options.

How Much Does a Bankruptcy Chapter 7 Costs?

Every case is different but generally our attorney’s fees start at $900.00 for a single filer or $1200.00 for a joint filer. We offer affordable payment plans starting at $50.00 a month. Additionally, Attorney Dalyla Santos is often able to recover money for clients from creditors that violate collection laws. Many of our clients are able to pay their bankruptcy with the money Attorney Dalyla Santos recovers ontheir behalf from creditors. In certain cases Attorney Dalyla Santos will handle a case in a pro-bono basis (at no charge). Please contact The Santos Law Offices, PA at 305-417-4111 for a free consultation to explore Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and other legal remedies available.