How to Make a Petition Legal

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A petition is a formal request that the court commence an action. These requests can include civil lawsuits, expunging of criminal records, bankruptcies, divorces, domestic protective orders, adoptions and child custody actions. The specific rules for petitions vary based on the court in which the hearing is held and the subject of the petition.

Make sure you are in compliance with the rules of your jurisdiction. In order for a petition to be legal, the format and contents of the petition must meet the requirements set out in your state's rules for your type of petition.

Sign and date the petition. In addition to signing and dating the document, you need to include your contact information, including mailing address, phone number, fax number and email address.

File the petition with the court and pay the filing fee. For your petition to be considered by the court, you need to file it by mail or in person at the court clerk's office and pay a filing fee.

Serve the paper on all pertinent parties according to the formal rules. Before the court will consider your petition, you need to serve the other parties to your case through one of the methods outlined in your jurisdiction's rules. These methods generally include hand delivery by a process server or sheriff or delivery by certified mail.


About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.

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  • Jupiter Images © 2009